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Thursday, June 08, 2023



I just think they’re neat: Muskrats

In Ojibwe legend, there was a time when water covered all. Unhappy with the Anishinabe people, Kitchi-Manitou, the Great Mystery, flooded the earth. The only survivors in a world without land were those animals who could swim or fly — and one man, Nanaboozhoo, who clung for life to a floating log.


Superfoods: Are they worthy of the name?

Kale, berries, cacao, eggs, sweet potatoes, greek yogurt and more are among the dozens of foods that are labeled "superfoods." This new group of products is advertised as being nutritionally dense — or containing high amounts of vitamins/minerals per calorie — ways to improve your diet and prevent disease simply by consuming them.

Graphic of a women sitting against a tree  with a cardinal perched on her knee.

Ho-Chunk lessons on natural healing

For the Ho-Chunk people, or Winnebago, natural history in the Madison area is rooted in the tale of Teejop (day-JOPE). Teejop, a Hoocąk name meaning Four Lakes, refers to Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa. The story begins with the descent of the Earthmaker, or Creator, from the North.


What’s the deal with dairy? A guide making dairy decisions

Dairy foods have been a hot topic in nutrition in recent years. Some tout milk products as a source of calcium, vitamins and protein for bone and muscle health, while others say it is harmful, causing skin breakouts and delivering high levels of saturated fat to the diet. Both of these claims carry some truth, but the magnitude of these statements is difficult to assess.


Misguiding the majority: Why the ‘2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ may not be serving you

Of the many events to come from 2020, perhaps one of the more positive was a renewed set of dietary guidelines for Americans. In a nation riddled with chronic disease, informing the public about what to eat could be crucial in battling obesity and related health issues. The guidelines included information designed to combat our nation’s growing health problems, but many believe it failed to do what was necessary to help a large part of the U.S. population.


Hydration and health; why water trumps other beverages

Water is a strange player in global health in that it is necessary to live, but provides no real nutrients. Increasing water consumption is often touted as a method for improving health, yet most do not know why this is. Though we hear this advice frequently, few people follow it. Despite water’s documented benefits, research shows that a large portion of the U.S. is chronically dehydrated. 

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Rethinking water management with rain gardens

Understanding the unique behavior of water in urban areas begins with understanding two fundamentals. First, hydrogen bonding between atoms makes water molecules stick to one another (cohesion) and other charged surfaces (adhesion). Second, water is polar, making it a “universal solvent.” 


Dieting downfalls and the promise of a non-diet approach

Change is an exciting thing, and being able to see positive transformations of one’s body is as thrilling a change as any. Whether you are trying to take pounds off or put them on, chances are you have considered following a diet. While some diets are rigid due to biological reasons (e.g. diabetes) or religious grounds — e.g. avoiding pork as a Muslim — many choose to follow them in hopes of achieving dream physiques. 


How important is breakfast? UW Health says, don’t skip it

From a young age, breakfast being the “most important meal of the day” phrase has been ingrained into our brains. And now, as more and more research about breakfast comes out, scientists have data about how significant eating after waking up is for performance. UW Health says, “it gives your metabolism, your body’s engine, a boost and provides needed energy.” Let’s dig into the science of breakfast.

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