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NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha A Coffee Alternative
November 02, 2022 05:16 PM
Matcha is a highly concentrated, culinary grade, pure powder that's made without any other ingredients or additives. Traditionally the highlight of Japanese tea ceremonies - it's great just mixed with water or try it with your favorite milk or non-dairy beverage and natural sweetener to make a latte. It's the perfect alternative to coffee with its strong flavor and energy-boosting capabilities and makes an invigorating add-on to smoothies.
Matcha is quickly becoming popular in the western world as people are looking for alternatives to coffee that are just as energizing but don't come with the drawbacks (like jitters and crash). If you're looking to jump on the matcha bandwagon, look no further than NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing product!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea that is grown and produced in Japan. The leaves are shade-grown for the last few weeks before harvest which creates a higher chlorophyll content and gives matcha its beautiful green color. Once harvested, the leaves are quickly steamed and dried to prevent fermentation. The stems and veins are then removed before the leaves are stone ground into a fine powder. This powder is what we call matcha.
The Difference between Culinary Grade and Ceremonial Grade Matcha
NOW Real Tea® only sources culinary grade matcha for our products. Culinary grade matchas are less expensive than ceremonial grade because they don't have to meet as many criteria (like particle size). This makes them more accessible so people can experiment with using matcha in cooking and baking without having to spend a lot of money.
Culinary grade matchas can also be used for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies - it's all about personal preference! Some people prefer the taste of ceremonial grade matchas while others find them too bitter. If you're new to matcha, we recommend starting with a culinary grade powder like NOW Real Tea® Organic Matcha.
We hope this article has wet your whistle when it comes to matcha! If you're looking to try out this amazing powder for yourself, head over to our website and check out our organic culinary grade matcha. We think you'll love it as much as we do!
NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds
November 02, 2022 04:44 PM
Almonds are a popular ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes. They are originally from Spain and are known for their rich, buttery flavor. Our Marcona almonds are grown in California on a family farm. They are blanched to preserve their pure, mild, buttery flavor and moist, tender texture. Here are some ways you can enjoy them!
Salads - Add some crunch to your salad with NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds. Their rich, buttery flavor goes great with greens and other salad ingredients.
Desserts - Use Marcona Almonds as a topping for your favorite dessert. They add a delicious crunch that takes your dessert to the next level.
Cheese and Fruit Pairings - Serve NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds with cheese and fruit for a tasty snack or appetizer. The rich, buttery flavor of the almonds pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors.
NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Their rich, buttery flavor is perfect for salads, desserts, and cheese and fruit pairings. Add them to your next dish for a delicious crunch that will take it to the next level!
The Benefits of Collagen Joint Support Powder
October 26, 2022 12:42 PM
As we age, it's not uncommon to start experiencing joint discomfort. This can make even simple everyday activities, such as walking or going up and down stairs, become painful. However, there are things you can do to help support your joints and promote joint comfort. One such product is Collagen Joint Support Powder. Let's take a closer look at what this product is and how it can help you.
What is Collagen Joint Support Powder?
Collagen Joint Support Powder is a combination of ingredients that help to support the formation and function of healthy joint tissue.* This product uses hydrolyzed collagen that has been enzymatically treated for ease of absorption, as well as MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), a biologically active form of sulfur, that serve as building blocks for collagen synthesis.* Glucosamine is included as an essential structural component that is naturally present in bones and joints.* Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that glucosamine can help to support healthy joint structures and promote joint comfort.*
How Does It Work?
The ingredients in Collagen Joint Support Powder work together to help support the formation and function of healthy joint tissue.* Hydrolyzed collagen has been enzymatically treated for easy absorption and helps to provide the building blocks for collagen synthesis.* MSM is a biologically active form of sulfur that helps to support the structure of collagen.* Glucosamine is an essential structural component that is naturally present in bones and joints and helps to support healthy joint structures.* Clinical studies have shown that glucosamine can help to promote joint comfort.*
What Are the Benefits?
There are many benefits associated with taking Collagen Joint Support Powder. This product can help to support the formation and function of healthy joint tissue,* provide the building blocks for collagen synthesis,* support the structure of collagen,* and promote joint comfort.* Additionally, Collagen Joint Support Powder is easy to take—simply mix it into your favorite beverage once daily. It's also available in an unflavored powder if you prefer not to add it to a beverage.
If you're looking for a way to promote joint health and comfort*, consider trying Collagen Joint Support Powder. This product uses hydrolyzed collagen that has been enzymatically treated for ease of absorption, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), and glucosamine to help support the formation and function of healthy joint tissue,* provide the building blocks for collagen synthesis,* support the structure of collagen,* and promote joint comfort.* Give Collagen Joint Support Powder a try today!
The Benefits of Dairy Digest Complete
October 07, 2022 03:59 PM
Dairy intolerance is a common problem that can be caused by the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. However, intolerance can also be caused by the proteins and fats inherent in dairy products. Thankfully, there is a comprehensive enzyme blend that can aid in the digestion of dairy products known as Dairy Digest Complete.* This blend of enzymes specifically targets lactose, proteins, and fat for digestion. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of this helpful product.
What is Dairy Digest Complete?
Dairy Digest Complete is a blend of enzymes that are specifically formulated to aid in the digestion of dairy products. This includes milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt. The enzymes in this blend target lactose, proteins, and fat for easy digestion.*
How Does It Work?
The lactase enzyme in Dairy Digest Complete works to breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose. Glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream while galactose goes to the liver to be converted into glucose.* Proteases are enzymes that break down proteins into peptides and amino acids. Lipases work to break down fats into glycerol and fatty acids.* This triple action approach helps your body to more easily digest and absorb the nutrients from dairy products.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits to taking Dairy Digest Complete including reduced bloating, gas, and indigestion.* In addition, this enzyme blend can help you to better absorb the calcium found in dairy products.* If you are someone who struggles with intolerance to diary or has difficulty digesting fatty foods, Dairy Digest Complete may be a helpful option for you.*
Dairy intolerance is a common problem that can make it difficult to enjoy many favorite foods. However, Dairy Digest Complete is a comprehensive enzyme blend that can aid in the digestion of dairy products.* This blend of enzymes specifically targets lactose, proteins, and fat for easy digestion. If you are someone who struggles with intolerance to diary or has difficulty digesting fatty foods, Dairy Digest Complete may be a helpful option for you.*
Try it today and see how much easier it is to enjoy your favorite dairy products!*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Comforting Massage Oil is the Perfect Way to Unwind
October 03, 2022 04:42 PM
We all know how hectic and stressful life can be. That's why it's important to take some time for yourself every now and then to relax and rejuvenate. One of the best ways to do this is with a soothing massage. And what could make a massage even better? Using a luxurious, nourishing massage oil like Comforting Massage Oil from Naja Naturals!
Comforting Massage Oil is an advanced blend of natural oils specifically formulated for relaxation and skin rejuvenation. Natural essential oils from lavender, chamomile and patchouli are combined with grape seed, apricot and almond oils to provide a full spectrum of emollient properties. The tranquil and calming essence of Comforting Massage Oil is the perfect complement to a therapeutic massage. It can also be used as a daily moisturizer to leave skin feeling silky soft, nourished and rejuvenated.
How to Use Comforting Massage Oil
There are endless ways to use Comforting Massage Oil. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Rub it into your cuticles and nails to keep them healthy and hydrated. If you're looking for a way to relax and rejuvenate, look no further than Comforting Massage Oil from Naja Naturals. Made with natural ingredients like lavender, chamomile, grape seed oil, and more, this luxurious oil is perfect for use in massages or as a daily moisturizer. Trust us, your mind and body will thank you!
5 Ways to Use Carob Powder
September 26, 2022 03:41 PM
Carob powder is a flavorful and versatile substitute for chocolate. Use in place of cocoa powder in your favorite recipes for delicious chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder is also a great way to add natural sweetness and flavor to baked goods and snacks.
Here are 5 ways to use carob powder:
Carob powder is a healthy, delicious and versatile substitute for chocolate. Used in place of cocoa powder, it adds rich chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder can be used in smoothies, baking recipes, as a sprinkle on top of breakfast foods or mixed with nuts and dried fruit for snacks. Get creative and have fun experimenting with this unique ingredient!
The Many Benefits of Chia Seeds, Omega-3, and more
September 14, 2022 03:59 PM
You might know chia seeds best as the things that grow on those weird Chia Pets you can buy at the store. But did you know that chia seeds are actually really good for you? Yes, those little seeds that make your Chia Pet grow a green coat are actually packed with essential nutrients. Lets take a look at some of the many benefits of chia seeds.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fatty acids. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the fat in chia seeds is comprised of Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining heart health, preventing chronic diseases, and reducing inflammation throughout the body. Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber. Fiber is important for keeping our digestive system healthy and preventing constipation. Additionally, fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels.
Another benefit of chia seeds is that they are a great source of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, muscles, and organs. It's also necessary for producing enzymes and hormones. And because chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids, they are considered a complete protein source. This makes them especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans who may have difficulty getting enough protein from their diet.
Finally, chia seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. These nutrients are essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, balancing electrolytes, and regulating blood pressure. They also play a role in energy production and metabolism.
As you can see, there are many reasons to add chia seeds to your diet. Whether you sprinkle them on your cereal or add them to your favorite smoothie recipe, you're sure to benefit from their nutrient-rich goodness. So go ahead and give them a try - your body will thank you!
Curcumin: The Superfood That Fights Inflammation
April 30, 2022 09:39 AM
Do you suffer from inflammation? If so, you're not alone. Inflammation is a common problem that can cause pain and discomfort in the body. Fortunately, there is a natural remedy that can help: curcumin. Curcumin is a compound found in turmeric that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. We will discuss the benefits of curcumin and how to add it to your diet.
What is inflammation and what causes it?
Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body heal. It occurs when the immune system responds to an injury or infection. The symptoms of inflammation include redness, swelling, and pain. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, chronic inflammation can lead to serious health problems. Chronic inflammation is often caused by lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity, and stress. dietary factors can also contribute to chronic inflammation, including a diet high in sugar. Sugar causes the body to release inflammatory chemicals that can damage tissues and lead to disease. Therefore, reducing sugar intake can help to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.
What are the symptoms of inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process in the body that helps to protect us from injury and illness. It occurs when the immune system detects harmful stimuli, such as pathogens or damaged tissue, and triggers a series of reactions which boost the production of white blood cells. However, if inflammation becomes excessive or chronic, it can cause a range of physical symptoms, including redness and swelling at the site of inflammation, increased pain sensitivity, headache, fatigue and fever. Other common symptoms include irritation in the eyes and mouth, digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea, rashes or skin lesions, changes in appetite and mood swings. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to take anti-inflammatory supplements to help control inflammation. One such supplement is curcumin.
How can curcumin help to reduce inflammation in the body?
Curcumin is a compound that can be found in turmeric, a bright yellow spice commonly used in cooking. This powerful phytochemical has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. One of the main ways that curcumin achieves this effect is by blocking an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase, or COX. This enzyme is responsible for producing pro-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins that are often associated with pain and swelling. By preventing their production, curcumin can help to control acute and chronic inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the risk of conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. In addition to blocking COX activity, curcumin helps to reduce oxidative stress by inducing production of antioxidants like superoxide dismutase. Overall, these mechanisms make curcumin an excellent natural treatment for chronic inflammation and a host of related health problems.
How to add curcumin to your diet?
Adding curcumin to your diet is a great way to reap the many health benefits of this powerful natural compound. There are several different ways that you can incorporate more curcumin into your daily routine, from simply adding it to your favorite recipes to taking a supplement. For example, you can start off by incorporating turmeric into your cooking, as turmeric is one of the richest sources of curcumin in nature. Additionally, there are many curcumin supplements available on the market that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Ultimately, by making these simple changes in your diet, you can enjoy all the great benefits of curcumin for overall health and well-being.
The benefits of taking curcumin regularly
Curcumin is a compound found in the spice turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Recently, curcumin has begun to gain recognition in the Western world as well. A growing body of research suggests that curcumin may have a wide range of health benefits, including the ability to improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and even ward off cancer. Curcumin is generally well tolerated, but it can interact with certain medications. However, for many people, taking curcumin regularly can be a safe and effective way to improve overall health.
To fight inflammation, reduce sugar consumption and take curcumin
To help reduce inflammation in the body, it is important to reduce your sugar intake and take curcumin supplements. These steps are vital because chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Additionally, sugar consumption can also worsen inflammation by triggering the release of inflammatory chemicals like cytokines and free radicals.
One of the best ways to fight against inflammation is to take curcumin supplements on a regular basis. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory agent found in turmeric, a spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking. Research has shown that curcumin can be just as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs in reducing levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), a potent inflammatory chemical released by cells. Furthermore, studies have also shown that taking curcumin regularly may benefit overall health and prevent certain age-related diseases like Alzheimer's.
Overall, reducing your sugar intake and taking curcumin supplements are two effective ways to fight inflammation and improve overall health. By following these simple steps, you can help protect yourself from the many negative effects of chronic inflammation.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Green Tea
May 08, 2019 01:32 PM
Green tea is a very versatile health food with many different benefits. Green tea can help regulate your weight and your blood sugar. The caffeine and l-theanine it contains can help improve brain functioning and reduce anxiety symptoms. Green tea bags can be used to repair damage inflicted on your skin by free radicals and UV light. Green tea’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects may even help to reduce the damage to the body and brain from conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
"“Green tea has been a favorite drink of health enthusiasts for decades,” Dr. Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D., author of the”Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide,” tells Newsmax. “It has also been well studied for its health promoting effects on skin. It’s high in compounds called polyphenols which help eliminate free radical damage and rejuvenate aging skin cells."
Read more: https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/green-tea-health-benefits/2019/03/19/id/907629/
Golden Milk: This Turmeric Beverage Packs A Serious Ayurvedic Punch
April 16, 2019 03:09 PM
Golden milk is often referred to as turmeric tea or turmeric lattes, and it consists of turmeric spice or root being infused into your favorite type of milk. The tasty beverage has become more and more mainstream, and it can be spotted in almost any cafe across the globe. Golden milk has the ability to help several different ailments, one of them being conditions that bring on chronic pain. Since turmeric has high levels of curcumin, its anti-inflammatory benefits naturally activate after consumption.
"Here, we dive into what actually lies within golden milk, why adding it to your daily diet could have lasting positive effects, and how to make your own at home on the cheap."
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/golden-milk-recipes-and-benefits
Warm Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks For The Holiday Season
December 13, 2018 09:32 AM
As the holiday season comes around, people start to get excited to have the treats that generally come with it. Apple cider vinegar is one of those treats that is a household favorite and at least one person at the family Christmas party would love to have it. It is healthy and it tastes great. The ones that are warmed up are a treat to everyone, though some people might like it more than others. However, be creative in your preparation.
"This living probiotic food causes new beneficial bacteria to take up residence in your gut. These bacteria protect you from illness and play an important role in extracting nutrition from what you eat. This means that you can get more nutrients from less food, and your body becomes satisfied more quickly."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/warm-apple-cider-vinegar-drinks-holiday-season/
Delicious remedy: Licorice is a potential treatment forischemia-induced brain damage
November 20, 2018 09:51 AM
Little do people know, there are actually some large medical use cases that are related to licorice. The candy is not the favorite of many people around the world but there are some that really do like to have it on a regular basis. With that being said, it is now being considered as a potential treatment for people who have some brain damage. While the likelihood for success remains to be seen, doctors say early signs are promising.
"These days, licorice is best known as a candy flavor, but at the root of that sweetness is an actual root that holds a bevy of medicinal benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-11-licorice-potential-treatment-ischemia-induced-brain-damage.html
Anthocyanin Benefits the Brain, Eyes & Immune System
June 01, 2018 05:16 PM
Anthocyanins happen to be a widely discussed antioxidant, more talked about than most. Did you know that anthocyanins are responsible for the color of many of your favorite fruits? They make your blueberries blue and your grapes red. Eating food that is packed with this ingredient can help shield your body from catastrophic issues, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and even some neurological issues. Additionally, people who eat extra volumes of it have been shown to have lower blood pressure than the average person.
"Experts believe that most people who eat a varied, healthy diet probably consume nine times the amount of anthocyanins compared to other dietary flavonoids."
Read more: https://draxe.com/anthocyanin/
These 8 Common Spices Can Help You Lose Weight Fast
January 20, 2018 03:59 PM
Eight spices that could help you lose weight are probably already in your spice cabinet. The spices are black pepper, cardamom, Cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Not only do these spices help with weight loss, some help control cholesterol, sugar levels, fight inflammation and boost the immune system. It would be prudent to keep the spices available. They spice up any meal. Cayenne heats up the meal which is the mechanism for burning fat.
"From spices as simple as black pepper to one of our favorites, turmeric, here are eight common spices that will help you shed those pounds."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/8-common-spices-that-help-you-lose-weight/
Omega-3 benefits for brain health are well documented; now researchers have determined they help prevent Alzheimer’s
December 19, 2017 03:59 PM
Omega-3s are beneficial for the brain and may help prevent Alzheimer's. Coconut Oil is shown to have this important nutrient. There's no need to go to your favorite drug store when you can get this from nature. Coconut oil has ketones which the liver treats as food. The liver converts the coconut oil into an alternative energy source for the body and brain. This has tremendous benefit for many aspects of the body's functions especially the brain function.
"Omega-3s are just one piece of a much greater anti-aging nutritional puzzle, particularly as it pertains to brain health."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-11-omega-3-benefits-for-brain-health-are-well-documented-now-researchers-have-determined-they-help-prevent-alzheimers.html
10 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Celery
September 06, 2017 12:14 PM
There are ten good reasons why you should eat celery and they may actually surprise you. Celery is an amazing food that is full of vitamins and minerals. You can do so many things with it, or you can dip it in things. You can add it to your favorite soup, or smoothie as well. It helps to heal bladder infections. It flushes the bacteria. it also helps to reduce the inflammation in your body. That includes inflammation in the brain.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba9_wh_ZcVc&rel=0
"By eating a few sticks of celery a day, you can effectively lower your bad cholesterol levels."
Drinking green tea could boost your weight loss and brain function in just 4 months, study claims
August 03, 2017 09:14 AM
Drinking green tea can help boost your weight loss and brain function in only 4 months. This is the claim of a new study that has recently come out. There was a compound found in green tea, that helped get rid of fat in mice. Many tea brands boast about green tea and its benefits. The beverage has lonmg been a favorite of many different dieters. EGCG is the compound that works the magic on people.
"Results reveal that the mice fed just a high fructose diet had significantly higher body fat than those who were also given EGCG or a standard diet."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4746508/Green-tea-help-weight-loss-brain-function.html
30 surprising food swaps that will immediately improve the health of every organ in your body
July 27, 2017 09:14 AM
All of us have favorite foods, dishes, go-to condiments, that appear invariably on our plate. Whether it’s the easy-to-make no-fuss nature of the choice, the it’s ‘what my store carries appeal,’ or it just boils down to how our taste buds feel about it, we can get in nutrition rut.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to start swapping items we use daily for other easy-to-use items that taste good, even often having a similar taste and texture to those items we already use. The plus is that the swapped in items are better for us. Better, because they’re higher, in things that matter, like protein, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, besides being lower in things we should want to avoid, like empty calories, trans fat, excess carbs, and more.
By swapping some things daily, such as trying cinnamon, or organic honey, over sugar, substituting plain, organic coffee for that latte, a veggie wrap, for that bread and meat sandwich, could have big overall benefits in reduced pounds, renewed energy and a better overall nutritional profile, making for a healthier you.
"Coffee often gets a bad rap when in fact, quality coffee consumed in moderation can have some great benefits."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/30-surprising-food-swaps-that-will-immediately-improve-the-health-of-every-organ-in-your-body/
The Best Ways To Eat Chia Seeds
July 26, 2017 07:14 AM
Chia seeds come in two different colors of seeds; white and black. They have been grown as "pet" plants for quite some time. But people now are realizing that they have huge health benefits when added to ones daily diet. Chia seeds are full of omega 3 acids that help as an anti inflammatory and are a great source of fiber. They are also high in protein. There are many more benefits to consuming chia seeds in your diet. You can enjoy chia seeds in many different ways, such as adding them to your favorite beverage or drink or tossing them on a salad.
Read more: The Best Ways To Eat Chia Seeds
The Health Benefits of Matcha Tea
July 25, 2017 09:14 AM
A major tv network has come out with a story about matcha. This is a green tea that has been ground into powder. Matcha has become a favorite with models and is offered at Starbucks. The article explored whether the item is really healthy or just another "in" thing that will fade over time. The article cited a study which showed matcha resulted in higher levels of alertness. Another study found matcha reduced stress in mice. Several photos and links are included.
"Mind you, green tea is caffeinated and matcha is an even more caffeinated form of green tea, containing approximately 34mgs of caffeine where traditional green tea averages at about 30mgs and an espresso has around 60mgs, but the L-theanine in matcha prolongs its mood-boosting effects"
Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/much-ado-about-matcha-it-really-healthy-ncna783886?cid=public-rss_20170720
Stop Throwing Away Avocado Seeds. They’re Potent Cancer Fighters
May 08, 2017 11:59 AM
Avocado seeds are commonly thrown out, but they are editable and extremely healthy. Nearly 70% of all the antioxidants within an avocado are located in the seed. There are many benefits to eating the seeds. Some of the benefits are they can boost your immunity system, reduce blood glucose levels, help maintain a healthy heart, and reduce digestive issues. Many additional benefits exist like decelerating the aging process by helping in making the skin smoother. Avocado seeds have been shown to also kill some kinds of cancer cells, like leukemia cells. The recommended manner of consuming the seeds would be to dry them out, crush them with a hammer, and use a blender to mix them. Then you can add the powder to your favorite dressings or foods.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj3jdFnFtNg&rel=0
"These seeds are high in soluble fibers. In fact, they contain more soluble fiber than most other foods."
Is garlic the key to stopping this silent killer?
April 06, 2017 03:44 PM
Garlic may do more for us than give our favorite dish more flavor. Research published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2016 shows that this delicious bulb is also effective at treating heart disease by preventing plaque from building up in key coronary arteries. Garlic also lowers cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure, has antioxidant properties and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. Altogether, these collective benefits make garlic a powerhouse tool in the battle against heart disease – without the negative side effects of medication.
"It is crucial that proper lifestyle habits and diet be practiced to prevent heart disease."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-02-is-garlic-the-key-to-stopping-this-silent-killer.html
Keep your gut healthy with this amazing "super spice"
April 03, 2017 11:44 AM
There is a new super spice in town, and when you use it, your gut will stop growling and may even say thank you. This super spice keep your digestive health at the top while also providing a nice kick to many of your favorite foods. This is a spice that you might already have in your cabinet, but if you do not, the time to make the purchase is here. Learn more about this spice and its benefits now!
"Various studies have linked turmeric to a plethora of health benefits, especially when it comes to the digestive system."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-03-28-keep-your-gut-healthy-with-this-amazing-super-spice.html
Yogurts that ARE good for you and not packed full of sugar
January 15, 2017 07:59 AM
Are you one of many that are trying to watch their weight? Eating your favorite low calorie yogurt? Well watch out because some of your favorite yogurts could contain a high amount of sugar! The public health of England was drawing concerns about some yogurt brands containing high amounts of sugar.
"Public Health England recently raised concerns about the huge amounts of sugar in some of our favourite flavoured yoghurt brands."
The foods that fight bloating
January 03, 2017 12:59 PM
Many people look for ways to combat bloating around their midsection without sacrificing their love of their favorite foods. Well look no further as this blog will provide you with the right information and the resources to help you find the foods you love that won’t cause that bloated feeling.
"Emotions are neither good or bad, right or wrong."
Mushrooms for nutrition and health
December 31, 2016 02:39 PM
He recommends one tea bag, at least half an hour before you plan to crack open a beer or order wine. This can help, he said, because it has antioxidants that may protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol. "That's my favorite way to support the liver during this time," said Davidson, based in Irvine, Calif. "Help it do its job at a very high level." Some health experts caution that too much green tea can cause damage in rare cases, so don't try to equal your green tea intake with your alcohol.
"Recent investigations have proved the empirical observations of the oriental herbalists that certain mushrooms possess many useful medicinal values."
Another study links diet soda to weight gain
December 26, 2016 10:59 AM
There are many who switch from regular to diet soda when they go on a diet so as not to be without their favorite drinks. However, a recent study conducted by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health shows that artificial sweeteners may actually cause more weight gain than regular sugar. The research adjusted data for other factors and found that those who drink more diet soda tend to be more heavyset. The leading theories on why this happens are that it alters the gut flora or that the lack of calories makes us eat more.
"After correcting the data of the 1,454 study participants for lifestyle factors such as smoking, gender and diet, the team found a link between obesity levels, body size and the consumption of diet soda."
6 Easy Ways to Start Eating Vegan
November 12, 2016 09:54 AM
Eating a Vegan diet is desirable by many people. Not only is it good for you, the diet may also help you lose weight and feel better. No one will deny that making the switch to a Vegan diet is difficult, but with these tips, making the transition just become much easier. If you're ready to change your life, you need this information.
"Talk to vegans you know about how they transitioned, what challenges they had and how they overcame them, and what things they love most about their vegan lifestyle."
Inflammation in the brain linked to CTE
November 07, 2016 12:49 PM
When your favorite football player on the TV takes a hard hit what do you think about? Most of time like most people you think about the moment in that moment. Did you know that if those professional sports players take continued trauma to their heads it can lead to CTE. To learn more, find out more in this article.
"Dr. Thor Stein, one of the authors of the new study, said that although it wasn't surprising to see an increase in inflammation, it wasn't clear exactly whether the inflammation was specifically causing the disease or was a reaction to it, but more likely, it was both."
The Scoop About Healthy Poop
November 05, 2016 03:54 PM
Is your poop healthy? There are signs that indicate that it is healthy and those that indicate that it is not. Do you know what those signs are? It is a hard subject to talk about for some, but it is important that you have the scoop on poop! For the information important to know about your poop and signs that it is healthy, this article is written just for you.
"If an infection is in the lower intestines or colon, then the blood in your stool is going to be red. If you find black blood, then the blood has oxidized and is from higher up in your digestive tract"
Nutrition Is Not A Dirty Word, Tips To Help You
November 04, 2016 11:09 AM
If you're like most people, you don't think of healthy eating as a chore that requires you to give up your favorite foods and deprive yourself. That's just not the case. Healthy eating is the terrible thing that most people imagine. There are several tips that can help you create a healthier diet without having to give up the tastes your so enjoy. In this article, you will find helpful guides to get you started on a healthier diet.
"Healthy eating helps strengthen bones and muscles, but it also helps maintain beautiful hair, nails and skin."
Drinking just two diet drinks a day doubles the risk of diabetes
October 27, 2016 01:43 PM
While many people drink diet versions of their favorite sodas to stay healthy, studies have proven that these sugar-free drinks may be worse for you. Sugar substitutes may increase the risk of contracting diabetes by as much as four and a half times. Bacterial populations in the body may be altered and appetite increased, a combination that tends to promote more of the possibly damaging habit.
Drinking just two diet drinks a day doubles the risk of diabetes
Eating Healthy and Gluten-Free
October 24, 2016 09:21 PM
Eating healthy is something that really everyone should aspire to, but it's especially important for people with Celiac disease. Especially if you've just started making the transition to eating gluten free, you'll want to be sure that your new diet is made up of foods that will get you the nutrition you need. Fortunately, the easiest way to eat gluten free is also generally the healthiest. However, it's never a bad idea to supplement your diet with some gluten free multivitamins as well (yup, they can have gluten in them too).
Whether you can eat gluten or not, you're always going to be better off with fresh foods as the foundation of your diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally celiac friendly and are full of the nutrients your body is craving. While canned vegetables might be more convenient from time to time, buying this product just leads to a great label reading endeavor so that you can make sure there are no gluten-containing additives in the can.
Fresh fish is also a great source of nutrition and it is naturally gluten free. If you're used to those breaded salmon burgers, of course, you're going to have to make an adjustment. But cutting out breaded foods is much healthier for you anyway. If you're really craving it, though, you can make your own breading with gluten free flours.
Avoid Extra Processing
Essentially, just like anyone else trying to make healthy eating choices in today's world, you're going to want to steer clear of processed foods when you're putting together your gluten free diet. This is most significantly because processed foods are very likely to contain gluten in some form. In fact, many things that you would never expect contain gluten as a filler, binder or preservative.
The most important thing to remember when you're trying to eat healthy, gluten free or not, is that there's no one magic food or food group. You can't consume as much as you want of your favorite food and nothing else and expect to be healthy. Also, just because a food is gluten free doesn't mean it's good for you.
People can use DE
September 16, 2016 05:41 PM
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is safe to consume internally and sprinkle around externally. DE can be used as a natural deodorizer for garbage cans, vacuum cleaner bags and refrigerators.
You can polish silver and jewelry by mixing DE in water to form a paste. Apply then remove with a dry cloth.
For a facial mask mix DE with water or oil to make a paste. Apply in a circular motion. Leave on for five minutes, then wash off the warm water.
Polish your Teeth
Sprinkle a small amount of DE on toothpaste for vigorous tooth polishing.
Mix DE with your favorite oil for nail soak to strengthen your nails.
Internal use amounts
The recommended dosage is 2% of dry weight. One teaspoon of DE weighs 1/10 of an ounce. Four cups of food weighs, on average, one pound. If you consume four cups of food, you will use one tablespoon of DE. If you want to mix with water, use one teaspoon for every cup of water. Slowly work your way up in dosage so that you know your limits.
Drink plenty of water when consuming 2 or more teaspoons daily.
Have fun and enjoy a better life with DE.
What Is Camphor Oil Good For
February 13, 2014 06:03 AM
What is camphor
Camphor oil is a medicinal substance extracted from the wood, leaves and roots of the camphor tree. Typically, the camphor tree is usually found in some parts of Southern Asia, South America and in various parts of the United States. Although the oil from camphor tree is harmful when ingested in excess amounts, it has various benefits if used topically. Basically, I did a decent research and got a lot of good information indicating how needful the oil is.
Camphor has been widely used to alleviate definitive skin medical conditions. The FDA has approved the oil extracted from camphor for the relief of any form of skin irritation or any other general pain related to skin issues. To provide pain relief for bruised areas, camphor oil is applied as a liniment on the affected skin part.
The oil is known to boost the functioning of the circulatory system and some metabolic activities of the body like digestion and excretion. Information on organicfacts.net reveals the importance of the oil in the treatment of ailments associated with improper circulation, sluggish or overactive metabolic rates and some other less common medical conditions.
Both the internal and external types of inflammation can be cured due to the cooling and penetrating effects of the oil. It can be mixed with bathing water to provide an extra sensation of coolness.
Respiratory conditions such as cold and coughing should worry you the less. Clear guideline indicate how the oil can be ingested in the form of tea, thus reducing congestion within the respiratory tract.
Camphor is a reasonably effective anesthetic that is widely used in local anesthesia. It increases the numbness of the sensory nerves at the area of application. Consequently the severity to develop nervous disorders or convulsions is greatly reduced.
Research studies shows that when camphor oil is applied, it numbs the nerve endings, then warms the painful area while stimulating the circulation to stiff muscles and limbs. Ultimately this makes camphor a favorite oil which can be effectively used to relieve muscular pain, back pain and arthritic pain.
Sesame sticks - a choice full of health
December 18, 2013 04:03 AM
What is Sesame
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The story of its amazing benefits, begins 3600 years ago in the ancient Egyptian times. Since those antique times, women used the sesame seeds to keep their beauty and their youth and the Roman soldiers ate them for energy and strength. In recent years, an abundance of scientific information was exposed to demonstrate that the sesame seeds and their components have over 36 therapeutic properties.
Sesame seeds are number one when it comes to the richness and complexity of nutrients. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and these can be added in salads, sandwiches or over cereal in the morning.Another excellent choice are the sesame sticks. These are the real sources of health and in addition there are some excellent snacks.
Sesame sticks consumption helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys, being highly recommended for cirrhotic patients. In addition, these snacks prevent arthritis and osteoporosis, asthma, migraines and headaches; have antirheumatic and anti-cancer effects; strengthen the immune system and decrease the level of cholesterol.All these properties put together, give your body energy and a great power to work.
So, as you can see, the sesame seeds have many health benefits and additionally, these keep your silhouette. Therefore, when you sit and watch your favorite show on TV, you can choose a healthy snack consisting of sesame sticks, instead of chips that will fill you with cholesterol and that will add you a few extra pounds.You can also consume sesame sticks during breaks or when you feel the need for a snack.Vitamins and minerals contained by sesame seeds will provide you the necessary energy and will create you a feeling of satiety.
Discover the Wonders of Essential Oils
November 15, 2013 11:38 PM
What are the Source of Essential Oil
Essential oils obtained from plants are important in helping you stay healthy and in good mood. These oils are extracted from various parts of plants that include flowers, leaves, stem and roots. Water and steam distillation is the popular method of oil extraction employed to deduce the essence of natural plants.
What are the Benefits of Essential Oil
Natural plants are the main source of these volatile essential oils. Hence, the extracts are safe to your health with high therapeutic effects for aromatherapy. For maximum benefits, they are combined with smooth carrier oils such as grape seed oil to provide physical, emotional and psychological therapy essential for the body. Their ability to purify the air makes them a favorite diffuse when vaporized and diffused in the air. Most of volatile oils have antiviral and antibacterial properties. As a result, they inhibit pathogens and microbes when they come into contact with them, completely neutralizing them leaving the air off disease causing microorganisms.
What Essential Oil to use When Relaxing
Essential oils set the mood and promote relaxation. We all respond emotionally to scents. Most of these aromatherapy oils tend to be stimulating or promote relaxation. For example, citrusy smell is likely to stimulate while lavender relaxes. We also commonly associate jasmine with romance and the fragrance of roses with love. Oils from chamomile, patchouli, lavender, and clary sage are essential aromatherapy oils best known for reducing depression and stress.
When Having Nasal Problem
Oils clear nasal passages and ease symptoms. Rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus are popular essential oils best for alleviating respiratory congestion. They also reduce inflammation in your nasal passage when inhaled therefore relieving symptoms. Although they may not completely resolve your health problem, they can be used as palliatives during spells of illness and disease.
How to Improve Skin Health
Essential oils improve your skin health. They are readily absorbed by the human skin making them ideal for body massage. Studies show that, after just 20 minutes of a full-body massage with 2 percent dilution of lavender oil, its relaxing chemical constituents can be detected in the blood thus providing instant relief. With just few drops of essential oils, you too will soon be knocking on heavens doors.
Grapefruit Pectin And Soluble Fiber Health Benefits?
January 26, 2013 11:28 AM
Do you want to know, what are the benefits you're likely to reap from consuming grapefruit pectin?
If yes, then this write up is for you. Scroll down to know more on this.
Typically consumed as for break-fast, grapefruits usually are a favorite for the dieters who are tirelessly working on the various tactics that can assist them in the fat burning process. Grapefruits are well known for their minerals and vitamins, but they are also very great sources of fiber. Grapefruit pectin which is unique form of the soluble fiber has got a number of the health benefits that it carries along. Let us now have a look at some of these benefits that it carries.
Benefits of Grapefruit Pectin
The following are some of the benefits of grapefruit pectin. They include;
Last but not the least; as you have seen, grapefruit pectin fiber has got very many benefits. However, before you include grapefruit to your diet, ensure that you consult an experienced dietitian or doctor to know whether it is ideal for your diet or not.
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
June 30, 2008 04:47 PM
If there has ever been an overlooked vegetable, it would definitely be fennel. Some people have an aversion to its licorice-like scent, while others feel as if fennel is a bizarre and obscure vegetable that they have no interest in learning how to prepare. However, those who have discovered it know that ignoring fennel is a waste of a versatile vegetable’s amazing flavor and healthful benefits. Even those who already cook with fennel might find that they aren’t taking advantage of its versatility. For example, many people use only the delicate, lacy parts of fennel as a flavor-enhancing garnish for soups or salads. Others stick to just using the green-white bulbs, while tossing the remaining pieces aside. However, there’s no season like now to start using and enjoying all the parts of fennel.
Fennel is available from autumn until early spring and both its stems and bulbs have been found to contain many nutrients. Fennel spice, which is made from the vegetable’s seeds, can be found year round, as it is one of five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. One cup of raw, sliced fennel is a huge source of vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. History has shown that fennel can be taken to alleviate bad breath, indigestion, intestinal spasms, cramps, and gas. It is thought that Puritans chewed the seeds in order to tame hunger during fasts. Recently, scientists have found that fennel contains antioxidants which promote good health.
In order to gain these healthful benefits, be sure to purchase white or pale-green fennel that has clean, firm bulbs. The bulbs should not be split, bruised, or spotted, while the stalks that grow from the bulb should be relatively straight. Additionally, the vegetable’s fronds would be green but not flowering because blooms indicate that the bulb is past maturity. When consumed right away, fennel is at its best. But, it can be kept in the crisper for up to four days. Be sure to wash it before using its base in hors d’oeuvres, salads, and gratins. Also, make sure to reserve its fronds in order to enhance dishes in a potent way. With such versatility in the kitchen, there is absolutely no excuse not to include fennel in your meals this season.
Once you discover that fennel is both crunchy and slightly sweet, you will want to incorporate it into many of your daily meals. Thankfully, fennel can enhance many dishes and make them extraordinary. Here are some quick ideas for using fennel this season. You can thinly shave the desired amount of a fennel bulb and toss it with a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a small amount of Parmesan cheese to make a fennel salad at moment’s notice. Another option is sauté sliced fennel with equal parts of onion and bell pepper in order to make a simple vegetarian side dish. One can take advantage of fennel’s ability to enhance flavors by adding fennel with tuna or grilled sea bass. Fennel can also be cut vertically, leaving bulb, stalk, and leaves intact and then brushed with olive oil and grilled until lightly browned. Another idea is to garnish your favorite vegetable soup with coarsely chopped fennel fronds.
The Prevention and Treatment or Prostate Cancer
April 10, 2008 01:36 PM
Last week I shared with you the controversy surrounding the use of PSA screening to determine the status of the prostate. There are many doctors who do not believe that using PSA is accurate enough to rely on for determining whether or not a high PSA indicates prostate cancer. Many men, who have a high PSA, after more detailed examination, did not have cancer and men with a low PSA did have cancer. Some physicians do not believe that the current methods of diagnosing prostate disorders are saving lives. Also, there is a group of physicians nationwide that strongly believe the best treatment is no treatment but rather a “watch and wait” approach. Prostate cancer usually is slow growing and more than 70% of men who develop it are over 65.
The older a man is, the more likely he is to die of some other condition before his prostate cancer becomes a real threat. To reiterate, the American Cancer Society states, “at this time watchful waiting is a reasonable option for some men with slow growing cancers because it is not known whether active treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy or hormone therapy prolongs survival”. So what action can be taken? While prostate enlargement (BPH) is not related to prostate cancer, it can elevate PSA scores and can cause symptoms in 50% of men by age 80 and nearly all will show signs of BPH by age 85.
If you have early symptoms of BPH such as frequency of urination, a burning feeling after urination and the caliber of stream that isn’t what it used to be, getting up several times through the night and low back pain, taking a good prostate support formula will be your best treatment and prevention. Most men will notice a remarkable improvement within a few weeks. A good prostate support formula will provide relief for 80-90% of all men from these annoying symptoms.
But what about prostate cancer?
The best cure for prostate cancer is prevention. I’ll give you a complete supplement program for prevention but first what about PSA testing? “I don’t believe in screening for something when it’s too late. By the time cancer develops a positive mammography or a true high PSA are likely too late, or if fortunate, that particular cancer will not be a problem. It makes far more sense to prevent the problem in the first place. And there is clear data, prevention is possible”. Dr. Robert J. Rowen, MD, Second Opinion, Soundview Communications. My recommendation, based on research of several scientific studies, includes various nutritional supplements and herbal extracts.
Following are several very important studies that all men should be aware of. In 1966 Dr. Larry Clark of the University of Arizona published startling data suggesting that prostate cancer could be reduced by as much as an amazing 60% by supplemental yeast derived selenium, 200 mcg per day. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and participates in key and crucial detoxification and free radical scavenging enzymes (80-90% of all disease is caused by free radical damage and inflammation).
Selenium is one of a number of antioxidants to prevent this free radical damage; In 1999 a New Zealand study published in the British Journal of Cancer documented a 40% lower incident of prostate cancer in men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood. These findings have been confirmed in other omega-3 fatty acid studies. Conversely, another published report documents a high level of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in invasive prostate tissue samples. Taken together with recent reports on high levels of omega-6 fatty acids (soy, sunflower, safflower, peanut, corn and most vegetable oils) linked to breast cancer, a common thread emerges. The American diet is overwhelmed with omega-6 oils.
Excessive use of omega-6 fatty acids are cancer causing and also cause inflammation. Trans fatty acids from hydrogenated oils seriously add to the problem. There are other nutrients that have shown to reduce prostate-cancer risk. Vitamin E and lycopene have also shown to prevent prostate cancer. Lycopene is commonly found in tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes. If you like spaghetti sauce or salsa, this is a great way to fight prostate cancer. While vitamin E, selenium, lycopene and omega-3 fatty acids are all great prostate supporting nutrients, through research I found a much more powerful combination of food grade molecules that can prevent and treat cancer.
Extensive research in the last few years has revealed that regular consumption of certain fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Fruits and vegetables having the highest degree of prostate cancer protection are the following: grapes (resveratrol), garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers, turmeric (curcumin), ginger, berries, milk thistle, cloves and fennel. These foods are protective because they are extremely active and excellent antioxidants. My favorite is turmeric (curcumin) because not only is it an antioxidant, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent. When it has this dual effect it is many times more potent than other types of food. In the United States there is 30 times more prostate cancers diagnosed than there are in India where turmeric is consumed liberally in most of the Indian dishes. Cancer does not begin shortly before it’s diagnosed.
The origin of cancer may be years or decades in the process before it is even diagnosed as such. It is a multi-step process that goes through various phases such as cellular damage and transformation and culminates in the acquisition of invasive potential angiogenic properties and establishment of metastatic lesions. This process, and probably rightly so for all cancers, can be activated by any one of the various environmental carcinogens (cancer causing); all forms of tobacco products, industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, inflammatory agents, food coloring and preservatives, excessive UV rays, alcohol, hair dyes, cleaning products and drugs.
The multi-step process of these cancer causing compounds progress in three stages; tumor initiation, promotion and progression phases. A powerful antioxidant/anti-inflammatory can prevent most if not all of the damaging effects when taken on a daily basis. Several population based studies indicate that people in Southeast Asian countries have a much lower risk of acquiring colon, gastrointestinal, prostate, breast and other cancers when compared to their western counterparts. It is very likely that constituents of their diet such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, onion, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, chili’s and green tea play an important role in their ability to avoid these cancers.
These foods, or key active extracts from these foods, are known to block the NF-kB activation process. Also, several phytochemicals such as curcumin, resveratrol and green tea catechins have been shown to suppress AP-1. Several chemopreventative phytochemicals including curcumin, resveratrol and green tea have been recently shown to be powerful inhibitors of several growth factor receptors including EGFR. Curcumin also possesses the capacity to inhibit the activation of the EGF-Receptor indicating that it has the potential to break the autocrine loops that are established in several advanced cancers.
Studies also suggest that curcumin, resveratrol and green tea can actually be used as safe, non-toxic treatments in drug resistant cancers. These natural phytochemicals (food grade) can help fight certain cancers thereby requiring a smaller dose of drug chemotherapy. They also can protect the body from the damages of drug chemotherapy and radiation. “This mini review presents evidence that chemopreventative agents, curcumin, green tea and resveratrol, can be used not just to prevent cancer but also to treat cancer. Because of their pharmacological safety, most chemopreventative agents can be used in combination with drug chemotherapeutic agents to enhance the affect at lower doses and thus minimize chemotherapy- induced toxicity. Because cancer is primarily a disease of old age, less toxic therapy is a major priority. This review reveals that molecular targets of chemopreventative agents are similar to those currently being used for the treatment of cancer. Tumor cells use multiple cell survival pathways to prevail and thus agents that can suppress multiple pathways have great potential for the treatment of cancer”1,2. Curcumin, resveratrol and green tea were as effective in preventing and treating certain cancers based on lab and animal studies. There have been approximately 20 human positive studies but much more needs to be done.
From the research that I have done, I am convinced sufficiently enough to take many of these compounds as a preventative of cancer. These compounds are completely safe and non-toxic even in high doses. What does one have to lose? Why not take the positive preventative measure? –Compliments of Terry Naturally
Ref: 1. Role of chemopreventaive agents in cancer therapy. Comprehensive Cancer Center Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, New York Medical College, Bronx New York
2. Cytokine Research Section, Department of Bioimmuno Therapy, University of Texas, M.D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas
Elderberry Can Boost The Immune System In The Winter
December 03, 2007 09:44 PM
The immune system is frequently overworked when the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop, and elderberry can boost the immune system in winter for those that find themselves susceptible to all the colds, flu and other viral infections that seem to come out of the woodwork at that time.
Elderberry is the fruit of the elder tree that is native to Asia, Europe and North America. They are found just about anywhere due to their tolerance for a wide range of climates and soil types, and are frequently found by river banks. There are a number of different types of elder, in both small tree and shrub form, and it is those with the black and blue berries that are useful medicinally, not those with red berries. It is not only the berries that are used, but also the elder flowers. Elderflower wine has long been a favorite country wine, and the berries are used to make jam, pies and also drunk as juice.
Elder has been used for countless years for treating viral diseases such as influenza and colds, and it has also been found by some to be effective for the treatment of cold sores (herpes simplex). Its effect on flu is thought to be that it prevents the virus from entering and infecting the body cells, but more on this later. Historically, it has been used to promote the excretion of waste products through urination and sweating, which might be another reason why it is effective against colds and flu and some general respiratory problems.
The juice contains anthocyanins in the form of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides that appear to be very bioavailable to the body. The anthocyanins are more easily absorbed than those of blackcurrant juice, and are very strong antioxidants. The antioxidant effect is reinforced by the presence of large quantities of vitamin C. This difference in bioavailability has been proved though the administration of both blackcurrant and elderberry juice to volunteers, and testing the presence of the anthocyanins in the urine. This is a measure of their bioavailability, or how easily they are absorbed by the body, and the greater this bioavailability, then the more effective is their antioxidant effect.
Separate studies have indicated that anthocyanins derived from berries in general, not just elderberry, can reduce oxidative stress due to age, and also to help brain function. An improvement in the memory of the elderly has been seen to have improved after a course of berry juices rich in these powerful antioxidants. Elderberry antioxidants also improve the stability of LDL cholesterol by protecting against free radical oxidation, and thus helping to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis that is promoted by the deposition of the oxidized LDL cholesterol on artery walls. This in turn helps to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular disease.
However, it is its effect on the immune system for which elderberry is generally studied by the medical professions. Elderberry helps to boost the immune system predominantly through the production of cytokines. To explain how these work, a quick summary of how part of the immune system works will first be necessary.
When intrusion into the body by an antigen (foreign body) is detected, the initial response is the inflammatory response. Chemical messengers called cytokines are released into the blood to inform the other parts of the immune system that an invader has been spotted.
The immediate effect is to increase the flow of blood to the affected part of the body by dilation of the blood vessels. The spaces between the cells in the vessel walls increase to allow the larger components of the immune system, such as the phagocytes that consume and destroy bacteria. Proteins also congregate and the temperature at the site rises to promote the reactions that the body uses to eject the invaders. The tissue therefore swells due to all the extra fluid and gets hot. The area becomes painful due to the accumulation of material aggravating the nerves, and if there is an infection, pus will eventually be formed from the dead neutrophils used to kill the bacteria or virus.
There are many different types of cytokine, including those that initiate the inflammatory response and others that stop the immune response once the invader has been killed off. Other cytokines, such as the interferons, stop viruses from multiplying, and others take part in the response only to specific types of antigen. Each cytokine has a specific message to pass to the relevant components of the immune system in order that the immune response is appropriate to the invasion concerned and does not overreact. Hence, a grain of pollen in the nose will elicit a lesser response than a varicella antigen that leads to those horrible chickenpox pustules.
In general terms, cytokines give the immune system a kick start once an antigen is spotted. The elderberry anthocyanins produce predominantly inflammatory cytokines, but also one anti-inflammatory cytokine, and so helping to boost the inflammatory response.
Some viruses use what are known as spike proteins that mimic the molecules of their host in order to gain access to cells by binding to the target cell receptors. However, these spikes are easily recognized by the immune system, and the elderberry anthocyanins are active in promoting this recognition. For that reason, viruses vigorously continue to change and mutate to overcome this, one manifestation of their success in achieving this being in the annual infections of influenza that have overcome last year’s antibodies by means of this mutation.
The influenza virus contains what are known as hemagglutinin spikes on its surface which, when deactivated, cannot break through your cell walls, enter the cell and replicate, thus leading to influenza. That is the mechanism by which the constituents of elderberries help to control influenza and reduce its effect on your body. If not deactivated, the spikes allow the virus to invade the cell and provoke the immune response that you know as the flu.
Many such winter ailments have a similar mechanism, which is why, apart from its general health benefits through its high antioxidant content, that elderberry can boost the immune system in winter.
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.
Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.
It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?
Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.
Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.
It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.
Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!
For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.
One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.
It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.
Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its sweetness.
It is totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.
Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.
Digestive Enzymes To Improve Wellness For Kids
November 04, 2007 03:19 PM
It is very safe to say that most people experience some type of digestive difficulty, as digestive disturbances are very common, especially for those who do not practice healthy eating. The numerous advertisements for antacids and acid blockers clearly identify the degree of this problem. But, what about our children? It has been proven that kids are suffering from digestive problems more than ever before due to unhealthy eating habits and nutritionally deficient diets that are high in saturated fats and processed sugars and carbohydrates. The food that is served in school cafeterias often contains too much fried food and not enough fresh produce. Additionally, parents have to constantly fight a losing battle against advertisements for junk food. Many children follow in the footsteps of their parents, picking up the same bad eating habits, which frequently leads to poor digestion and health problems. Overeating, eating too fast, or not chewing food well hinders digestive capability leading to symptoms such as gas, heartburn, bloating, burping, bad breath, diarrhea, constipation, and general discomfort or fatigue after meals. Although these symptoms are common, they should not be considered normal as they are distress signals sent by our body telling us that the digestive process is not going smoothly and we are not receiving the full nutritional benefit of the food we eat. If digestion is not efficient or complete, inflammation may develop, which causes “leaky gut syndrome,” leading to various allergic reactions.
The brain is especially susceptible to protein fragments, which come from the incomplete digestion of grain gluten and dairy casein. Researchers believe that these fragments, which are called exorphins, are the main factors in the cognitive symptoms and abnormal behaviors of those kids with ADHD and autism. A recent study on thirty-six autistic children found that a majority of these children had digestive disorders including esophageal reflux and inflammation, gastritis, duodenitis and low carbohydrate digestive enzyme levels. Some doctors believe that seventy-five percent of the children that they treat have major deficiencies of pancreatic enzymes.
Enzymes are often called the spark of life or the missing link in nutrition because no plant or animal can exist without them. Digestive enzymes are protein catalysts which break down food so the body can absorb nutrients. Therefore, enzyme supplementation can be extremely helpful, especially when it is done in conjunction with dietary changes. And, yes, kids can take enzymes supplements, too. In children with digestive symptoms, enzyme supplements help to establish proper weight because better assimilation of nutrients helps growth and repair while still supporting a healthy metabolism. Digestive enzymes come in mild-potency enzyme formula which covers all of the food groups for children. Children should take a powder which is safest so there are no caps to swallow and chock on and powdered enzymes allow children to get their digestive enzymes through one scoop which can be added to your child’s favorite juice. Some formulas add potassium carbonate, this form of potassium adds a fun fizz to whatever beverage is used, but is not recommended in milk or water. Look for a powdered supplement that is sweetened with xylitol, a safe and natural sugar substitute which supports tooth and gum health. Since more children than ever suffer from the consequences of incomplete digestion, digestive enzymes are a safe and effective way to support digestion and assimilation of important nutrients into your child’s diet in an enjoyable way.
Artemisinin For Better Health And Wellness
October 25, 2007 02:09 PM
Artemisinin, also called Ching-hao-su is a herbal medicine extracted from the sweet wormwood herb, also known as the Artemisia annua. Asians have been using the leaf for centuries to cure simple ailments such as colds and parasitic infections, but it has recently become big business for its effect on malaria.
Sweet wormwood is predominantly a Chinese herb, used for over a thousand years for treatment of a large variety of conditions including malaria. It has also been used to treat wound and skin diseases, and has been recorded as far back as 200 BC as a component of Chinese prescriptions for specific illnesses.
Although the origins of sweet wormwood are in Asia however, it is now grown throughout the temperate regions of the world, and reaches its best in midsummer. Although best known today for its use in treating malaria, its medical uses include treating bronchitis, fevers and general feelings of malaise. It is primarily grown now for the supplement industry and as a non-prescriptive natural cure for malaria. It is a common and favorite herb for Chinese herbalists and sold both in the herbal form and as the extracted artemisinin.
Although there is a wide variation in the artemisinin content of sweet wormwood according to where it is grown, and under different agricultural conditions, it is the main active ingredient. Chemically, it is a sesquiterpene lactone containing an endoperoxide bridge that will be discussed later.
In order to attain the optimum yield of active artemisinin, the plant has to be grown in the right site for cultivation and fed with the correct fertilizers, the proper strain of the herb must be selected and the method of extracting the active chemicals is also critical. These are secrets that have been used for centuries by the Chinese herbalists who are masters of their craft and are now known to the west and being applied to scientific production of the extract.
There are benefits of artemisinin other than its effect on malaria, but that is the best known of its uses, so let’s have a look at that first. The herb has been used for a long time to treat parasitic infections, mainly flukes and worms that place great strains on the body having not only to feed these unwanted creatures, but also to excrete their waste and by-products. Malaria is caused by such a parasite, any one of four types in fact, and artemisinin appears to be just as effective on them.
The chemical contains what is known as an endoperoxide bridge that reacts with iron. The product of this reaction is a free radical, normally unwelcome in the body. However, malaria parasites contain high levels of iron, and the artemisinin reacts with that iron, forming free radicals that then go on to kill off the parasite. The free radicals that we take supplements to destroy, actually work for us in the destruction of the parasite that cause malaria. There is a silver lining in every cloud!
The reason that the medical world is so excited with this material is that malaria is second only to tuberculosis in its impact on world health. The problem is that the parasites that cause it have become largely resistant to the normal cures. They are not, however, resistant to the endoperoxide chemistry contained by artemisinin. It is now the major hope of world leaders in the fight to stop the inexorable increase in deaths due to malaria.
Now for the other applications. Another major use of the chemical is in the fight against cancer. Those cancers that involve iron rich cells can be disrupted by artemisinin by the same mechanism that kills off malaria bacteria. It is not only parasites that are susceptible to free radical action, but also human cells, and if these can be selectively destroyed, then it is a step forward towards a cure for cancer. Such a cure does not yet exist, but mechanisms such as the endoperoxide bridge provide a means of controlling at least some cancers, the best results being obtained with leukemia and colon cancer. That is not to say, however, that cures for these cancers are currently available since tests are still under way. However, it would do no harm to use sweet wormwood or the artemisinin extract as a supplement.
Cancer cells tend to accumulate iron because it is needed in the cell division process that cancer takes advantage of. However, if cancer cells could be persuaded to accumulate more surface iron, or were artificially exposed to it, then perhaps the endoperoxide mechanism would be more effective. Studies on this mechanism of controlling cancer are currently under way.
At a more mundane level, if you suffer from intestinal parasites, then one or two milligrams each day should see them off. It has also been effectively used to deal with colds, coughs and other general conditions, but most effectively against those that cause fever of one kind or another. It has been used in Chinese medicine as a form of ‘cure-all’ to be used when specific remedies failed. Its greatest current uses are, however, in cancer and especially malarial treatments.
You have to be careful with artemisinin since it can be toxic if taken in the wrong form. The least toxic, and most active, is the water soluble form known as artesunate. However, it lasts the least time in the body and has to get to work quickly. The oil soluble form, artemether, is the most toxic, but can cross from the blood to the brain. However, the parent form, artemisinin is the very safe itself, and can also cross the blood-brain barrier and while some tend to use a combination of the three, others prefer just the parent form.
If you take too high a dose you can suffer neurotoxicity which makes you wobble when you walk, and makes you impervious to certain levels of pain. However, such doses are next to impossible accidentally, and there have been very few reports of adverse effects in humans. It should not be used for at least a month after you have had radiation therapy because that tends to release iron that can be attacked to form free radicals. The recommended dose is 200 – 100 mg daily though the doses should be spread throughout the day. It should also never be taken within 2 hours of any other antioxidant such as vitamins A, C and E. Otherwise artemisinin can be safely used for better health and wellness in the way that the Chinese have been using it for centuries. Artemisinin is available at your local or internet vitamin store.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
This sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite-stifling effect
May 26, 2007 05:44 PM
Stay satisfied with garcinia
This sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite-stifling effect.
It’s funny how modern science continues to support ancient systems of herbal healing. Such is the case with garcinia: the yellowish, pumpkin like fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree, log valued in tropical Asian cooking for its sweetly acidic taste, is a traditional Indian remedy for digestive problems that is also used to make meals more filling. Today, garcinia (also known as brindleberry and Malabar tamarind) is used in natural weight-loss products based on research supporting its stomach satiating powers. Scientists also believe that garcinia helps block fat formation and regulate glucose (blood sugar) usage vital functions in an increasingly overweight world.
Filling up Faster
One reason so many people losing the battle of the bulge is that temptations to eat – and eat – are absolutely everywhere, often as the focal points of clever and well designed advertising campaigns. (Remember the slogan “belch’a can’t eat just one”?) To make matters worse, restaurants often serve overly generous portions and experiments have shown that the more food you serve, the more people will consume. For example,
The answer would seem simple – just eat less. But knowing when to say when isn’t easy. That’s where garcinia comes in, specifically an extract taken from the rind called HCA (Hydroxycitric acid). In laboratory animals HCA has upped levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps suppress appetite and elevate mood, which might help take the edge off the depressing and binge-eating urges that often affect would-be weight losers. At the same time HCA appears to reduce levels of another substance in the brain called neuropeptide Y, which enhances appetite (Experimental Biology meeting 4/06).
What is it: the pumpkin-like fruit of the garcinia cambogia tree; this Indian native is used in cooking and in Ayurveda, the country’s system of traditional medicine.
What is does: A popular ingredient in natural weight-loss aids, garcinia is being investigated for possible fat blocking and appetite-suppressing functions; it may also help regulate glucose (blood sugar).
Fat Smack down
The fat that stubbornly clings to your frame doesn’t always start out that way. In many cases, your body actually creates fat from excess carbohydrates (such as the icing encrusted doughnut you couldn’t pass u at breakfast). If you don’t burn off those extra carbs through exercise, they are broken down into citrates that are then transformed into the building blocks of body fat. This process is controlled by an enzyme called citrate lyase; HCA interferes with this crucial enzyme, an action that inhibits fat formation. Researchers believe the body uses those extra carbs to provide more energy; this mechanism may also have the happy side effect of further checking appetite. In addition, results from a Dutch lab study indicate that garcinia may blunt sugar-induced increases in glucose, which can help forestall diabetes development.
Garcinia works best when teamed with out nutrients and herbs, such as chromium, green tea and forskolin. In one investigation, over weight people who stuck to a supervised diet and exercise program supplemented with a combination of HCA, chromium and another herb called Gymnema lost body weight and mass, and showed improved fat burning capacity (Nutrition Research 1/04). This modern usage mirrors Ayurveda’s ancient precepts, according to which individual remedies are generally used in combination for more effective results. Looking to get your meals more staying power? Then look for garcinia in your favorite weight loss formula. –Lisa James
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
This is sour Indian fruit can have a sweet appetite stifling effect.
January 13, 2007 02:44 PM
It’s funny how modern science continues to support ancient systems of herbal healing. Such is the case with Garcinia: The yellowish, pumpkin like fruit of the Garcinia Cambodia tree, long valued in tropical Asian cooking for its sweetly acidic taste, is a traditional Indian remedy for digestive problems that is also used to make meals more filling. Today, Garcinia (also known as brindleberry and Malabar tamarind) is used in natural weight-loss products based on research supporting its stomach satiating powers. Scientists also believe that Garcinia helps block fat formation and regulate glucose (blood sugar) usage—vital functions in an increasingly overweight world.
Filling Up Faster
One reason so many people are losing the battle of the bulge is that temptations to eat-and eat—are absolutely everywhere, often as the focal points of clever and well designed advertising campaigns. (Remember the slogan “belch’a can’t eat just one”?) To make matters worse, restaurants often server overly generous portions and experiments have shown that the more food you serve, the more people will consume. For example, Chicago moviegoers ate 45% more popcorn from larger containers even when they were given stale product (Food Quality and Preference 1/01).
The answer would seem simple—just eat less. But knowing when to say when isn’t easy. That’s where garcinia comes in, specifically an extract taken from the rind called HCA (Hydroxycitric acid). In laboratory animals HCA has upped levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps suppress appetite and elevate mood, which might help take the edge off the depression and binge-eating urges that often affect would-be weight losers. At the same time HCA appears to reduce levels of another substance in the brain called neuropeptide Y, which enhances appetite (Experimental Biology meeting 4/06).
What it is: the pumpkin-like fruit of the Garcinia cambogia tree; this Indian native is used in cooking and in Ayurveda, that country’s system of traditional medicine
What it Does: A popular ingredient in natural weight-loss aids, garcinia is being investigated for possible fat blocking and appetite suppressing functions; it may also help regulate glucose (blood sugar).
The fat that stubbornly clings to your frame doesn’t always start out that way. In many cases, your body actually creates fat from excess carbohydrates (such as the icing encrusted doughnut you couldn’t pass up at breakfast). If you don’t burn off those extra carbs through exercise, they are broken down into citrates that are then transformed into the building blocks of body fat. This process is controlled by an enzyme called citrate lyase; HCA interferes with this crucial enzyme, an action that inhibits fat formation. Researchers believe the body uses those extra carbs to provide more energy; this mechanism may also have the happy side effect of further checking appetite. In addition, results from a Dutch lab study indicate that garcinia may blunt sugar-induced increases in glucose, which can help forestall diabetes development.
Garcinia works best when teamed with other nutrients and herbs, such as chromium, green tea and forskolin. In one investigation, overweight people who stuck to a supervised diet and exercise program supplemented with a combination of HCA, chromium and another herb called Gymnema lost body weight as mass, and showed improved fat burning capacity (Nutrition Research 1/04). This modern usage mirrors Ayurveda’s ancient precepts, according to which individual remedies are generally used in combination for more effective results.
Looking to give your meal more staying power? Then look for garcinia in your favorite weight loss formula. –Lisa James.
Mangoni - Complete SuperFruit Food 1oz equals 3 servings of Vegetables
December 27, 2006 12:26 PM