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Cranberries offer an excellent way to boost your health, saynutrition researchers
May 02, 2019 12:05 PM
Cranberries are nutritious and full of antioxidants, which help the bodies that consume the cranberries to deal with oxidative stress. In fact, cranberries have been respected and used as a natural part of nature's pharmacy for centuries. For example, their use has been well-documented as part of the history of many Native American tribes. One aspect of cranberry's benefits long documented, both in anecdotal history and by scientific data is cranberry's special ability when it comes to dealing with urinary tract health. Urinary infections are a common and debilitating condition. Data now proves what our Native American forebears knew from experience, that compounds intrinsic to cranberries can help.prevent and heal a urinary tract infection. We now know that the compounds in cranberries succeed at this by creating conditions in the bladder which make it impossible for bacteria to adhere to the walls of the organ. Not only is the use of cranberries as a specific for treating bladder ailments safe, it prevents the overuse of antibiotics. As a preventative measure, cranberries can be taken in as a sauce, a drink or a supplement.
"Their study showed that polyphenols stopped bacteria from attaching themselves to the walls of the urinary tract."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-11-cranberries-excellent-way-to-boost-your-health.html
Sunflower seeds pack a nutritional punch. Here's how to include them in your daily diet
November 18, 2017 07:59 AM
Sunflowers are not only beautiful, apparently they are nutritious as well. These giant yellow flowers that attract birds to their budding seeds are hiding a secret. They are jammed packed with healthy fats, vitamins and even minerals. By adding a handful of these tiny seeds one can reap wonderful health benefits. Sunflower seeds are versatile in the ways they can be eaten. If you powder them they can be used as a flour substitute. This sunflower powder can be cooked with, and added to smoothies and sauces. Eaten raw, powdered, or roasted, sunflower seeds pack a punch of nutrition value.
"Sunflowers seeds offer amazing health benefits because of their nutritional value. The seeds have essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals which are vital for our body ."
Read more: http://www.hindustantimes.com/fitness/sunflower-seeds-pack-a-nutritional-punch-here-s-how-to-include-them-in-your-daily-diet/story-JguVaFESCym9Hk6Yveh4sO.html
9 Things You Should Be Eating If You Want to Lose Weight
August 18, 2017 12:14 PM
While different dieting fads forever come and go, there are certain staples of healthy eating that will always be relevant to a successful weight loss journey. For example, while it may sound counterintuitive at first, fats are an important part of a balanced diet—so long as they are healthy fats like the kind found in avocados. In place of carbohydrates, there are many creative substitutes available like zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash. Foods with few ingredients are also reliable safe bets for healthy eating.
"Low-cal condiments like salsa, hot sauce, and mustard are an easy way to add a kick to many dishes."
Read more: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g3141/what-to-eat-to-lose-weight/
Does apple cider vinegar have health benefits?
May 02, 2017 08:59 AM
Is there any apple cider vinegar in your pantry? If not, perhaps it is time to make this addition. Apple cider vinegar has an array of health benefits that are going to be yours when the vinegar is used on a regular basis. What are those health benefits? You've come to the right place to learn. DO not wait any longer to enjoy the massive health benefits that come with apple cider vinegar used in your life.
"If you are using apple cider or other vinegars as one part of an overall plan, combining it with a healthy diet, portion control and exercise, it might help, Drayer says. She suggested using balsamic vinegar on salads, in a 4:1 ratio with oil, or adding it to sauces for poultry and fish."
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html
You Might Live Longer If You Eat Hot Peppers (Science-Backed Evidence)
April 16, 2017 09:14 AM
Hot peppers are not for everyone, but they are undoubtedly very good for you and provide numerous health benefits. They can actually increase your lifespan. A study has linked the use of hot peppers to a decrease in mortality from all causes by an impressive 13 percent. The root of these health benefits lies in capsaicin, the compound that gives spice to hot peppers. Furthermore, peppers are known to contain high levels of antioxidants, protect the eyes, help with digestion and increase metabolism. If you have never tried peppers, this article provides many excellent reasons to give them a try.
"You can probably find at least a couple varieties of hot sauce in their kitchen and perhaps a few varieties of fresh chiles, as well."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/eat-spicy-peppers-for-a-longer-healthier-life/
What to eat: Broccoli vs. cauliflower - Bel Marra Health
February 13, 2017 10:59 AM
Broccoli and cauliflower are two vegetables that have a lot in common. They are both cruciferous vegetables and family members from the Brassica oleracea plant species. Both vegetables also originated from Europe’s Mediterranean region. Finally, they were likely both among the vegetables that you refused to eat as a kid unless they were covered with cheddar cheese SAUCE, of course.
"The average man requires approximately 56 grams of protein daily, while the average woman requires around 46 grams."
Too Much Salt for Our Kids
December 06, 2016 12:59 PM
Cardiovascular disease kills over 800,000 Americans each year, and high salt intake is a major culprit. Yet American children are having far more salt than the daily recommended limit – which puts them at increased risk of heart disease later in life. Feed your kids fresh fruits and vegetables without added sodium or SAUCEs. Read nutrition labels and buy low sodium food.
"An easy way to assess sodium in a food is to focus on the amount of sodium per serving. Those foods with less than 140 mg per serving are considered low in sodium."
Soy should not be consumed in significant quantities unless it has been fermented or otherwise traditionally processed; industrially processed soy should be avoided
November 01, 2016 09:04 AM
Are dairy products hard for you to tolerate? Have you ever tried using soy products? Do you know of the different things that you should be aware of with Soy? If you said yes to either of the first two questions then you should take a look at this article about how soy should and should not be consumed.
"What many debates over the nature of soy fail to take into account is that soy-based foods are neither healthy nor unhealthy; it all depends on the processing."
Is Erythritol A Better Sweetener Than Sugar?
Named as polyol, erythritol is known as "sugar alcohol" and later confirmed as food additive in worldwide perspective. Some countries find no problems in using this sugar sweetener for human use. Coming from fruits which are processed into fermentation, it ends up being sugar liquor and utilized for any sort of sustenance items like grape, wine, soy SAUCE, etc. Rather than being named as nourishment added substance, it likewise goes about as sugar substitute and made of no synthetic substance inside. The level of sweetness is extended from 60-70% for sure if contrasted with characteristic sugar.
What makes Erythritol stand out from other sweeteners is its capacity to lessen potential gastric problems. It is less reactive compared to other sugar alcohols. It is easily absorbed by the body which makes it a good component of beverages and certain gums. Therefore, this sweetener is a safe sugar substitute.
Taking up Erythritol in larger quantities doesn't cause harm in the body. Non-glycemic specialists say that it doesn't have an effect on people who have diabetes. This is a good news for them since they can enjoy the sweet taste without compromising their health or thinking about their insulin level.
The Health Benefits OF Avocado Oil
March 08, 2014 09:02 AM
Benefits of avocado
Avocado oil has a high attention of healthier fats and supplement E, that is a fabulous epidermis lotion. Icy pressed virgin avocado oil, taken consistently, may help decrease levels of cholesterol and ensure against coronary illness.
Actually avocado oil holds its own particular emulsifier, lecithin, and additionally the cancer prevention agents Vitamin An and Vitamin E that likewise help to administer a young looking skin. These cell reinforcement vitamins annihilate the free radicals that execute your skin cells and make you look more advanced in years. Avocado oil can help you to continue looking more youthful as you develop sequentially more senior. It likewise holds vitamin D that is so paramount in large portions of the natural methodologies inside your skin - it is not called the 'daylight vitamin' to no end.
Xanthan Gum Recipes
December 18, 2012 11:29 AM
Natural Healthy Thickener
Anyone who has wielded a ladle knows exactly what it means to get the right consistency in SAUCEs and soups. Generally a flour, either cornstarch or arrowroot powder based additive, which is carbohydrate rich, make our soups and SAUCEs thick, using conventional cooking methods. However, with growing concerns over carb -rich diets being linked to obesity and the recurring need for thickening required in cooking, has necessitated a switch without compromising on health.
Synthetic thickeners are not recommended though sometimes used commercially . Xanthun gum is a naturally derived form of a thickener made through the fermentation of glucose or sucrose using the harmless bacteria Xanthomonas campestris. Marketed from the 1960's, this harmless bacteria forms one of the most useful thickening agents that has been used commercially in the food industry. It has been used as an anti-settling agent, thickener and emulsifier for ice creams, smoothies, gums and confectioneries and even as a binding agent in creams ,lotions as well as other cosmetics including lipsticks.
Xanthan Gum Powder-Here are some benefits that one could look forward to:
This polysaccharide needs to be used in small quantities thus it is not only affordable but can get easily amalgamated into home cooked food recipes with absolute ease ending up providing the most mouth watering of recipes the respite from censure .
What are The Steps to Make Kombucha from Extract?
November 21, 2012 07:58 AM
Kombucha is popularly known as a kind of tea which made by fermenting tea and sugar in the presence of yeasts and bacteria. But, in fact, it is a kind of beverage that is made from a colony of yeast and bacteria known as kombucha culture, frequently referred as a mushroom by its look though it is not a mushroom.
Steps to make Kombucha from extract:
Your kombucha tea is ready to be stored in bottles. Kombucha tea is used for various health benefits like detoxifying the liver to prevent cancer.
Its richness of enzymes and presence of bacterial acids help in detoxing your body from the effects of toxins to ease your liver from excessive burdens. It helps in improving your digestion, fighting the overgrowth of harmful yeasts and eliminating or reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, etc. So, take kombucha and live a healthy life.
November 12, 2012 01:52 PM
Lycopene is a carotenoid that is responsible for the red color in melon, tomatoes, rosehip, guava and pink grapefruits. it is known to be highly antioxidant meaning that it is very effective in neutralizing free radicals which could damage the body cells. Since its discovery in 1964 by Alex R. Torres, it has been observed that this compound is easily absorbed in the body when processed into SAUCE, juice, ketchup and paste. When consumed in the body, this product is deposited in the lungs, skin, colon, prostrate glands and the liver. There are numerous health benefits that are associated with consuming lycopene.
Free radicals in the body pose a major health risk as they are likely to steel molecules from healthy cells thus causing damage. In fact, these radicals have been associated with the cause of majority of the cancer infections. It is a strong antioxidant and it is able to stop these free radicals from damaging healthy cells.
Research has found that people who take products that contain lycopene regularly have reduced chances of getting heart diseases. It has also been observed that this compound can be used in the treatment heart diseases, osteoporosis, infertility and type II diabetes.
It has been found to posses numerous anticancer benefits. The compound helps the body against DNA damage which usually happens during the development stages of cancer. One of the ways through which lycopene is able to achieve this purpose is by blocking the interactions of stromal cells and tumors cells.
When the interaction is interrupted, the tumor and stromal tissues are inhibited from growing and developing. It is an indisputable fact that lycopene is a very important component in our lives. It is for this reason that medical practitioners advice people to consume carotenoid foods especially the ones that contain lycopene.
Is Sulfite Sensitivity And Vertigo Linked?
October 17, 2011 03:40 PM
Sulfites are chemical compounds which occur naturally in several animal and plant products. These chemicals are sulfur - based which is commonly used as food enhancer or preservative. Sulfites can effectively prolong the shelf life of food and also prevent discoloration of food. Foods which may contain sulfite include baked products, canned goods, junk foods, vegetable juices, fruit juices, apple cider, some teas and other processed food items. Sulfite - containing ingredients may include sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite and sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite.
Allergic reaction to sulfite is not that rare. In fact, the Food and Drug Authority have established "1 out of 100 people" prevalence rate that is hypersensitive to sulfite and its products. Any person may develop allergic reaction to sulfites any time of his/her life. Studies revealed that the cause of such hypersensitivity is still unknown. More studies are still ongoing. Initial results have stated that the allergic effects can be mild or life – threatening. In late 1980's, the FDA released a memorandum on prohibiting the use of sulfite on fruits and vegetables that are commonly eaten fresh and raw such as lettuce, apples, guavas and the like. Regulations are also released for manufacturers to put labels on sulfite – containing processed food items. Sulfites also occur naturally among wines and beers.
One theory revealed that sulfite allergic reaction may be caused by a significant insufficient amount of the enzyme necessary for the breakdown and elimination of such compound known as sulfite oxidase. This enzyme works hand in hand with the element molybdenum which acts as a cofactor. Nonetheless, asthma, nasal and sinus congestion, rhinitis, postnasal drip, headache and bronchospasm may also be experienced by the individual as an effect of sulfite consumption. In addition, vertigo may also be a manifestation of sulfite hypersensitivity.
Studies have found that the allergic reaction brought about by the compound sulfite can significantly lower blood pressure thus resulting to decreased cardiac output which can eventually lead to insufficient tissue perfusion. Thus, dizziness is experienced or even loss of consciousness. Vertigo or dizziness is a kind of feeling in which your surroundings seem to be moving around even though there is no actual movement. In cases of severe vertigo, the person may experience nausea and vomiting. This will greatly affect your daily functioning since the person with vertigo may have difficulty walking or even standing on his/her own. This will significantly result to loss of balance and increase the risk of fall.
There is no direct treatment of sulfite sensitivity. However, the symptoms can be alleviated in a palliative manner. The one and only way to prevent the occurrence of allergic reaction is to avoid food products with sulfites or food items which are likely to have sulfite content. Therefore, if you have sulfite allergy, you must be vigilant on what you eat. Carefully check labels of processed and preserved foods and when eating out, politely as the waiter or chef if the food you like contains sulfite or ingredients which contain such chemical compound.
Foods to avoid:
Alcoholic beverages, Baked goods (pastries), Beverages fruit based, Condiments, Relishes, Confections, Frostings, Modified Dairy Products, Drugs, Fish, shell fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, gelatin, puddings, grains, jams, jellies, nuts, plant proteins, snack foods, soups and soup mixes, sweet SAUCE, and instant teas. To name a few. Look online to view a more details list of foods to avoid.
This practically eliminates most of our favored junk foods we love to eat. Avoiding these foods may be hard but it is a healthier choice.
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
Detox your Body with Wasabi Rhizome
January 29, 2008 10:30 AM
The Wasabi rhizome, the underground fleshy stem of the wasabia japonica plant, is prized not only for its fiery flavour but also its effect in detoxifying the liver. However, make sure that you are getting the real McCoy since many restaurants in the USA do not use the genuine paste.
The wasabi is a plant of the cruciferous family, the same family as cabbage, broccoli, turnip, radish, horseradish and mustard, and is native to Japan and Korea and now grown on the Pacific coast of Canada. It grows best in temperate to cold climates, especially in mountainous areas where there are plenty of cold streams.
Anybody who regularly enjoys sashimi and sushi should be familiar with the wasabi rhizome, that green lump of paste lying on the side of the plate. It is hot and fiery, although not in the same way as the chilli pepper that is fiery on the tongue and in the mouth. This tends to affect the sinuses more, and leaves a sweetish taste once the initial heat has dissipated. However, it is not always what it should be.
The last comment there refers to the practise, especially in the USA, of using dyed common horseradish as wasabi paste, so be careful of that since the two are not equivalent in the health benefits they impart to your body. Although of the same family as the horseradish, and sometimes termed the Japanese horseradish, ordinary horseradish does not have the same health benefits as genuine wasabi, and does not contain the same active ingredients so do not confuse the two.
Real wasabi is normally used grated, and there are specific techniques that should be used to grate wasabi rhizomes to bring out the fullness of the flavour. True grated wasabi should be of a natural pale greenish color rather than the brighter green normally associated with sushi restaurant wasabi.
Traditionally, wasabi rhizome is used as a condiment with sushi, although their leaves can also be used in salad dressings and or as a delicacy pickled in soy SAUCE or sake brine. The genuine vegetable is difficult to cultivate which explains why ordinary horseradish is dyed and used in its stead, and the vast majority of non-Japanese do not know the difference because it is likely to be all they have consumed under the name of wasabi. The health benefits of the genuine article, however, are considerable greater.
So that’s what it is, but what does it do? What are the health benefits of wasabi rhizomes and why are they considered to be so good for your liver? Wasabi rhizomes contain substances that are very effective in detoxifying you liver, and that are also very strong antioxidants that provide you with good overall health benefits in their capacity to destroy the free radicals created by the pollution of modern living.
The active antioxidants in the rhizome are precursors of isothiocyanates, which are known as phytochemicals. These are chemicals that can protect or prevent diseases through its antioxidant properties. The term ‘precursor’ means that the isothiocyanates are synthesized by your body from the nutrients contained in the wasabi rhizome. Other examples of phytochemicals that you may have heard of are carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols that also possess antioxidant properties.
Other antioxidants are vitamins A and E, which is why these are used in anti-wrinkle creams, since their anti-oxidant effect helps to prevent the free radicals destroying the skin cells in the dermis and epidermis that leads to the wrinkles associated with aging. Wasabi is equally effective as an antioxidant, although it has other properties that are important to your liver.
The liver is your body’s chemical plant. That is where most of the chemical reactions take place that are essential for life. If your liver is unhealthy you can develop diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, and a healthy liver is essential for life let alone a healthy life. Wasabi helps to detoxify and clean out your liver.
Apart from creating the wide variety of enzymes needed to process your food, and controlling the vast majority of the biochemistry of your body, your liver is also your detoxification plant that coverts toxins into biodegradable molecules that your waste disposal system can evacuate without harm. This occurs in two phases.
Phase I coverts the toxin to a form that your body can further process (the bioactive form), and Phase II breaks it down into a form that your kidneys can handle and eject it in your urine. Isothiocyanates are involved in the production of the enzymes that enable the chemical reactions of Phase II to proceed. They allow your body to cleanse itself of toxins, and without this process you would be less healthy and more prone to cancers and other undesirable conditions and diseases in your body.
It is becoming more important in this modern age with its increasing natural and synthetic pollution that your liver is working at peak efficiency. Your liver is equally as important to you as your heart and brain, and without it you cannot survive. Wasabi also contains glucosinolates that help the isothiocyanates to induce the production of Phase II enzymes, and it is general believed that eating this tuber cab help protect you against stomach, colon and breast cancers as well as help your cardiovascular system and blood clotting.
An interesting fact is how wasabi rhizome came to be traditionally served with raw fish. The isothiocyanates precursors, and the glucosinolates that wasabi also contains, apparently help to destroy the bacteria associated with raw fish, and help prevent disease and illness. It was likely found healthier to include a dollop of this green paste with your sushi than not, and so the use of common horseradish might be somewhat questionable if it has less of an effect.
Make sure, therefore, that your have the real thing, and apart from any specific health considerations associated with eating raw fish, you are best advised to take it as a supplement to help Detox your liver rather than visit sushi bars for your consumption. It will also help your wallet!
Are Vegan Supplements Good For Strict Vegetarians?
December 05, 2007 11:20 PM
The question as to whether or not vegan supplements are good for strict vegetarians cannot be answered or understood without a complete understanding of the meaning of the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’.
Where eating meat is concerned, there are several different types of diet, one extreme being the Atkins Diet where devouring animal flesh and fats is positively encouraged. However, it is not that extreme we are concerned with here, but the opposite, where no meat is eaten. Is there anything in a vegan diet that there is not in a vegetarian diet, or are vegan supplements harmful to strict vegetarians? These are questions that we shall now look at from a scientific viewpoint, since emotions are not involved in the answer to the question.
It is certainly true that for many people, emotions are very much involved in the distinction between an omnivore and vegetarian, and also between a vegetarian and a vegan. Some of these have to do with the concept of eating ‘friendly furry animals’ and others to do with the ethics of breeding animal life for the sole purpose of eating it. While these concepts have nothing whatsoever to do with the scientific arguments, they have a lot to do with the various types of eating habit used throughout the world.
Some reasons for a vegetarian diet are imposed by local agricultural and husbandry conditions, where meat is simply not available to most people, others due to religious beliefs and yet others to personal feelings of disgust at the moral arguments involved in eating animals that have been bred specifically for that reason. If we take carnivores and omnivores out of the equation, including those that do not eat red meats, but eat chicken and fish, what do we have?
Vegetarians that eat dairy products and eggs are referred to officially as lacto-ovo-vegetarians. The reasons for the name are obvious. They eat eggs, cheese and yoghurt and also drink milk. The strict vegetarians, on the other hand, who are part of the subject of this article, eat vegetables and dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese, but omit eggs. Then, finally, we have the vegans that eat only vegetable matter and no dairy products or animal based food at all. Each of these, you would think, would have a decreasing intake of nutrients essential for healthy and healthy growth.
A vegetarian diet, as opposed to that of a vegan, contains many nutritious foods that omnivores also eat, such as pulses (lentils, peas, beans), grains (wheat, oats), nuts, seeds and vegetable and fruits of any form. It can also include protein in the form of soy protein and tofu that can be formed into sausages, burgers and other meat-like products. Why vegetarians should want to make their foods look like meat is unknown, but that seems to what they prefer. The likely reason is that the majority of vegetarians and vegans became so after eating meat, and it helps them to stick to their diet by eating food in familiar forms.
Many have started their diets with what they know, and have substituted soy for minced beef in their spaghetti SAUCE, for example, and quorn for beef in their burgers. Together with a good piquant tomato SAUCE it is hard to tell the difference. Other than truly meaty dishes such as steaks, then, most meat dishes can be substituted for vegetarian alternatives or substitutes.
However, what does this do to the vegetarian’s nutrition? How does the vegetarian maintain a sufficient intake of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients by eliminating meat from their diet? Let’s have a look at some of the nutritional content of fish and meat that vegetarians are apparently not getting.
The first is protein, the main source for most people being from the flesh of meat and fish. Protein is essential for the maintenance of healthy muscles, vital organs, skin, and believe it or not, bones. A vegetarian eating eggs has no problems with protein, since eggs and cheese are full of it. There is also the protein in soy based foods and in quorn, a mycoprotein derivative of fungi. Nuts, peas, beans, cereal grains and seeds are all rich in proteins and the vegetarian does not have a problem in consuming an adequate supply of protein.
If we come to minerals, the most important for the health of your blood is iron. Green vegetables and whole grains are good sources of iron, as are pulses and some fruits. However, it is animal sources of iron that the body most easily absorbs, and in order for it to make use of vegetable sources, you should consume a good intake of vitamin C by eating plenty of fruits and green vegetables. You must take these at the same time as the vegetables that contain iron, or the iron will not be absorbed into the body. Otherwise, the vegetarian has a sufficient iron intake to maintain the health of their red blood cells.
The other critical mineral is calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth. Many dark green vegetables are good sources of calcium, as are turnips, swedes and fortified soy milk. Zinc, too, is essential and without it many enzymes could not be synthesized by your biochemistry, and it is also necessary in the male reproductive system. Zinc, too, has many vegetarian sources, such as nuts, wheat germ and whole grains, and is also contained in soy.
So far in this evaluation neither vegetarians nor vegans have been seriously compromised by their diet, although there are arguments that a vegetarian diet can harm young children since there is insufficient protein available to allow normal growth and development. This is currently under debate, and it is a matter for parents to consider whether or not their children should be raised on a purely vegetarian diet.
However, when it comes to a vital vitamin that is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia, vegans become unstuck. Vitamin B-12 is found predominantly in dairy products and other animal products. It is claimed that cereals enriched with B-12 and fortified soy products provide this vitamin to vegans, but what are the sources of the vitamin that is used as a supplement?
It is generally accepted that vegans require vitamin B-12 supplements, and also others such as calcium that they might be deficient in due to their diet. It is possible that the only real supplement needed is vitamin B-12, although many nutritionists claim that both vegetarians and vegans should take supplements to boost intake of those nutrients of which the normal route to the body is through eating foods of animal origin.
There are many nutrients obtainable from animal sources that are classed as neither vitamins nor minerals, and for which there are adequate supplements to suit the needs of vegans and vegetarians alike. Further evidence is needed, however, that vegans are deficient in these since many of them have alternatives of vegetable origin that might annul their necessity.
One thing, however, is absolutely certain, and that is the answer to the original question. It is absolutely true that vegan supplements are good for strict vegetarians. The reason for this is that vegan supplements are designed to replace not only nutrients that the body might be deficient in due to a strict vegetarian diet, but also those missing by the absence of dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.
Vegetarians will also benefit from such supplements, and it could be important to their health that both vegetarians and vegans take them.
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.
Pumpkin Seed Oil is good for your health
October 14, 2007 05:34 PM
Pumpkin seed oil, as the name suggests, is obtained from pumpkin seeds, which can also be eaten roasted in the same way that people eat sunflower seeds. When roasted, they are coated in a SAUCE such as Worcester SAUCE and then heated in low oven for a long period of time. The secret of roasting them to maintain their nutritional value is to keep the temperature low and the cooking time high.
The seeds are regarded as a ‘superfood’ that is rich in vitamins A and E, the essential fatty acids known as Omega 3 and Omega 6, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. The seed is known as a pepita in North and South America.
The oil is reddish green and many people find it delicious. It is best when used raw, and can be drunk in the form of smoothies or shakes, or used as a salad dressing. Some also enjoy drinking it raw, and using it as a spread instead of butter or margarine. The benefits it provides to the human body are a healthy brain function, increased energy and it has a special use in maintaining a healthy prostate gland.
The vitamin E content is high, especially gamma-tocopherol, and it has a high antioxidant effect with consequent anti-inflammatory properties. Its effect on arthritis, and inflammatory disease, has been investigated and the inclusion of pumpkin seeds in the diet has been found to reduce the inflammatory symptoms of the condition with a consequent reduction in pain. In fact, in a comparison test with indomethacin, a common arthritis treatment, pumpkin seeds compared very well and in fact had a more positive effect on the damage to the fats in the joint linings than did indomethacin, which tends to increase the concentration of lipid peroxides rather than reduce them.
Its effect on the prostate gland is partially due to its high zinc content that is present in a higher concentration in the prostate than in any other gland in the body, and also to its effect on the hormones that cause the gland to grow and swell to the extent that it constricts or completely blocks the urethra, the tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body. This is caused by an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the over-proliferation of the prostate cells.
The reason for the effect of pumpkin seed oil on DHT is still under discussion, but some believe that it is connected with the zinc content and others with the high level of delta-7-sterine in the seed. The sterine appears to neutralize the effect of the DHt on the growth of prostate cells.
In addition to prostate enlargement, Osteoporosis is another problem associated with aging in men. It has been estimated that men over 50 have a 12.5% chance of suffering a fracture due to brittle bones, and it is though that this is connected with a deficiency of zinc. In fact a clear correlation has been established between osteoporosis in older men and low levels of zinc and the diet and in the blood. Pumpkins seeds, as already mentioned, are rich in zinc, and the benefits of their use as a supplement to avoid an enlarged prostate is reinforced by their effect in protecting against osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds contain a high concentration of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are specifically useful in protecting the cardiovascular system and prevent atherosclerosis. They also contain plant sterols known as phytosterols that are believed to help reduce the blood concentration of cholesterol. This types of sterols are the basis of the ‘cholesterol busting’ drinks that are sold in supermarkets. They also help to strengthen the immune system and are believe to help reduce the risk of contracting some types of cancer.
Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important unsaturated fatty acid that some studies have indicated can be used to prevent metastaes (the spread of the disease) development in patients with breast cancer. The most prized type of oil is that from Syrian oil, from the province of Steiermark in Austria. Such pumpkins are also grown in parts of North America, and the best oil is said to come from the first pressing, the so-called ‘virgin’ oil. If used in cooking, the temperature must be kept low, since many of the nutrients are destroyed much over 100 Celsius.
A little known use for pumpkin seed oil is in eradicating intestinal parasites. Many people are embarrassed at requesting professional help for worms, and pumpkin seeds are the ideal home remedy. The act almost immediately, and two or three hours after taking them, or the oil, then you should take a laxative. You should the parasites being removed with the bowel motions.
The worms are not actually killed, but are paralyzed, and cannot prevent themselves being removed with the bowel movement. If a laxative is not taken, however, they will recover and there will be no effect. As with any remedy for a health condition, therefore, it is necessary to understand how the seeds or oil work to help to remove the horrible parasites from your body. They are very common, and any self-help or natural remedy that actually works will undoubtedly be very popular, but if it is not understood that these creatures must be expelled from your body while paralyzed, then pumpkin seeds or oil will not work.
Those that failed to understand the process would then complain that the treatment does not work. In fact, it does work, and if the worms are expelled when they are unable to remain in your intestines then they will be removed. You must “read the instructions on the bottle” for the contents to work.
Pumpkin seed oil is a very potent mixture of chemicals that can cure or control a large number of conditions, and it is essential that you understand why you are using them. They can be used as a supplement to your diet, though it is easy to wonder why you should take this antioxidant rather than another.
Find out what pumpkin seed oil can do for you, and if it applies to you then use it. There are stronger antioxidants, and better foods to take in an attempt to protect from certain conditions. However, there are certain circumstances when pumpkin seeds will do the job better than most other supplements, and if you can fit them into your regular diet then they will not only do you ‘no harm’, as they say, but will do you a great deal of good. Look for organic pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil at your local health food store.
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
Prostate Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
Years of research have discovered that the foods a man chooses to eat (or doesn’t eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of cancer (after smoking-related lung cancers).
Recently, there has been an incredible amount of research and investigation of prostate cancer. Many of these studies have explored the use of certain nutrients to prevent and actually treat prostate cancer. These nutrients, calcium D-glucarate selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene are powerful prostate cancer fighters. All are available as nutritional supplements that men can take every day as an important part of a healthy diet.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss prostate cancer and how men can actually prevent it with the use of these six nutrients. Plus, if men already have prostate cancer, these nutrients can be an important part of their treatment regimen in fighting their disease.
Q. What does the prostate gland do?
A. The prostate is a gland in a man’s reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal fluid, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released to form part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate actually wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder through the penis.
Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
A. Early prostate cancer often does not cause any symptoms. However, many symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other problems with the prostate, such as an infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a prostate enlargement associated with age-related changes.
A man who has any of these symptoms should see his health care practitioner for evaluation:
-A need to urinate frequently, especially at night
-Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
-Inability to urinate
-Painful or burning urination
-Difficulty in having an erection
-Blood in urine or semen
-Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Q. Are certain men more prone to get prostate cancer?
A. Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers occur in men over 65 years of age. A man’s risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease. African-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. Mechanics, farmers, sheet metal workers, and workers exposed to cadmium have also had high rates of prostate cancer.
Q. How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
A. A man who has any of these risk factors may want to ask his health care professional whether to begin screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them.
The usual prostate tests include: Digital rectal exam: the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for hard or lumpy areas.
Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), or an infection in the prostate.
These tests will only determine if there is a problem with a man’s prostate gland. They cannot determine if the problem is cancer. Only a biopsy of a sample of prostate tissue can reveal the presence of actual prostate cancer.
Q. What nutrients help prevent or treat prostate cancer?
A. The prostate health nutrients, calcium D-glucarate, selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene, each work in unique ways. Some help men’s bodies’ work more effectively some keep cancer cells from growing, while others actually kill prostate cancer cells. Let’s discuss each nutrient and how it works.
It is a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe. There are also “natural” toxins that are produced in our bodies. Excess hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can cause cancer when they are no longer needed. Cancer causing chemicals not only initiate cancer, but exposure to them can also cause existing cancers to grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly.
Our bodies do a fairly good job of eliminating some of these toxins before they can cause us harm. In the liver, the toxin is bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool. However, yet another chemical, an enzyme called glucoronidase, can break this bond between the toxin and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released back into our bodies, capable of causing us harm once more. The longer the toxins and excess hormones are in our bodies, the greater the chances they can make us seriously sick. Scientists have discovered that increased glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that a natural substance found in foods, calcium D-glucarate, can greatly reduce the activity of glucuronidase. Calcium D-glucarate helps our bodies keep the harmful toxins and chemicals bound to glucuronic acid. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase. CDG has been shown in many experimental studies to significantly stop prostate cancer growth. Studies have shown that by taking calcium D-glucarate, our bodies and get rid of the toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate cancer formation.
Selenium is an essential trace mineral fund in the soil. Both plant foods like oatmeal and meats that we eat, such as chicken and beef, contain selenium. How much selenium, however, is difficult to determine. This is because the amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Animals, too, will have varying levels of selenium in their muscle, depending on the amount of selenium in their feed. The actual selenium level in the grasses and grains that make up animal feed reflect the amount of the selenium in the soil where they grew.
A major antioxidant, selenium slows down aging, keeps our skin supple, and helps prevent dandruff. Selenium also keeps our blood vessels healthy and protects us from heart disease. However, some of selenium’s most powerful effects are on the prostate gland.
In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. Half of the men were given selenium supplements and half were given a placebo. Researchers, who did know which group got the placebo, watched and recorded the men’s progress. The researchers were amazed to learn that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!
The results of this study were so impressive that it has led to many other studies of selenium and prostate cancer. In fact, researchers at the
Scientists have observed over for a long period of time, that men who eat lots of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. It seems that sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli, is the secret ingredient responsible for this connection. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body, called phase 2 enzymes, which deactivate cancer-causing chemicals. In lab experiments, prostate cancer cells that were exposed to sulforaphane, the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent.
There is a potent plant substance in green tea that is a very effective killer of prostate cancer cells. A recent study tested four common components of green tea and determined that one of these compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells. Scientists discovered that EGCG can stop the growth of prostate cancer dead in its tracks. The chemical structure of EGCG is very similar to substances in red wine and cruciferous vegetables, known cancer killers.
For many years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
A recent study at
Some of the most exciting nutritional news in relation to prostate health involves lycopene. This carotenoid is found primarily in tomatoes, and men who eat lots of cooked tomatoes have very low rates of prostate cancer. Because promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer studies.
In one of these studies, 32 prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato SAUCE every day for three weeks. Results showed their PSA levels dropped two points. Even signs of DNA damage dropped sharply. The ability of lycopene to drop these levels in just three weeks has impressed researchers and scientists worldwide.
Q. Do I have to take each nutrient separately?
A. While you can purchase each one of these nutrients and take them separately, all of these nutrients are available in prostate health formulas. Make sure the formula you buy contains calcium d-glucarate, lycopene, and selenium, broccoli standardized to contain a minimum of 125 mcg sulforaphane, green tea, and maitake mushroom extract. Standardized ingredients provide consistently effective nutrients.
Q. What else can men do to prevent prostate cancer?
A. Adopting a healthy diet, including eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eating several servings of whole grain cereals and bread, and reducing red meat consumption to 2 or 3 servings per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all kinds of cancer. In addition, the recent lycopene studies suggest that a diet that regularly includes tomato-based foods may help protect men from prostate cancer.
Men 50 years and older should have a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA test each year. African-Americans and those at higher risk should begin at age 40. Talk with your health care professional to determine how frequently the test should be done.
This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the
More cancers are caught early and new treatments might help make it possible for men to live long and healthy lives following their diagnosis. By taking a few simple steps, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can take charge of their lives and overcome much of the fear and anxiety that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
March 28, 2007 10:29 AM
Regulating Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 65 million Americans, or about 1 in 3 adults. There are many potential causes of hypertension, but not necessarily any symptoms. In fact, 30% of the people who have high blood pressure don’t even realize it.
In other words, just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure. That’s why it’s called “The Silent Killer.” And, make no mistake about it: high blood pressure is dangerous. It is the number one modifiable cause of stroke. Just lowering blood pressure reduces the chance of stroke by 35 to 40 percent. Other conditions, including heart attack and heart failure can be reduced from 25 to 50 percent, respectively.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we’re going to talk about high blood pressure and an exciting natural treatment for lowering blood pressure safely and effectively.
Of course, changing blood pressure numbers depends, in a large part, on the choices we make every day – how much we exercise, the foods we eat, and our lifestyle overall. But, for those times we need extra help, there is a new, scientifically-studied supplement to help us along our path to better health and lower blood pressure.
Blood pressure guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Q. What exactly is blood pressure?
A. Blood pressure is divided into two parts, systolic and diastolic. Systolic is the pressure of the heart beating. Diastolic is the pressure of the heart and vessels filling. When blood pressure numbers are written out, like “120/80,” 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. The unit of measurement for blood pressure is millimeters of mercury, written as “mm/Hg.”
Q. What is considered high blood pressure?
A. A person’s blood pressure can naturally vary throughout the day – even between heartbeats.
However, if the numbers are consistently high (over 120 systolic and 80 diastolic), after multiple visits to your healthcare practitioner, you may have either pre-hypertension or high blood pressure.
Young arteries and arteries that are kept young through healthy diet and exercise are typically more elastic and unclogged. Blood flows through them easily and without much effort. However, as we age, our arteries become more prone to plaque buildup (due to diets high in saturated fat and sedentary lifestyles) and don’t “flex” as well under pressure. The result is faster blood flow, all the time. Over the long term, it damages heart tissue, arteries, kidney and other major organs.
To get a better idea of high blood pressure, compare your arteries to a garden hose. When unblocked, a garden hose allows water to flow through it quickly and easily – without any real rush or stress. However, if you block the end of the hose with your thumb, closing it off even a little, water rushes out much more quickly.
For many years, high diastolic pressure was considered even more of a threat than high systolic pressure. That thinking has changed somewhat but high diastolic numbers could still mean organ damage in your body – especially for individuals under 50.
Q. What courses high blood pressure?
A. The reasons for hypertension aren’t always clear. However, there are lifestyle factors that contribute to high blood pressure that you can change:
Body type: Weight isn’t always a reliable indicator of whether or not you’ll have high blood pressure – but the type of weight is. Lean body mass – muscle – doesn’t increase blood pressure levels the way that fat can. However, fat body mass, especially fat around your middle, can contribute to high blood pressure.
Sedentary lifestyle: Too often, many of us sit down all day at work, and then sit down all night at home. Over time, this inactivity usually leads to weight gain, making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. In a way, it almost seems contradictory, but inactivity usually leads to higher heart rates.
Sodium intake: Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much salt there is in processed foods. However, salt intake in itself is not necessarily bad. For people with a history of congestive heart failure, ischemia, and high blood pressure, sodium is definitely out. For those individuals, it leads to more water retention, which increases blood pressure. (Salt’s effect on water retention is one reason that so many sports drinks have fairly high sodium content – the sodium in the drink prevents your body from sweating out too much water.) But, for healthy individuals, moderate salt intake, especially a mixed mineral salt like sea salt or Celtic salt (good salt should never be white) is fine.
Low potassium intake: Unlike sodium, potassium is a mineral which most Americans get too little of. Potassium helps regulate the amount of sodium in our cells, expelling excess amounts through the kidneys. Low levels of this mineral can allow too much sodium to build up in the body.
Heavy alcohol intake: Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day (two or more for women) nearly doubles an individual’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Over time, heavy drinking puts a lot of stress on the organs, including the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.
Unhealthy eating: Eating a lot of processed or fatty foods contributes to high blood pressure. Adapting a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish, nuts and magnesium and potassium (like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, known as the “DASH” diet) can bring it back down.
Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking damages the heart and arteries – period. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, increases heart rate, and raises blood pressure. This in turn, increases hormone production and adrenaline levels, further stressing the body.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces the oxygen in the blood, making the heart work even harder to make up the difference. Since the effect of a single cigarette can last for an hour, smoking throughout the day leads to continuously revved-up blood pressure.
Some of these factors might sound like a lot to overcome. The important thing to remember is that all of these behaviors are changeable. If you have high blood pressure, modifying any of these can significantly lower blood pressure as part of an overall plan.
Q. What are the blood pressure numbers I should see?
A. Experts consider healthy blood pressure numbers to be 115/75 mm/Hg. The reason? They found that the risk of cardiovascular disease doubles at each increment of 20/10 mmHg over 115/75 mm/Hg. Even small jumps in blood pressure numbers increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Q. Okay, so other than diet, exercise and lifestyle changes are there other natural ways or supplements I can use to lower my blood pressure?
A. Yes, in fact, you hear about some of them in the news all the time – fish oil, CoQ10, and garlic. As effective as these symptoms are, they typically lower systolic pressure much more than diastolic pressure.
However, there is a blend of scientifically and clinically studied natural ingredients that lower high blood pressure separately, and work even better when they’re combined. This combination blend contains: dandelion leaf extract, lycopene, stevia extract, olive leaf extract and hawthorn extract.
Every one of these ingredients has been studied and recommended for years. But now, a scientific study on a supplement that combines them in one synergistic formula shows encouraging results for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Let’s take a look at each:
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) originated in
The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls – keeping them healthy and reducing blood pressure.
In a long-term, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants’ blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 mm/Hg to 140 mm/Hg systolic and 95 mm/Hg to 89 mm/Hg diastolic.
And, in another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, stevia lowered blood pressure quite significantly – by an average of 14 millimeters of mercury in both systolic and diastolic readings. Those are impressive numbers!
Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit to for those with hypertension – blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies show that extracts of stevia regulated blood sugar and reduced blood pressure.
A clinical study showed that stevia extract actually improved glucose tolerance by decreasing plasma glucose levels during the test and after overnight fasting in all participants. Regulating blood sugar is very important for those with high blood pressure. When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels are inflamed. Many people with diabetes have high blood pressure as well. In a paired, cross-over clinical study, stevioside (one of the compounds in stevia) reduced glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. It shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes. Further scientific studies show that stevia works to control blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion by the pancreatic beta cells. Its shows great potential in treating type 2 diabetes as well as hypertension.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp. Oxycantha) has been used since ancient ties as a medicinal herb – even being mentioned by the Greek herbalist Dioscorides, in the first century AD. Traditionally, it has generally been used for support of the heart. Modern research points to bioflavonoid-like complexes in hawthorn leaf and flower that seem to be most responsible for its benefits on cardiac health, like blood vessel elasticity.
The bioflavonoids found in hawthorn include oligomeric procyanidins, vitexin, quercetin, and hyperoside. They have numerous benefits on the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn can improve coronary artery blood flow and the contractions of the heart muscle. Scientific studies show that the procyanidins in hawthorn are responsible for its ability to make the aorta and other blood vessels more flexible and relaxed, so that blood pumps more slowly and with less effort – sparing the cardiovascular system such a hard workout.
The procyanidins in hawthorn also have antioxidant properties – protecting against free radical cellular damage.
And, hawthorn may also inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. Angiotensin-converting enzyme is responsible for retaining sodium and water, and may have roots in our evolutionary development. It influences blood vessel contraction and dilation, sodium and water balance and heart cell development – just about everything that has to do with blood pressure. This may have developed as a way of dealing with periods of drought and stress. By narrowing the blood vessels, the body could guarantee an adequate supply of blood and focus on repairing tissue.
Unfortunately, that can lead to real problems these days. Since many of us live in an industrialized society, and frequently have pretty sedentary lifestyles, conserving sodium just makes the conditions for high blood pressure that much worse.
Like the other ingredients in this combination, hawthorn showed benefits on other body systems, too. In clinical and scientific studies, it not only lowered blood pressure, but also showed anti-anxiety properties and regulated blood sugar.
Olive leaf extract:
Olive leaf (Olea europaea) comes up again and again in scientific and clinical studies as having beneficial effects on hypertension. One of olive leaf’s most beneficial compounds is oleuropein – the same compound that makes olive oil so helpful in reducing blood pressure. Here again, we have to look at the traditional Mediterranean diet, which features voluminous use of olives and olive oil. Not surprisingly, blood pressure is generally much lower in Greek and Italian populations.
But it’s not just the diet – scientific studies showed that oleuropein lowered blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and prevented buildup of plaque in arteries. Plus, whether in olive leaf extract or in olive oil, oleuropein works as an antioxidant, too.
Dandelion leaf extract:
Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) leaves provide a healthy supply of vitamins, much like spinach. In fact, although it has become the bane of North American gardeners and lawn owners, dandelion greens are a component of many gourmet salads.
Medicinally, dandelion has been used for centuries, dating back to ancient
They are a very rich source of vitamin A, and contain vitamin D, vitamin C, carious B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese, too. Dandelion leaves produce a diuretic effect in the body, similar to a prescription drug. Since one of dandelion leaf’s traditional uses was the treatment of water retention, it’s really not too surprising. Dandelion leaf is also rich in potassium – one of the vital minerals many Americans lack in their diet. So, even though it may act as a diuretic, it replaces more potassium than the body expels.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can relieve hypertension by drawing excess water and sodium from the body and releasing it through the kidneys as urine. Getting rid of extra water and sodium allows the blood vessels to relax – lowering blood pressure.
If a nutrient can be called exciting, lycopene is it. Lycopene is found mostly in tomatoes and processed tomato products, like pasta and pizza SAUCE. Related to beta-carotene lycopene shows great antioxidant abilities among its many talents. In fact, it shows even greater free-radical scavenging properties than beta-carotene, its more famous cousin. Healthy intakes of lycopene can guard against a variety of chronic conditions, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowering homocysteine levels and reducing blood platelet stickiness that can lead to clogged arteries. It’s even being studied for its protective effect against prostate cancer.
And, for proof, you don’t have to look too far to see the amazing effect lycopene intake can have on health. The Mediterranean diet provides an excellent example. Its high intakes of vegetables, (tomatoes, of course, playing a central role) fish, and whole grains improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. The research on lycopene as a stand-alone nutrient has been compelling. A randomized clinical trial found that not having enough lycopene was associated with early thickening of the arteries.
So, it makes sense that other clinical trials, showed that higher intakes of lycopene frequently meant less thickening of arteries, and a reduced risk of heart attack. In one study, the risk of heart attack was 60% lower in individuals with the highest levels of lycopene. In a multicenter study, similar results were found – men with the highest levels of lycopene had a 48% lower risk of heart attack.
Q. What can I expect taking this herbal combination?
A. You should notice both systolic and diastolic numbers lowering in about two weeks. The scientific study showed that for pre-hypertensive and stage I, (early hypertensive individuals) this combination for ingredients lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
When you’re taking herbs to support your blood pressure, it’s important to keep it monitored so you have an accurate reading (and record) of your numbers. If you need to, you can pick up a home blood pressure monitoring device. These can retail for anywhere from $30 all the way up to $200, but buying one in the $30 to $50 range is a good idea and money well spent. Consider taking the machine to your local doctor’s office or fire department to have it tested for accuracy against a professional blood pressure monitor. See the chart below for tips on getting an accurate reading from a home monitor.
Tips for Accurate Blood Pressure Monitoring:
-Relax for about 5 to 10 minutes before measurement.
-If you have just come inside from cold outdoors allow yourself to warm up.
-Remove tight-fitting clothing and jewelry.
-Unless your physician recommends otherwise, use left arm to measure pressure.
-Sit, don’t stand.
-Remain still and do not talk while using the monitor.
Q. Are there any side effects?
A. There were no side effects noted in the study. However, because of the mild diuretic effect of dandelion leaf extract, you may notice an increase in trips to the bathroom. It’s always important to make sure you don’t get dehydrated, so you may want to drink more water during the day.
High blood pressure doesn’t happen overnight. As we get older, the likelihood of developing hypertension increases. And, stressful, fast-forward lifestyles, bad diets and no exercise conspire to raise our blood pressure.
In my own practice I have helped patients move toward a healthier lifestyle, including diet, exercise, and blood-pressure reducing supplements. They live better, more vibrant lives as a result, and their blood pressure normalizes. It really can happen – you can bring your blood pressure back to normal, and this combination of scientifically and clinically validated ingredients can help.
Enjoy Some Nuts Every Day
November 03, 2006 04:00 PM
Although high in fat, nuts contain oils that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Nuts also contain potentially cardio protective components including phytosterols, tocopherols and squalene. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts were all found to be good sources of these compounds. Diets that included one or two servings of macadamia nuts a day have been shown in studies done in Brisbane Australia and Honolulu Hawaii to improve blood lipid profiles as effectively as low-fat, complex carbohydrate diets. Furthermore, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health found that eating nuts and peanut butter reduced the risk of type II diabetes in women. The researchers suggest that nuts might replace refined grain products, and red or processed meats as a way to limit caloric intake.
The Lowly Goober Gets New Respect
Americans eat more peanuts and peanut butter than all other nuts combined. A Pennsylvania State University study of 13,000 men, women and children revealed that peanut eaters have higher intakes of several hard-to-get nutrients compared to those who did not consume peanuts. Peanut butter and peanut eaters have increased levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, Calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and phytonutrients resveratrol, beta sitosterol and p-courmaric acid. What’s more, peanut eaters also had leaner bodies than non peanut eaters. This study helps to dispel the myth that higher-fat foods automatically lead to weight gain.
The peanut Butter Diet evolved from studies such as this that showed the benefits of eating peanuts and peanut butter, particularly their high satiety factor. In one small study, ten health workers aged fifty-plus, consumed 1500 calories healthy and moderate fat (35%) diet that included two tablespoons of peanut butter eaten twice a day. The woman had at least one cardiovascular risk factor – high blood pressure, altered blood lipids or diabetes. Peanut butter was chosen because previous studies at Harvard/Brigham Women’s hospital had shown that over an eighteen-month period, three times as many women stuck with a diet that included peanut butter or peanuts, because of a hunger curbing effects.
Peanuts contain about 2 grams of fiber per tablespoon and when spread on two slices of whole-wheat bread, deliver six grams of fiber. Peanut butter makes some yummy SAUCEs. The barbecued ribs a group of scientists and I prepared during a recent weekend at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in California’s Napa Valley where the best I have ever eaten.
The term refers to coconut, palm kernel and palm oils. These oils contain a variety of fatty acids, but unlike olive, macadamia and peanut oils, which contain high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature; tropical oils have high levels of saturated fats and are solid at room temperature. They are gaining popularity as food manufacturers push to replace hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats. The latest hoopla over coconut oil has been its inclusion in weight loss regimens. Two books featuring coconut products have hit bestseller lists. Moderate increase of tropical oils including coconut and palm appear to improve blood lipid profiles largely because of their high lauric acid content.
The health benefits of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as caprylic and lauric have been known for some time. Lauric acid has been found to improve blood lipids and red palm oil is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene and tocotrienols, the vitamin E active constituent. However, there is concern among some experts that eating to many saturated fats, including the tropical oils used to make trans fat free margarine and shortening, can have deleterious effects on cardiovascular health.
In addition, there are differences in processing palm and palm kernel oils that make some choices unhealthy. According to Dr. Andrew Weil palm oil is a better choice than palm kernel oil because chemical solvents are needed to extract palm kernel oil while none are required to press the oil from palm fruit. Fractionation is used to process palm and palm kernel oil and eliminates many of their natural antioxidants, which makes them the least desirable of the tropical oils. It seems prudent to check ingredient labels for fractionated palm kernel oil and avoid it. Best of all, look for Now Organic Coconut Oil that has an impressive resume for boosting immunity. It also has a distinctive flavor to foods prepared with an eastern Indian theme.
The Skinny on Fats - Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-7, Omega-9
October 04, 2006 04:53 PM
Health experts keep changing the storey on fats. First we were told that polyunsaturated fats were better than saturated fats. Then it was discovered that refined polyunsaturates were favorite targets for free radical attack. Next, monounsaturated fats took center stage and have remained in the spotlight ever since. The Mediterranean Diet, with its high intake of olive and other oils high in monounsaturates, offers several important safeguards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and overall mortality. (Laino, de Largeril, Kokkinos, Trichopoulou). While monounsaturated fats are important for maintaining optimum health and smooth supple skin, it’s the kind of fatty acids and antioxidants they contain that make up the real story.
Dark green unrefined “extra Virgin” olive oil has a delightful full bodied flavor due to its natural antioxidants. Not only are the oils of various olive cultivars distinctive, they all help fight arterial plaque buildup. (Visioli) Olive oil has a long history in Europe as both food and medicine, and carbon dating of seeds found in spain have shown that the use of olive oil dates back 8,000 years. Gourmet chefs usually prefer particular oils for various uses in making dressing, marinades, and SAUCEs for dipping. Olive orchards have now achieved a status second only to that of vineyards.
Macadamia nut oil is another designer oil that is fast gaining a reputation among chefs and health experts. The nuts originated in Australia where they were staples in the diets of the Aborigines. In 1881, they were introduced in Hawaii and in the 20th century, made their way to California where several cultivars are now grown. Like olive oil, macadamia nut oil is rich in antioxidants and contains the highest levels, greater than 80 percent monounsaturates, primarily polmitoleic (omega-7) than other oils. (Hiraoka-Yamamoto)
Macadamia nut oil products found in mass market are typically refined, with many of the antioxidants removed. The highest levels of antioxidants in macadamia nuts are found in the shells. During cold processing, some of these antioxidants leech into the oil, increasing its antioxidant potential. (Quinn) unrefined and organic oils have a golden color, pleasing nutty aroma and buttery flavor. Scientists have found that macadamia nut oil lowers, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and may help prevent stroke. (Yamori, Colquhoun) It is delightful on vegetables, in soups, on popcorn, and as a replacement for butter in baking.
The essential oils (Fish oils, flaxseed, GLA, DHA), which are available as liquid and packaged in black bottles, must be stored in the Refrigerator even when they have not been opened. You cannot heat or cook with them. Essential fatty acid supplements are convenient to take and have specific therapeutic value.
Cardiovascular and Nerves – Consumers have been advised to eat more fish rich in Omega-3 to reduce their risk of cardiobascular disease. However, experts worry that eating several servings of fish each week may not be safe especially during pregnancy, dursing or trying to conceive. Instead they recommend fish oil supplements such as Omega-3 from Algae , Fish oil, and Omega-6 Evening Primrose and Borage oils.
Pain Relief – A blend of cetylated fatty acids including myristate, myristoleate, laurate, oleate, palmitate and palmitoleate appear to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. (Vanderhaeghe) In a San Diego California study of sixty-four patients with osteoarthritis, an oral preparation of cetylated fatty acids known as celadrin significantly improved range of motion and flexibility. (Hesslink)
Two other studies of osteoarthritis patients at the University of Connecticut, using a topical preparation of Celadrin, showed significantly greater knee stability, improvement in stair climbing ability, balance and strength, and reduction of pain. (Kraemer)
Animal studies at the University of Minnesota have shown that cetylated fatty acids administered either topically or orally are well tolerated and rapidly dispersed throughout the body. (Gallaher) Doses for the oral form are 1500mg three times a day. The topical cream is applied two to four times a day.
Wasabi Rhizome Cleanse - Supports Phase II Liver Detoxification - Wasabi Health Benefits
August 01, 2006 10:41 AM
Most people know of it as a pale-green lump on the side of their plates in Japanese restaurants—a hot, spicy accompaniment to sushi or sashimi. The fiery yet sweet taste perfectly compliments the saltiness of soy SAUCE and the cool delicacy of raw fish. But wasabi is much more than a burst of culinary flavor, it has been used by traditional herbalists of Japan since the 10th century and is now being rediscovered by modern health practitioners for its stunning health benefits.
Wasabi has powerful detoxification properties, in particular, it supports the immune system and cleanses the liver. Wasabi contains precursors to phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that help remove toxic substances that are stored in the liver’s fatty tissues.
The rare wasabi plant is a natural, potent support to a healthy, cleansed liver that in turn affects the detoxification and cleansing of the entire body. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this convenient, effective addition to your wellness program.
Wasabia Japonica - Rooted In Health
The wasabi plant (Wasabia japonica) grows naturally in the mountains of Japan in the gravel and sandbars of coldwater streams and rivers. Rare and difficult to grow, it takes three years for a wasabi root or rhizome to reach maturity. Because of its popularity, wasabi is now cultivated hydroponically and in cold, wet environments outside of Japan, such as in New Zealand and Oregon. Traditionally, the rhizome was freshly grated at the table with a sharkskin grater, popular with dishes such as seafood or udon noodles. Now wasabi is usually dried into powder form and made into the pale green paste familiar to most westerners. Often, however, restaurants do not serve real wasabi; since it is so rare and expensive, a dyed horseradish paste is served in most American restaurants.
What makes wasabi so special? It comes from a good family; the brassica vegetables in the cruciferae family include such health giants as broccoli, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. All of these are well-known detoxifying plants, and wasabi appears to be the most amazing of them all, with detox capacities far beyond the others in the family because it is loaded with isothiocyanate precursors. This chemical not only gives wasabi its famous “fire,” it is likewise a fireball of detoxification properties.
Phase II Detox
The liver detoxifies the by-products of digestion and other harmful substances through a complex series of chemical reactions often referred to as Phase I and Phase II Detoxification. Phase I enzymes begin the process by taking the toxic molecule and changing it into a bioactive form. This process breaks down toxins. A second set of enzymes, Phase II, then neutralizes the toxin and makes it water soluble for elimination. Wasabi, with its long-chain isothiocyanate precursors, induces the Phase II enzymes. Simply stated, it is the sparkplug that starts Phase II enzymes on their work. This process, all done in the liver, supports the body’s ability to clean itself of impurities.
Part of a Complete Wellness Program
In the modern world, with so many pollutants, it is critical to your health and longevity that you cleanse these toxic compounds from your body. Wasabi, along with a whole food, high-fiber diet and reduction of alcohol consumption, supports the liver— the largest of the vital organs and the key to the digestion and elimination systems and most particularly, the body’s ability to cleanse itself. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this exceptional product as part of your wellness program.
Depree, JA (1999) Flavour and pharmaceutical properties of the volatile sulphur compounds of Wasabia japonica. Food Research International: 31(5):329-337.
Morimitsu Y, et al. (2002) A sulforaphane analogue that potently activates the Nrf2-dependent detoxification pathway. J Biol Chem: 277:3456-3463.
Munday, R (2002) Selective induction of phase II enzymes in the urinary bladder of rats by allyl isothiocyanate, a compound derived from Brassica vegetables.
Nutrition and Cancer: 44(1):52-59.
Watanabe, M (2003) Identification of 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate as an apoptosis-inducing component in wasabi. Phytochemistry: 62(5):733-739.
Rose, P (2000) 7-methylsulfinylheptyl and 8- methylsulfinyloctyl isothiocyanates from watercress are potent inducers of phase II enzymes. Carcinogenesis: 21(11):1983-1988.
Cayenne pepper is a very hot ground spice
February 01, 2006 11:30 AM
Mother’s Little Breakfast Cup board Helpers
October 21, 2005 10:36 AM
Mother’s Breakfast Helpers
It’s oft-said but still true-breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re expecting. To make morning eating easier while trying to do eight things at once, Jones and Hudson recommend keeping your kitchen well supplied with whole-grain versions of cereal, bread, English muffins and cereal bars (along with that old healthy-breakfast standby, oatmeal). And stocking up on yogurt, fresh fruit and soy-or whey based protein powder lets you whip up breakfast smoothies in a jif.
While you’re at it, have plenty of good-stuff snacks on hand, including raisins and other dried fruits, nuts and nut butters, fruit SAUCEs, oatmeal cookies, whole-grain pita bread with hummus, low-fat cottage cheese and hard-boiled eggs.
Minor miseries like heartburn and constipation can set in as your uterus starts elbowing other internal organs out of the way. You can head off heartburn by eating several small meals throughout the day and by taking the time to eat more slowly. Don’t lie down right after eating and when you do go to bed, keep your head elevated. The fiber in all those whole grains and produce should help keep things moving along smartly in your intestines, especially if you remember to stay well hydrated; if it isn’t enough, try adding some supplemental fiber to your daily routine.
Another way to ease constipation is to get adequate exercise. At one time, “it was believe that an active pregnant woman would divert blood away from her growing fetus and toward her exercising muscles, resulting in a smaller baby,” say Karen Nordahl, Carl Petersen and Renee Jeffrey’s, authors of Fit to Deliver (Hartley & Marks). Ain’t so; exercise actually helps reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced diabetes and high blood pressure while giving you more energy and helping you rebound to your pre-pregnancy weigh after delivery (just check with your health practitioner first). They recommend a program that emphasizes aerobics and exercises designed to improve your balance and strengthen your body’s core muscles’, the ones that stabilize and support your back and abdomen.
Exercise is just one component of an overall healthy lifestyle. That includes the negative stuff-you know, not smoking or drinking- and the positive stuff, like yoga and breathwork to help you feel integrated and whole. If you’re new to yoga, try taking a class with a qualified instructor, preferably someone with experience in teaching pregnant women.
One last thing: Enjoy this special time in your life as you await the great adventure known as motherhood.
Lycopene for Prostate health...
October 13, 2005 10:18 AM
Lycopene – for Prostate
Lycopene - Have you had your tomato SAUCE today? This member of the family of phytochemicals known as carotenoids, is a powerful antioxidant that is found in red fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes, watermelon, red grapefruit, and guava. Researchers have linked the frequent use of lycopene from tomatoes to lower risk of prostate and other cancers. Interestingly, in one study, researchers found that significantly lower serum and tissue lycopene levels were observed in the cancer patients than in their control group, indication that lycopene prevents oxidative damage of biomolecules and consequently reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
Tomatoes taste great and offer anti-cancer benefits
July 27, 2005 10:13 AM
A tomato a day to keep cancer away? That's the implication of the most comprehensive review so far of the scientific evidence for eating fresh and processed tomatoes and reducing the risk of some cancers.
The report, in the current Journal of the National Cancer Institute, looked at 72 studies and found that 35 of them showed a statistically significant lower cancer risk among people who ate more fresh tomatoes and tomato-based products like SAUCE. The ingredient in tomatoes hypothesized to have the apparent anti-cancer effect is lycopene, which gives the fruit its characteristic red color. But more research needs to be done before cause and effect can be established, said Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a Harvard researcher who authored the review.
Some tomato processing companies have already latched onto the emerging evidence. H. J. Heinz Co. launched an ad campaign last month, touting its ketchup as America’s favorite source of lycopene, to the dismay of Giovannucci and other researchers, who say it's too early to say lycopene prevents cancer. They have not received funding from Heinz. But Giovannucci and other researchers participated in a telephone news conference sponsored by Campbell Soup Company Wednesday, to highlight what was billed as the conclusion of a “Harvard scientific review,” that “eating processed tomato products may lower risk of cancer.” Giovannucci said that he has not directly received funding from Campbell Soup for his research, although he added that company gifts have funded research assistants in his department.
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
July 15, 2005 12:24 PM
STEVIA (Stevia rebaudiana)
SYNONYMS: sweet herb, honey leaf
PARTS USED: leaves
Stevia is a small perennial shrub with green leaves that belongs to the aster (Asteraceae) or chrysanthemum family of plants. They grow primarily in the Amambay mountain range of Paraguay but over 200 various species of stevia have been identified around the globe. Stevia rebaudiana is the only species at present which possesses an inordinate ability to sweeten. Its common form is known as stevioside, a fine white powder extracted from the leaves of the plant. Phytochemistry STEVIOSIDE/REBAUDIDOSIDE COMPOUND DUO: The leaves of the stevia shrub contain specific glycosides which produce a sweet taste but have no caloric value. Stevioside is the primary glycoside involved in this effect. Dulcoside and rebaudioside are also major glycosides contained in the herb. Glycosides are organic compounds which contain a sugar component (glycone) and a non-sugar component (aglycone). The glycone constituent may be comprised of rhamnose, fructose, glucose, xylose, arabinose etc. The other portion may be any kind of chemical compound such as a sterol, tannin, carotenoid, etc.
Stevia leaves also contain protein, fibers, carbohydrates, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium , magnesium, rutin (flavonoid), iron, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin A. Human physiology cannot metabolize the sweet glycosides contained in stevia leaves, therefore they are eliminated from the body with no caloric absorption. Stevia, unlike aspartame, can be used in baking because its sweet glycosides do not break down when heated. Definition Stevia is an herb with incredible sweetening power. Its ability to sweeten is rated between 70 to 400 times that of white sugar. Typically, it has a mild licorice-like taste and is completely natural in its biochemical profile. What makes stevia so intriguing is that unlike other natural sweetening agents, its is completely calorie-free, never initiates a rise in blood sugar, and does not provide “food” for microorganisms like bacterias and yeasts.
Stevia may well be the most remarkable sweetener in the world and yet its recognition in this country remains relatively low. Consider the extraordinary attributes of the stevia plant and its extracts:
A Brief History
Stevia is a plant indigenous to mountainous regions of Brazil and Paraguay. For centuries, this herbal sweetener has been used by native cultures to counteract the bitter taste of various plant-based medicines and beverages. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay have used this potent sweetener in their green tea for generations. The name they designated for stevia leaves was “sweet herb.” In addition, these native peoples have historically used stevia as a digestive aid and a topical dressing for wounds and other skin disorders.
In the sixteenth century, Europeans became aware of the herbal sweetener through the Spanish Conquistadors. In the late 1880s, Moises S. Bertoni, director of the College of Agriculture in Asunción, Paraguay, became extremely intrigued by the stevia plant. Its reputation was that it was so sweet that even just a small leaf part could sweeten an entire container of mate tea. Be rtoni wanted to find out if this was true. After several years of studying the plant, he wrote about it in a local botanical publication. In 1905, Bertoni published an important article about the incredible sweetening power of the stevia plant, which he considered superior to sugar and extremely marketable. Other articles written by Bertoni note that stevia is unquestionably superior to saccharine because it is nontoxic and has significant therapeutic benefits. It sweetens with unprecedented potency and can be used in its natural state.
The first stevia crop was harvested in 1908 and subsequently, stevia plantations sprang up in South America. In 1921, the American Trade Commissioner to Paraguay, George S. Brady, wrote that although the herb is an extraordinary sweetener with remarkable properties, little had been done to commercially cultivate the plant. He suggested that stevia may be an ideal sugar product for diabetics and strongly advised that American companies pursue its importation.
During the decade of the 1970s, the Japanese developed a new method which could better refine the glycosides contained in the stevia leaf. The result was a compound called ste-vioside which is from 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar. The Japanese approach artificial sweeteners with great caution and they believe stevioside to be safer and more effect i've than other non-nutritive, chemical products. Stevioside is considered superior in its ability to sweeten; however, it does not exhibit some of the other therapeutic actions found in whole stevia leaves .
Stevia enjoyed substantial popularity during the 1980s as a natural sweetener and was found in a variety of consumer products. In 1986, however, the FDA abruptly seized stevia inventories and in 1991 claimed it was not suitable as a food additive. Advocates for stevia claim this happened because the herb is a natural, powerful, inexpensive and non-patentable sweetener, and therefore poses a threat to pharmaceutical sweeteners and sugar-alcohol sweeteners like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. At this writing, stevia has received approval by the FDA to be sold only as a dietary supplement, not as a sweetening agent.
Currently, stevia is commercially grown in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Central America, Israel, China, Thailand, and the United States. It is considered an important natural sweetener in both Japan and Korea, and has been safely used in these countries for decades. Extracts of stevia and related products make up a considerable portion of the Japanese market for natural sweetening agents. They use stevia in sweet SAUCEs, pickles, beverages, etc., making Japan one of the largest single consumers of stevia in the world. Today, because the demand for stevia is escalating, several Paraguayan organizations are looking to expand the commercial cultivation of the plant. Currently, Canadian researchers and chemists are working to provide even better stevia supplements and may even end up teeming with governmental agencies to raise stevia crops as economic replacements for tobacco leaves (Bonvie, 64). Stevia has not been officially approved by Canadian agencies, but it is still available for purchase in tea form.
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
June 25, 2005 07:34 PM
FEARING FATS: There's Plenty of Cause Overview
A wealth of scientific evidence now exists which should have turned each and everyone of us into a fat “phobic.”1a-e In other words, virtually every health expert agrees that a high fat diet is directly linked to cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer and premature death. It’s no secret that excess dietary fat poses a tremendous health risk. The United States National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and many other scientific institutes have confirmed the frightening hazards of fat. Health proponents generally concur that excess fat can significantly shorten one’s lifespan. More than 10,000 medical papers are published every year dealing with obesity and cardiovascular disease, two of the most insidious killers of Americans. Western eating habits, which promote fatty, salty, sugary foods, have created massive widespread disease and tremendous suffering. Studies have shown that fat is the macronutrient associated with overeating -
TABLE 1. Total fat grams in single servings.4
and obesity.2 In spite of this finding we are eating more fat and becoming fatter. The average absolute fat intake has increased from 81 to 83 grams per day over the last ten years.3 Our obsession with fatty foods has exacted an enormous toll in the form of rampant obesity, clogged arteries, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, etc. Many of us remain oblivious to the fat gram count of foods we routinely pop into our mouths, unaware that one fast food entree may contain more fat grams than one should consume in one given day. Take a good look at the following list of foods which have been assessed for fat content. Fast food has become a 20th-century sensation which continues to boom and expand throughout our society. Many of us literally exist on fast food, which is frequently also “fat” food. It’s no wonder so many of us “battle the bulge”, and have skyrocketing cholesterol counts. Our love affair with greasy, fried, rich, creamy foods has burdened our bodies with the dilemma of excess fat “baggage,” resulting in phenomenal amounts of money being spent on weight loss programs. Worse still, thousands of Americans are dying before their time or living extremely compromised lives only because they ingest too much fat. Why is this? The bottom line is that fats taste good!5 Many of us were raised on seemingly innocuous foods that are loaded with fat. Some of these include:
macaroni and cheese battered fish sticks hot dogs cheese-filled casseroles pepperoni pizza burritos pancakes, waffles doughnuts pies and pastries ice cream candy bars ramen soup
Fat is also a major ingredient in most of the snack food we constantly nibble on, including chips, crackers, cookies, and nuts. Check ingredient labels to find the fat gram content of most snack foods. You’ll be surprised to find out just how fatty these foods are. Even a healthy sounding food like a “bran muffin” can contain 36 grams of fat! No wonder they stay so “moist”. In addition to the above foods, fat can add wonderful flavor to breads, vegetables and the like, and is usually used liberally in the form of butter, sour cream, whipping cream, melted cheese, cream cheese spreads, dips, cream SAUCEs, and gravies. Fruits can also be high in fats. Did you know that one avocado has 30 grams of fat? One half cup of peanuts contains 35 grams of fat and only one glazed doughnut has 13 grams of fat. The majority of research points to fat as a much more dangerous culprit than anyone might have imagined. Saturated fats such as lard, palm, coconut oil, and beef tallow are particularly menacing. Research scientists have found over and over again that fats can contribute to the growth of tumors in animal studies.6 The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences reported that even a relatively small amount of extra body fat increases the risk of certain diseases for women and may compromise their longevity.7 Even being mildly overweight may be much more risky than anyone previously assumed.8
The Relat ionship between Breast Cancer, Fat s, Fiber And Indoles
Dr. Leonard Cohen, of the Dana Institute of the American Health Foundation at Naylor, believes that pre-cancerous lesions found in breast tissue will develop into cancer only if they are stimulated by certain agents such as fat.9 Women increase their risk of developing breast cancer when they consume a diet high in fat and animal protein and low in fiber, vegetables and fruits. When women put on weight, they have a tendency to create more estrogen since adipose tissue produces estrogen. Certain forms of estrogen, the so-called “bad estrogens” can act as carcinogens and are anything but desirable.10 High or unbalanced estrogen levels stimulate concerous tissue in the breast. Obesity is also associated with increased breast cancer mortality.11 The three most important ways to inhibit “bad” estrogen from inducing breast cancer are:
Eat to Live - fruits and vegetables are more effective than foods like ...
June 14, 2005 10:38 AM
Eat to Live by Mary Menendez Energy Times, April 14, 2004
By now, most everyone with even a cursory interest in health knows that fruits and vegetables are more effective than foods like cheeseburgers at making your body more resistant to chronic diseases such as cancer.
But beyond that generality, few people seem to know how to fine-tune their meals for the most anti-cancer bang per bite.
Over the course of the lifetime of planet Earth, the plant world has devised and concocted a wealth of nutrients that can help your body fight off cancer.
It's time to put them to work for you.
Would you be interested in a tasty, quick way to cut your chances of certain types of cancer in half? The means to this desirable end are about as close as your refrigerator and your dining room table: All you have to do is cut open and eat a single orange every day.
According to cancer research in Australia, adding that extra serving of citrus fruit to your diet every day, only once a day, boosts immunity enough to significantly lower your risk of some common cancers.
" Citrus fruits [protect] the body through their antioxidant properties and strengthen the immune system, inhibiting tumor growth and normalizing tumor cells," says Katrine Baghurst, PhD, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). According to Dr. Baghurst and her fellow researchers, oranges possess the most antioxidants of any fruit: more than 170 different phytochemicals.
The protection you can get from oranges is due to their influence on immunity. Your immune system has the assigned task of protecting you against cells that can turn cancerous. Sixty of the chemicals in oranges are substances called flavonoids that can help the immune system fend off inflammation and tumors.
When Americans eat fruits and vegetables, they don't eat the ones with the most anti-cancer (or other) health benefits. Instead, we dine on the same so-so produce too frequently. If we want more health benefits from our veggies, we'd better look to expand our culinary horizons.
" While people understand they should eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, they are not translating 'variety' in a way to capture health benefits, such as reducing their risk of developing chronic diseases," says Susie Nanney, PhD, acting director of the Obesity Prevention Center at Saint Louis University.
" People aren't eating the fruits and vegetables that contain the most nutrients," warns Dr. Nanney. "People are quite frankly confused about nutrition. I feel their pain."
Unfortunately, Americans rely too often on iceberg lettuce, corn, apples, potatoes and bananas; a steady diet of that produce doesn't produce the same benefits as indulging in a wider variety of vegetarian foods.
Dr. Nanney points out that the vegetables and fruits most effective at helping the body fight cancer are dark green leafy veggies, citrus (oranges, grapefruits), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) and produce that has yellow or orange color.
Making Dinner Plans
Dr. Nanney's spectrum of desirable foods includes:
" When we look at how to get the most bang for your buck, the most power, it's by eating these other fruits and vegetables instead of the traditional choices," Nanney insists.
Studies show that tomatoes, colored by a pigment called lycopene, may be particularly helpful in lowering men's chances of prostate cancer. For instance, research on about three dozen men with prostate cancer found that those taking supplements of lycopene and other tomato phytochemicals had smaller tumors and less spread of their cancers (Exper Bio and Med, 2002; 227: 881).
The researchers conclude that "lycopene may have an antitumor effect and may be useful as an adjunct to standard treatment of prostate cancer, such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormones and chemotherapy. In addition, lycopene supplementation appears to have reduced the [spread of cancer within the prostate], suggesting that lycopene may have a role in the prevention of prostate cancer."
In a study on African-American men, who suffer a higher rate of prostate cancer than other Americans, researchers also found that lycopene can limit the DNA damage that may presage cancer (Amer Chem Soc Meeting #222, 2001).
" This study does not say that tomato SAUCE reduces cancer," cautions Phyllis E. Bowen, PhD, a nutritionist at the University of Chicago and lead investigator in the study. " It says that it reduces DNA damage that we think is associated with cancer."
Other studies have confirmed the finding that men who eat tomatoes suffer less prostate cancer. And if you want the most anti-cancer benefit from tomatoes, better cook them.
According to Rui Hai Liu, MD, Cornell assistant professor of food science, "[Our] research demonstrates that heat processing actually enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content-[the] phytochemical that makes tomatoes red-that can be absorbed by the body, as well as the total antioxidant activity. The research dispels the popular notion that processed fruits and vegetables have lower nutritional value than fresh produce."
While you're making an effort to eat more of the colorful vegetables, you should also eat less fatty red meat and cut back on high-fat dairy foods, according to research from Harvard.
In this study, which covered eight years and looked at the diets of more than 90,000 women, scientists found that those premenopausal women who ate the most fatty red meat and regular milk had the highest chance of developing invasive breast cancer.
The scientists taking part in this study believe that eating more saturated fat from meat may increase hormone levels that boost the chances of breast cancer (Jrnl Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1079).
In this research, the total amount of fat didn't affect cancer risk, but the amount of animal fat did. Women who ate the most red meat had a 54% higher chance of breast cancer. Aside from avoiding red meat, women who wish to lower their risk of breast cancer should also limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages.
A study of two thousand post- menopausal women found that those who averaged about two drinks a day raised their risk of breast cancer by about 80% (Cancer Epidem, Biomarkers and Prevention, 10/03).
Here, too, researchers believe that alcohol affects the level of hormones that influence cancer.
The moral of the research into how food can slow cancer risk: Eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits early and often. Limit meat and alcohol.
Change the color of the fruits and vegetables on your plate for a better chance of a brighter future.
Best Bread ...
June 13, 2005 07:30 PM
Best Breads by Jane Lane Energy Times, December 9, 1999
Few of us can resist the seductions of freshly baked bread, warm and fragrant, poised on the edge of a steaming bowl of soup or painted with an aromatic swath of rosemary scented oil. Even those of us from the most culinary challenged households can recall the pleasures of the simple plump white dinner roll or flaky biscuit piled in a basket on the dinner table.
Bread has blossomed from sideshow status beside the dinner plate to a full-scale mealtime headliner, a scrumptious star enriched by nutritious grains, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Contemporary cooks build meals around crunchy cornbread or chewy focaccia, presenting soups or salads as satisfying counterpoints. Want to jump into the bread baking basket or hone your skills? Two top vegetarian chefs shared with Energy Times their passion for bread and their expertise in baking. See if you don't find that ardor contagious.
Nancy Lazarus is a chef at the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, established in 1973 to serve up natural fare with a homecooked, vegetarian emphasis. The bill of fare changes daily at Moosewood, but there's one constant: a cup or bowl of soup, a salad and a thick slice of bread. Some loyal customers have ordered the daily special for 20 years.
That's why bread occupies a cherished spot at Moosewood. Nancy Lazarus tells why and offers some of Moosewood's favorite bread recipes: "Cooking is like art; baking is like science; bread is like magic. No matter how much science you apply, you'll never have complete control: It'll do its own thing on some level, which is part of its charm, if you're charmed by that sort of thing. Breads come out differently depending on heat and humidity, the heat of the oven; yeast is a variable that can be slower or faster acting.
"There are bread machines, of course, and they work. But they're not as satisfying as the real thing, the kneading, which can be almost therapeutic, and the control over the ingredients to your own specifications.
"Bread is not that difficult. Know your own oven, to begin: Good insulation is important and how the heat travels around inside. Convection ovens are a wonderful thing.
"There are difficult breads we recommend you buy at a good bakery: baguettes, Italian, French and Cuban that are crusty outside and soft inside.
"But focaccia is easy. It's a yeasted bread that's better to make at home than buy because it's so fresh and you can control the toppings. It only requires one slow and one quick rising but you have to be there for a while.
"Then there are quick breads that use baking soda or powder, like cornbread. If you want a good meal at home and can make only one thing, make a quick bread. They're satisfying and delicious warm from the oven; and the aroma of bread fills the house. A corn bread with tomato soup for supper is a nurturing meal good for vegans.
"Popovers are fast and simple, a middle American 50s treat, but you do need a hot oven and 45 minutes. Also easy to make: sweet breads- carrot, banana, zucchini-and biscuits.
"To reduce the fat in denser quickbreads and cakes, use appleSAUCE. It gives body and moistness.
"The number of wheat-sensitive people is rising dramatically. A theory I think makes sense is that in the last 30 years the varieties of wheat grown has been reduced to 1 or 2 that are more easily cultivated and harvested with the machinery available. People are overloaded with one type of wheat.
"Gluten is the offending substance in wheat and some oats; try rice, tapioca and potato flours, which are denser and more fine and don't produce a good crust. Improve the crust by baking in a preheated cast iron skillet.
"Also investigate chickpea flour. You don't make a loaf of bread with it- use it for flatbreads like papadam, which is in Indian cookbooks. And it's good for batter for vegetables.
"Spelt is the closest to wheat flour in consistency but some people can be sensitive to it.
"Visit a natural food store to check out the flours. The mills sometimes print handouts with recipes and a lot of those are real good, especially for what works with their flour. Or you may run into a baker who will whet your appetite with ideas and recipes.
"Bread is the supreme comfort food. It can speak to us, and reassure us. The magic of bread and how it varies: There's something appealing in that. In today's world, food is predictable, and that's reassuring to some people. At Moosewood, things are always different, and that's good."
Claire Criscuolo puts an intensely personal spin on the eclectically ethnic style of cooking at her esteemed vegetarian restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia. That 25-year-old institution in New Haven, Connecticut, reflects her zest for the freshest ingredients, robust flavors and inspired combinations. Claire, a teacher and advocate for healthful cuisine, pours her passion into her breadmaking as well:
"Healthy bread is like anything else-it has healthy ingredients. We use the best organic unbleached flour and yeast, pure vanilla, whole eggs (not dried and powdered), whole milk and organic sour cream. You want to use good, fresh ingredients. It's the essence of healthy cooking. "I tell my staff, 'Don't use your soup pot as a garbage pail. Bread is the same. If the ingredients aren't at their freshest for serving, then they aren't right for other uses in the kitchen.
"Our bread is very important at Claire's. We make a country white and a honey wheat in a pinwheel loaf-400 a day-and challah for the morning French toast with sauteed bananas or as buns for veggie burgers. "It's not practical to bake bread every day. We let our bread rise several times, punching it down again and again. For the home cook, it's time consuming. Even I'm happy to buy a good loaf of bread. "But anybody can bake bread. Combine flour, water and yeast and watch it grow! It's delights all your senses. And it a gratifies and satisfies. I was kneading it all by hand until we got up to 12 loaves a day.
"I love a good oatmeal molasses bread; a whole wheat bread with walnuts, rosemary and finely chopped sweet onion sauteed in olive oil for a roasted vegetable sandwich; or an anadama bread with split pea soup.
"Bread is part of a meal. It requires time and effort, but I can't think of many things worthwhile that don't."
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999
With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.
Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.
The Dietary Difference
Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism
The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.
Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato SAUCE, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato SAUCE enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.
Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.
Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)
Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).
Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.
Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.
Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk
n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium
In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).
More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).
Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.
Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.
Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.
This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).
Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.
Fiber comes in two basic forms, insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.
A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns deadly only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.
While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.
But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.
The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.
Celebrity Holiday Fare - eating plenty of vegetables is the trendiest trend...
June 13, 2005 09:53 AM
Celebrity Holiday Fare by Claire Gottlieb Energy Times, October 11, 2003
Trendy celebrities and trendy food go together like holidays and sparkling trees. Within the celebrity-filled universe known as the media, eating plenty of vegetables is the trendiest trend. And, according to the latest nutrition research, it also may be the healthiest.
Even before Frankenstein's monster picked up his first movie contract or endorsement deal, he was a vegetarian (for reasons best known by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, his creator).
Meanwhile, well-known actor Woody Harrelson, a fan of raw, vegetarian foods, professes that his devotion to uncooked veggies only reached firm ground when he became convinced they could and would taste fantastic. The tastiness of the recipes we've included with our inspection of the rarefied world of celebrity food prove that the celebrity predilection for these dishes keeps taste buds happy.
For Love of Pie
When preparing your holiday fare this season, taking tips from the dietary habits and favored dishes of celebrities may perk up your lunches and dinners. Healthy dishes can be delicious!
As Woody Harrelson points out in his foreword to Living Cuisine (Avery/Penguin) by Renee Loux Underkoffler, he became a fan of raw vegetables when he was convinced that they could be made into delicious dishes.
"Though I wasn't raw at the time, I knew enough to know that raw food and its emphasis on enzymes being the life force of the food is the way to go for optimum health and energy. Still, you can talk theory all you want; if the taste isn't there, color me a cooked-food junkie."
Eating dishes cooked by Ms. Underkoffler left him and Gabriel Cousens (a health book writer) speechless.
"We were struck dumb by our taste buds...the coup de grace was one of Renee's coconut cream pies, which, I confess, almost brought Gabriel and me to blows over the last piece." Other celebrities also find Ms. Underkoffler's food preparation skills to be superb. Alicia Silverstone raves, "I love Renee....Her food reflects that spirit, opening the senses to everything around you-it's incredibly rich and delicious and full of health and restorative energy. Her food is medicine." (But it doesn't taste like it!)
Birth of a Charitable Idea
Meanwhile other celebrities have taken their food act to a whole new level. Consider how Paul Newman's holiday habits led to his food adventures.
The story on Mr. Newman starts with salad dressing and Christmas. He and his friend, author A.E. Hotchner, originally created home made dressing and bestowed wine bottles of the stuff on family and friends for Christmas presents. Consequently, every holiday season Mr. Newman and his immediate family indulged in Christmas caroling and salad dressing giving. The demand for the dressing grew every successive holiday season until Mr. Newman and Mr. Hotchner decided to go commercial: Sell the dressing and make it available to shoppers throughout North America. The profits go to charity, and Mr. Newman bestowed about a million dollars to worthy causes in the first year.
In the early 80s, the Newman's Own brand started out with its Oil & Vinegar Dressing. Today they offer salad dressings, pasta SAUCEs, salsas, popcorn, lemonade and other SAUCEs. According to Mr. Newman, the two principles that rule the company are an insistence on top-quality products without artificial ingredients or preservatives and the donation of all after-tax profits from the sale of the products to educational and charitable organizations, both in the United States and foreign countries where the products are sold. Over $125 million worth have been donated since 1982.
In 1986, Mr. Newman founded The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, along with Ursula Gwynne and A.E. Hotchner, with funds from Newman's Own and other donations. The camp, located in Connecticut, is for children with serious disease. (Newman recipes are available at the website: www.newmansown.com.)
Whether the latest celebrity trend wends its way to raw food or cooked creations, you can safely count on the fact that celebrity heads will rest easy tonight (and yours can, too!) knowing that they've eaten food that's both in fashion and healthy. Leo Tolstoy, the celebrated Russian novelist, once pointed out, "Vegetarianism serves as a criterion by which we know that the pursuit of moral perfection on the part of man is genuine and sincere."
When you try it for yourself, you'll find that serving mostly vegetarian meals may also offer evidence of a sincere devotion to better health and happier holidays.
Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.
May 27, 2005 09:24 AM
Improve Your Diet and Stop Being S.A.D.
The Standard American Diet (or S.A.D.) is exactly that ? sad! Sadly lacking in essential nutrients and sadly loaded with an excess of the wrong things, like fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar. How can we improve our diets and truly nourish our bodies?
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Why are fruits and vegetables so important? Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain bioflavonoids?naturally occurring plant constituents that act as antioxidants and support the integrity of our connective tissue. And fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so crucial in maintaining our digestive tract health.
What fruits and vegetables don't contain is just as important as what they do contain: fruits and vegetables are free of cholesterol, additives and preservatives, contain no added sugar or salt, and are low in fat?nature's perfect foods. All you have to do is look at the bright, crisp colors?the vibrant greens, yellows, oranges, reds and purples?to know how good fruits and vegetables are for you.
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains, like oats, brown rice and barley, help us meet important nutritional goals. They are low in fat and high in fiber, and, because the germ of the grain has not been lost in the milling process, they are higher in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and B vitamins compared to processed grain products like white bread or pasta. And they're delicious! Have a bowl of hot oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts for breakfast?or make a hearty barley-vegetable stew for dinner. Your body will thank you!
Increase Your Fiber Consumption
Fiber exercises our digestive tract?toning and strengthening the muscle that surrounds our intestines just the way lifting weights tightens and tones our skeletal muscles. Low-fiber diets increase our risk for a variety of bowel problems, from constipation and hemorrhoids to diverticulosis and diverticulitis to colon cancer. Increasing fiber in the diet is good for the digestive tract, helps regulate blood sugar and may also help reduce cholesterol levels.
What are the best dietary sources of fiber? All plant foods (whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) contain fiber. And all animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain zero fiber?that's right, none!
Eat Healthy Fats and Oils
Fats and oils have gotten a bad rap. Somehow the idea has been promoted that all fats are bad and we should eat as little fat as possible. The truth is that fat is an essential part of our diet, and dietary fats are used for many important functions in the body, from energy production to cell membrane maintenance to nerve conduction. While much of the focus has been on the amount of fat we should eat, the type of fats we eat is at least as important.
High-quality fats are rare in the standard American diet. Most of the fats and oils we eat have been damaged by exposure to heat or light during processing or cooking. This damage destroys essential nutrients and creates free radicals, chemically unstable molecules that can wreak havoc in the body. For this reason, fried foods and highly processed fats like margarine and shortening are best avoided. Health concerns have been raised about margarine, as it contains trans fatty acids?a configuration of fatty acids not found in nature.
And our ratio of fat consumption is skewed. Most Americans consume too many saturated fats and not enough polyunsaturated oils. How do you tell which fats are saturated and which are not? Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter, lard and coconut oil). Polyunsaturated oils are liquid at room temperature (like corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil). In addition to polyunsaturated oils, olive oil, a monounsaturated oil, is also a heart-healthy choice and one of the best oils to use.
Reduce Your Consumption of Animal Products
While animal products (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products) contain many valuable nutrients, as a nation, we tend to overdo it. A diet high in animal products is a diet high in cholesterol, and is strongly linked to the number-one killer in the industrialized nations: cardiovascular disease, which includes high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.
How do you know which foods contain a lot of cholesterol without having to read labels? All animal products contain cholesterol. All plant foods (grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds) contain zero cholesterol. It's that simple. Eating a predominantly vegetarian diet is one way to maintain your cardiovascular health.
Avoid Stimulants?Like Caffeine
Most people think caffeine "gives" them energy. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Caffeine in fact robs the body of energy?by withdrawing from your energy 'savings account' now, leaving you less reserves to draw upon later. The pick-me-up feeling artificial stimulants provide is inevitably followed by an energy crash.
Reduce Your Caloric Intake
About a quarter of the U.S. population is now considered to be obese, and the numbers are rising. Our children are increasingly overweight, from a steady diet of junk food and TV-watching. As a nation, we are overfed and undernourished?our diets are too high in "empty" calories and too low in essential nutrients.
Being overweight significantly increases the risk for a variety of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. Animal studies have shown that the only consistent way to extend the life spans of laboratory animals is to put them on a lower calorie diet. Thinner rats live longer?and we suspect the same is true for humans.
Are you too serious about your diet? Do you miss out on social opportunities because you are too busy counting calories or grams of fat? Lighten up! To paraphrase one poet, "?Tis better to eat steak and beer with cheer than sprouts and bread with dread!" Don't allow your dietary restrictions to rule you or limit your social life.
Eating out is possible, even on a restricted diet. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your requests. It's just a matter of learning how to order the healthiest meal possible. Good options include poached fish with lemon, salads with vinaigrette dressing, and plain baked potatoes. Get in the habit of ordering SAUCEs on the side and avoid filling up on empty calories, like white bread rolls.
Take Time To Savor Each Meal
We often make the mistake of eating hurriedly, standing at the sink wolfing something?anything!?down so we can move on to the next activity in our busy lives. But digestion actually functions better when we take the time to slow down. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for enhancing circulation to the digestive organs and promoting the flow of digestive juices. There is only one catch?we must be relaxed for our parasympathetic nervous system to predominate. So, take a deep breath and relax, there's plenty of time!