Next time you dip your shish taouk in garlic sauce, make sure to order a side of fresh apple, mint or lettuce.
A study published in the September issue of the Journal of Food Science found that raw apple and lettuce decreased the volatiles responsible for garlic breath by 50 per cent.
Mint leaves had a higher deodorisation level than apple and lettuce, but only in raw, leaf form. Mint wasn’t as effective when juiced, so don’t expect lemon and mint juice to be of any use. Likewise with green tea – it showed no deodorising effect at all.
The researchers from Ohio State University found that foods deodorise garlic breath in two ways. Enzymes in raw foods help to destroy odours, while phenolic compounds in raw and cooked foods destroy volatiles. Raw foods are more effective because they contain both enzymes and phenolic compounds.
Reality check on diabetes
Elizabeth Snyder, a certified diabetes educator at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, debunks common myths about managing diabetes.
• Now I can’t eat carbs: Simple carbohydrates should be limited because they cause a spike in blood sugar levels, but complex carbohydrates have fibre that can help regulate blood sugar levels.
• Eating gluten-free prevents/cures diabetes: Gluten is a protein that provides elasticity and volume in baked goods, so gluten-free foods are actually denser and hence have more carbs per serving, making blood sugar levels harder to manage.
• Green vegetables will lower blood sugar: While healthier, there’s no evidence to suggest green veggies bring down blood sugar on their own.
• Sugar-free foods won’t raise blood sugar: Sugar-free doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. Always read the nutrition information panel.
• I can cleanse away diabetes: There is no magic cure. The best advice is to consume a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Findings on rest and relaxation
When it comes to rest, most people agree they don’t get enough. A survey of 18,000 people from 134 countries, led by researchers at Durham University in the United Kingdom, found that 68 per cent would like more rest.
The survey, presented on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Anatomy of Rest, found that people who felt they needed more rest also scored lower in terms of well-being. It revealed that almost a third of respondents believed they needed more rest than the average person, while 10 per cent said they needed less.
The survey asked respondents to state the amount of rest they’d had in the past 24 hours. Results showed that being younger and having a higher household income were associated with fewer hours of rest. Those with caring responsibilities or in shift work also reported less rest.
The top five restful activities, according to the survey, included: Reading, being in nature, being alone, listening to music, and doing nothing in particular.
Dr Felicity Callard, principal investigator on the project and social scientist in the department of geography, said: “It’s intriguing that the top activities considered restful are frequently done on one’s own. Perhaps it’s not only the total hours resting or working that we need to consider, but the rhythms of our work, rest and time with and without others.”