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April Showers....
In This Issue
Healthy Habits
Spice Spotlight: Saffron
Hormone Highlight: Vasopressin
Resolution #4: Decrease 'Screen' Time
New Osteoarthritis study
Recipe Round Up
How do your feet feel?

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Healthy Habits from Fellow Patients
In March, we asked our loyal Advancing Health readers "What are your smart snacking methods?"  Here's a great list of helpful tips: 
  • Ryan B: "I always have baby carrots in my fridge. They go well with ranch dressing or hummus."
  • Amanda E: "One of my favorite snacks is plain Greek yogurt, a small handful of blueberries and a bit of walnuts. It can work as a dessert too!."
  • Nick D: "I'm always craving salty and crunchy snacks. I love making kale chips but when I need 'real' chips, I usually make my own potato chips from scratch. I can control the amount of salt and oil and experiment with different flavor combinations."
  • Lauren W: "I make my own trail mix with raw almonds, raw walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and a little bit of dried fruit or really dark chocolate chips. I buy everything in bulk, which saves money, and I avoid the oils and sugar that are often added to pre-packaged trail mix."  
Spice Spotlight:  Saffron

 bitter, straw-like taste; golden yellow color (after cooked) 

Foods commonly used in:
  Saffron is widely used in Indian, Persian, European, Arab and Turkish cuisines.  Paella, bouillabaisse, chicken and rice are common dishes that use saffron.

Possible health benefits:  anti-carcinogenic, anti- mutagenic, and anti- oxidant properties; reduces depression; prevents eye damage and macular degeneration due to bright light

How to use and store:
  • Store in a sealed container in a dark cabinet.
  • Purchase saffron in threads only, as the powdered version may be mixed with other spices.
  • Saffron has also been used to dye fabric.    


Fun Facts:

  •  Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world!  It takes about 75,000 flowers to yield just 1 pound of saffron. Currently, a bottle of 0.06 ounces of saffron threads costs around $16, or $4,300 per pound, with each pound containing anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 threads.   
  • Saffron is native to Greece and Southwest Asia, but now Iran produces about 90% of the saffron in the world. 
Interested in Research Studies? 
To learn more about our current research studies and to see if you may  qualify, send an email to:  studies@diabloclinical.com
Hormone Highlight: Vasopressin

AKA:   Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), arginine vasopressin (AVP), argipressin

Location:  found in the posterior pituitary 'gland'

Function(s):  retains water in the kidneys; constricts blood vessels.   Vasopressin analogues are used to treat diabetes insipidus, a condition where the kidneys are unable to retain water.  Vasopressin can also be used to treat or prevent stomach problems that may result from surgery.  

Most vasopressin is released into the bloodstream, but small amounts are sent to the brain as well. Research suggests that vassopressin may have a role in social behaviors, sexual desires and bonding.

Further reading:
Advancing Health Newsletter April 2013

National Walking Day 2013

National Walking Day is just around the corner. Adults should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 5 days a week. A brisk walk is a simple, inexpensive way to achieve those 30 minutes.

For more information about National Walking Day and physical activity, visit www.heart.org.


Resolution #4:
Decrease 'Screen' Time
At the start of every year, millions of people make New Year's resolutions, yet a majority of these resolutions have fizzled out by February. Engaging in goal setting (such as S.M.A.R.T. goals) or making your goals known to friends and family are just two of many sure-fire ways to help those resolutions stick. And Diablo Clinical Research is here to help! Each month we'll be highlighting a resolution or goal and ways to help you achieve it.   Read on for this month's resolution...
Image via Wikipedia

Cut down on your time watching TV, surfing the Internet or using your Smartphone.

The average adult watches 34 hours of television PER WEEK, just slightly less than 5 hours per day. Increased screen time--watching tv shows or movies, playing video games, using a smartphone or surfing the internet--has been linked to an increase in sedentary behaviors. The more you watch, the more you sit while your physical activity levels decrease.

Sedentary behaviors have been linked to a myriad of health problems: increased risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes; poor sperm quality; metabolic syndromeeating unhealthy foods; premature death; childhood obesity; poor sleep quality and 'sleep debt'; and cardiovascular disease.

April 29th-May 5th is Screen Free Week. Its purpose is to reduce excessive screen time and to promote other forms of entertainment: reading, exercising, playing outdoors and spending quality time with friends and family.

  • Keep a daily journal of how many minutes you spend watching television or unnecessarily 'surfing the web' on your computer or smart phone.  You'll be surprised at how many more minutes and hours you'll have in a day--time that can be well spent cooking a healthy dinner, exercising or spending quality face time with friends and family.
  • If you feel like you have no time for exercise but always have time for your favorite nightly TV shows, you HAVE the time to exercise.  If you're not getting the recommended 150 minutes (or more!) of exercise per week, your  TV habits may be the culprit.  
  • Limit yourself to 2 (or less!) hours of screen time per day. This includes time spent on your smartphone or computer.  
  • Plan other activities to get you out of the house and away from the television.  Meet a friend for a hike or coffee, garden in your yard, walk the dog or play games outside with your kids. 
  • Rearrange furniture so that the television isn't the main focus of the living room.
  • Cut back, or cut out, cable TV. It's expensive and the more viewing options you have, the more likely you are to watch television.    
  • Keep the television off during dinner and remove cell phones from the table.  
  •  Remove televisions and computers from your bedroom. Shut down electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime whenever possible.   
  • Take the Screen-Free Week Pledge and make a resolution to cut down your TV, computer and video game time.  
What are ways that you cut down on screen time?
Send an email with your ideas to our Registered Dietitian and your healthy habits will be posted in our May newsletter. 
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis in your knees?
Nektar April 2013

For more information about this study, please call (925) 930-7267 or email: apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com

Recipe Roundup: Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade   


Red Bell Pepper Artichoke Tapenade


This twist on tapenade, which is traditionally made with olives, pairs well with almost any food. Try it with some crackers or bread, use it as a sauce/topping for fish or chicken, add it to omelets, or use it as a substitute for pasta sauce.

Makes approximately 14 servings (1 serving = 2 TB) 
Recipe adapted from the American Heart Association.
  • 12  ounces of roasted red bell peppers (rinsed and drained if in a jar)
  • 1/2 of a 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts (approx. 7 ounces) or thawed artichoke hearts (if frozen)  
  • 2 ounces of sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 TB of chopped fresh basil (or 1 TB dried basil), crumbled
  • 2-3 TB of fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar
  • 2 TB chopped red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • In a food processor or blender, pulse the bell peppers, artichokes, mushrooms, basil, lemon juice, onion, and garlic until coarse.
  • Pour the mixture into a medium bowl.
  • Stir in the oil and salt.
  • Serve as desired.     
Nutrition Facts per serving:   30 calories,  2.0g total fat (0.25 g saturated, 1.4g monounsaturated, 0.25g polyun-saturated), 0mg cholesterol,  3.0g carbohydrates  (0.67g fiber, 1.4g sugar), 0.5g protein, 86mg sodium, 67mg potassium, Vitamin A 14%, Vitamin C 73%, calcium 1%, iron 1% 
Do you suffer from painful diabetic neuropathy? 
DNP study

For more information, please call Ava at 

925-930-7267 or send an email to: apaulazzo@diabloclinical.com


Free HbA1c test for Diabetics!
Do you know your A1c score? When was the last time you had it checked? 6 months ago? A year? Longer?

If you're diabetic and it's been longer than 3 months since you had an HbA1c test, visit us for a FREE test. Please call (925) 930-7267 to schedule an appointment. 

Love healthy cooking? MORE recipes are available on our website at  http://diabloclinical.com/subcat_studyvolunteers_health.php
And don't forget to check out our blog,  http://diabloclinicalresearch.wordpress.com/, for health,nutrition & fitness articles!