HUGH COLEMAN – MECHANICAL MANAGER
Hi everyone, from a well-rested manager. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a week’s leave and unwind down in Cape Town. What a rewarding time I had.Now that my batteries are recharged and I have a spring in my step again I am raring to go
My 132kVA cable laying project in Pmb is finished and ready to be commissioned but the substation hasn’t been completed. Construction always amazes me; everything is a huge rush and then the other companies, in this case the guys building the substation, seem to just dawdle along and don’t seem to be under any pressure to get finished.
These type of high pressure jobs always have such an anti-climax to them as they just somehow come to an abrupt end. One day it’s all flat out and the next everything is back to normal. The best part of it all is that an immense amount of experience was gained. I have taken over another project down the North Coast near Salt rock which I am dying to get my teeth into as the most challenging part of this project is about to begin, so watch this space for some blood, sweat and tears coverage.
All our vehicles are still spread out all over the place at different sites, unfortunately one of them was involved in an accident where a truck jumped a red light. Luckily nobody got hurt but the bakkie was virtually skinned alive.
SIGNAGE AND MAINTENANCE
We are proud to say that we have again been busy with various government jobs. We have also carried out the scheduled SLA’s that were due for the month. Preventative, callout and breakdown maintenance have also been attended to.
Various generator works have been planned and should all be installed and commissioned by the end of October. We can only thank Voltex for being so proactive in the manufacturing of these generators. The generators are being installed at various clients throughout KZN and Gauteng.
Roxy Roux – Maintenance Manager
Maintenance in Short:
Maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical, instrument or electrical device should it become out of order or broken (known as repair, scheduled maintenance, callout or breakdown maintenance).
We are looking forward to the month of October where we might face new challenges and be proactive in solving them.
Pub & Diner
02ND– Chicken & Prawn Curry
09th– Pulled Pork Rolls
16th– 300G T-Bone & Chips
23rd-Buy one get one free –Burger
30th-Lamb Shank & Mash
IT IS COMING TO THE END OF THE YEAR ONCE AGAIN!!
WE ARE VERY GLAD TO BE HAVING SCHOOL FUNCTIONS, ALL OF WHOM THAT ARE SUPORTING US WITH THEIR GRACE ASWELL AS THEIR SINGING….WE HOPE TO SEE MORE SCHOOL FUNCTIONS IN THE NEXT MONTHS.
THANK YOU TO EVEYONE THAT TOOK TICKETS FOR THE RUGBY WORLD CUP, THE GAMES ARE GETTING VERY EXCITING! MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN
WE ARE EXCITED TO BE SUPPORTING CATO RIDGE ELECTRICAL’S AWARDS DAY, WE WISH EVERYONE LUCK.IT WILL BE A GREAT DAY…
JUST A REMINDER THAT WE WILL BE HAVING SPIDER MURCH ON THE 16TH OCTOBER 2015 FOR KARAOKE
COME SING ALONG TO YOUR FAV SONGS!
In Other News
Birthdays October – Happy Birthday to the following people in October (birthdays seem to be a bit scarce this month):
15th – Charlmari Kronmöller
19th – Graham Luker
Dates to Remember in October
1st – World Vegetarian Day
2nd – World Smile Day
16th – Boss’s Day
31st – Halloween
Word of the Month
While standing in the kitchen one day heating up lunch to get it ready for devouring, Boss Peter walked in and removed his asparagus from the fridge. He then went on to give Taylea and myself a mini health lesson about why it’s good for you. He made some valid points, almost valid enough to make me rethink befriending my dreaded childhood enemy.
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Oxidant Benefits
It’s not surprising to see asparagus being heralded as an anti-inflammatory food because it provides a truly unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Among these anti-inflammatory nutrients are asparagus saponins, including Asparanin A, Sarsasapogenin, Protodioscin, and Diosgenin. One of these saponins (Sarsasapogenin) has been of special interest in relationship to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Even though ALS is classified as a chronic, neurodegenerative disease and is not currently accepted as an autoimmune disorder, excessive, unwanted inflammation may play an important role in the death of certain nerve cells (motor neurons) in ALS. Other anti-inflammatory nutrients in asparagus include the flavonoids Quercetin, Rutin, Kaempferol and Isorhamnetin.
Alongside of these anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, asparagus provides a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium. In addition to the antioxidant nutrients above, this much-loved vegetable may also contain a valuable amount of the antioxidant glutathione (GSH). GSH is one of the body’s best-studied antioxidants; it consists of three amino acids — glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine — combined into one molecule. At least one published study has estimated the amount of GSH in fresh asparagus to average 28 milligrams per 100 grams. Several studies have compared the overall antioxidant capacity of asparagus to the antioxidant capacity of other vegetables, and the results for asparagus have been impressive. Asparagus compares favourably with many of the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, and while it ranks lower than some of the green leafy vegetables like spinach, it is still very high on the list of antioxidant foods.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients are some of the best risk reducers we know for common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These nutrients are also special risk reducers in the case of certain cancer — a special area of asparagus health benefits that is covered in the following section.
Asparagus is unusual as a digestive support food. One key factor in this regard is its inulin content. Like chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus contains significant amounts of the nutrient inulin. Inulin is a unique type of carbohydrate called a polyfructan, and in practical terms, healthcare practitioners often refer to it as a “prebiotic.” Unlike most other carbs, inulin doesn’t get broken down in the first segments of our digestive tract. It passes undigested all the way to our large intestine. Once it arrives at our large intestine, it becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy, and lower risk of colon cancer. While approximately 5% lower in inulin than chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus is a food that contains a valuable amount of this unique carb and can help support our digestive health in this unique way.
Alongside of its unusual inulin content, asparagus is rich in fibre (about 3 grams per cup, including about 2 grams of insoluble fibre and 1 gram of soluble fibre) and also contains a noteworthy amount of protein (about 4-5 grams per cup). Both fibre and protein help stabilize our digestion and keep food moving through us at the desirable rate. (By contrast, too much fat can slow down our digestion rate more than desired, and too much sugar or simple starch can speed it up more than desired. We’re not surprised to see species of asparagus like Asparagus racemosus (commonly known as Shatavari) having a long history of use in treatment of digestive problems in certain healthcare traditions (like ayurvedic medicine), and it makes sense to us that asparagus be considered as a great food for improving digestive support in most diets.
Heart Health and Blood Sugar Regulation
While we have yet to see large-scale dietary studies that examine chronic diseases in humans and asparagus intake, we would expect asparagus intake to show reduced chronic disease risk in two particular
areas, namely, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While there is some preliminary research in both areas, both areas need more attention from asparagus researchers. Our desire to see more research in these areas is based on several factors.
First is the amazing B-vitamin content of asparagus. In our food rating system, asparagus emerges as an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2 as well as a very good source of niacin, choline, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. Because B vitamins play a key role in the metabolism of sugars and starches, they are critical for healthy blood sugar management. And because they play a key role in regulation of homocysteine, they are critical in heart health has well. (Homocysteine is an amino acid, and when it reaches excessive levels in our blood, it is a strong risk factor for heart disease.)
Second, along with its impressive list of B vitamins, asparagus provides us with about 3 grams of dietary fibre per cup, including more than 1 gram of soluble fibre. Intake of soluble fibre has repeatedly been shown to lower our risk of heart disease, and our risk of type 2 diabetes can be significantly lowered as our intake of dietary fibre increases.
Finally, there is the anti-inflammatory/antioxidant factor. Heart disease and type 2 diabetes are both considered chronic diseases that evolve in relationship to chronic, excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. The outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient composition of asparagus would seem to make it a no-brainer for inclusion as a risk reducer in both of these chronic disease areas. We expect future studies to establish asparagus as a standout for lowering our risk of cardiovascular and blood sugar problems.
As a result of its very strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrient composition, we would definitely expect to see a food like asparagus showing up as a risk reducer for certain cancers. Chronic, excessive inflammation and chronic oxidative stress are risk factors for a variety of cancer types, and both unwanted phenomena are related to deficient dietary intake of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients—exactly the kind of nutrients that are especially plentiful in asparagus. Most of the studies we’ve seen on the anti-cancer benefits of asparagus have been studies on rats and mice, or studies on specific types of cancer cells. For this reason, we would describe asparagus cancer research as preliminary, and not yet validated by large-scale studies involving humans and dietary intake. But the trends in animal studies and cell studies are clear – asparagus and asparagus extracts can change the metabolic activity of cancer cell types, and these changes are protective in nature and related to better regulation of inflammation and oxidative stress. Cancer cells from the liver are best-studied in this regard.
One confusing area of research on asparagus and cancer involves leukaemia. And while this arena has focused upon enzymes related to an amino acid in asparagus, rather than asparagus itself, we thought to include information on it here to clarify this arena for you in case you had come across information on this topic.
Leukaemia is a type of cancer involving the bone marrow and its production of white blood cells. In leukaemia, white blood cells are not produced in a normal way and do not behave in a normal way, and for these reasons are called leukaemia cells. One unusual aspect of leukaemia cells is their need to obtain a specific amino acid called asparagine from other cells or from the fluid portion of the blood. If leukaemia cells can be prevented from obtaining asparagine, they can sometimes have difficulty surviving. In the mid-1950’s and 1960’s, researchers discovered that the injection of an enzyme called
TYPES OF ASPARAGUS
asparaginase into persons diagnosed with leukaemia could sometimes result in decreased levels of blood asparagine in the blood and selective destruction of leukaemia cells through asparagine deprivation. Prescription injection of asparaginase enzymes is still used in treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Asparagus has become entangled in this fascinating set of events involving leukaemia because the name of the amino acid “asparagine” and the name of the enzyme “asparaginase” clearly imply a connection with asparagus. Both the amino acid and the enzyme are present in asparagus, just as their names imply. However, we are not aware of any research showing a treatment connection between leukaemia and dietary intake of asparagus. The only research we’ve seen involves injection of the purified, prescription enzyme medication. In addition, we know that pharmaceutical companies do not use asparagus as a source of the asparaginase enzyme, but rather, rely on bacteria as their enzyme production source.
Risks of eating asparagus
“There are no life threatening side effects of eating too much asparagus,” said nutritionist Laura Flores, “but there may be some uncomfortable side effects such as gas, and a noticeable smell to the urine.”
It is also possible to have an asparagus allergy, in which case you should not eat it, she said. People who are allergic to other members of the lily family, such as onions, garlic, and chives, are more likely to be allergic to asparagus. Symptoms include a runny nose, hives, trouble breathing, and puffiness or swelling around the mouth and lips.
Why does asparagus make urine smell?
According to Smithsonian magazine, asparagus is the only food to contain the chemical asparagusic acid. When this aptly named chemical is digested, it breaks down into sulphur-containing compounds, which have a strong, unpleasant scent. They are also volatile, which means that they can vaporize and enter the air and your nose. Asparaguisic acid is not volatile, so asparagus itself doesn’t smell.
What’s weirder than a veggie causing stinky pee? The fact that not everyone can smell it. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is. Most evidence seems to suggest that not everyone can smell the odour, though some scientists think that not everyone produces it. Either way, there are no harmful effects to producing, or smelling, the odour in urine.
- Asparagus was first cultivated about 2,500 years ago in Greece. “Asparagus” is a Greek word, meaning stalk or shoot.
- The Greeks believed asparagus was an herbal medicine that would cure toothaches and prevent bee stings, among other things.
- Galen a second-century physician, described asparagus as “cleansing and healing.” Claims for medicinal benefits of asparagus persist to this day.
- The Romans became great lovers of asparagus, and grew it in high-walled courtyards. In their conquests, they spread it to the Gauls, Germans, Britons and from there, the rest of the world.
- The top asparagus-producing states are California, Washington and Michigan.
- Asparagus is a member of the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks and garlic.
- Asparagus spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.
- Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10 inches in 24 hours.
- Each crown will send spears up for about 6-7 weeks during the spring and early summer.
- The outdoor temperature determines how much time will be between each picking. Early in the season, there may be four or five days between pickings and as the days and nights get warmer, a particular field may have to be picked every 24 hours.
- After harvesting is done, the spears grow into ferns, which produce red berries and the food and nutrients necessary for a healthy and productive crothe next season.
- An asparagus planting is usually not harvested for the first three years after the crowns are planted, allowing the crown to develop a strong fibrous root system.
- A well-cared-for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.
- The larger the diameter, the better the quality!
The next edition of our news will be published on Friday 31st October 2015