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NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds
November 02, 2022 04:44 PM
Almonds are a popular ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes. They are originally from Spain and are known for their rich, buttery flavor. Our Marcona almonds are grown in California on a family farm. They are blanched to preserve their pure, mild, buttery flavor and moist, tender texture. Here are some ways you can enjoy them!
Salads - Add some crunch to your salad with NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds. Their rich, buttery flavor goes great with greens and other salad ingredients.
desserts - Use Marcona Almonds as a topping for your favorite dessert. They add a delicious crunch that takes your dessert to the next level.
Cheese and Fruit Pairings - Serve NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds with cheese and fruit for a tasty snack or appetizer. The rich, buttery flavor of the almonds pairs well with both sweet and savory flavors.
NOW Real Food® Marcona Almonds are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Their rich, buttery flavor is perfect for salads, desserts, and cheese and fruit pairings. Add them to your next dish for a delicious crunch that will take it to the next level!
5 Ways to Use Carob Powder
September 26, 2022 03:41 PM
Carob powder is a flavorful and versatile substitute for chocolate. Use in place of cocoa powder in your favorite recipes for delicious chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder is also a great way to add natural sweetness and flavor to baked goods and snacks.
Here are 5 ways to use carob powder:
Carob powder is a healthy, delicious and versatile substitute for chocolate. Used in place of cocoa powder, it adds rich chocolate flavor without the fat, caffeine or theobromine found in chocolate. Carob powder can be used in smoothies, baking recipes, as a sprinkle on top of breakfast foods or mixed with nuts and dried fruit for snacks. Get creative and have fun experimenting with this unique ingredient!
The Benefits of NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder
September 20, 2022 05:36 PM
Cacao powder is made from raw cacao beans that have been slowly fermented to bring out their rich flavor and then sun-dried, instead of roasted, to retain all of their valuable nutrients. With NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder you can enjoy the intensely rich flavor and nutritional benefits of dark chocolate without added sugar and unhealthy ingredients. Cacao powder is ideal for wholesome, natural recipes, and it’s a great addition to a variety of desserts and beverages, including hot chocolate and ice cream. Raw cacao has naturally occurring polyphenols and flavanols, making it a true superfood!
Nutritional Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder
Raw cacao powder is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including magnesium, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and potassium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and protein. Raw cacao powder has a higher antioxidant content than roasted cacao powder or even blueberries! Antioxidants are important because they help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Allowing free radicals to build up in our bodies can lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Including RAW cacao powder in your diet is a delicious way to help reduce the risk of these chronic diseases!
Health Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder
In addition to its high antioxidant content, raw cacao powder has been shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and even improve your mood! One study showed that participants who drank 2 cups of hot cocoa made with raw cacao powder daily for 30 days had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t drink cocoa. Another study showed that people who consumed high amounts of flavonoids (such as those found in raw cacao) had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The polyphenols in raw cacao have also been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function in older adults. Finally, raw cacao contains compounds that can improve your mood by increasing levels of serotonin (the “happy hormone”) in your brain. So next time you’re feeling down, try making yourself a cup of hot cocoa with NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder!
NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder is a delicious way to get the nutritional benefits of dark chocolate without the added sugar or unhealthy ingredients. Raw cacao powder is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and even improve your mood! So what are you waiting for? Buy some NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder today and start reaping the benefits!
The Many Uses of Gelatin Powder
September 12, 2022 02:58 PM
NOW Real Food® Beef Gelatin Powder is a versatile thickener, stabilizer and texturizer that mixes instantly – no soaking necessary. Gelatin is commonly used in jams, jellies, desserts, marshmallows, and many other foods. It’s often used to create volume without adding a lot of calories. Let's explore some of the many uses of gelatin powder and the benefits it can have on your health.
One of the most common uses for gelatin powder is as a thickener for soups and sauces. If you've ever made homemade gravy or sauce and it's come out too thin, gelatin powder can help fix that. Simply mix a small amount of gelatin powder with an equal amount of cold water, then whisk it into your soup or sauce. The gelatin will help thicken it up without changing the flavor.
Gelatin powder is also commonly used in desserts such as pudding, pie filling, and ice cream. It helps give these desserts a silky smooth texture. Gelatin powder can also be used to make fruit snacks and jello. If you want to get really creative, you can even use gelatin powder to make homemade marshmallows!
In addition to its culinary uses, gelatin powder also has a number of health benefits. Gelatin is a great source of protein and amino acids, which are essential for muscle growth and repair. Gelatin also helps improve joint health by reducing inflammation and boosting collagen production. Collagen is the main structural protein found in connective tissue, so adequate collagen levels are necessary for keeping our joints healthy as we age.
As you can see, there are many uses for gelatin powder beyond just making JellO! Whether you're looking to add some protein to your diet or thicken up a soup or sauce, gelatin powder is a versatile kitchen staple that can do the job. So next time you're at the store, be sure to pick up some NOW Real Food® Beef Gelatin Powder. Your taste buds will thank you!
Pistachios: Discover 7 reasons to eat this delicious nut
April 24, 2019 02:19 PM
Tree nuts can be a great addition to a healthy diet, and there is no better example of this than the pistachio. Pistachios are rich in antioxidants that help fight against aging, cancer and inflammation. Eating pistachios can also improve your blood pressure and blood glucose levels. They're a good source or protein, fiber and healthy fats. In fact, snacking on pistachios can actually help you lose weight because they make you feel full. Note that one serving of pistachios is about one ounce of unshelled nuts, which is just under 50 kernels. How you eat them (alone or added to salads, rice, desserts, etc.) and buy them (pre-shelled vs. shelling them yourself) is up to you.
"They’re super gut healthy and can increase the number of bacteria which produce the anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate (which protects against everything from obesity to autoimmune disorders)."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/pistachios-food-news-2805.html
Eat These Vitamin C-Rich Foods To Boost Your Immunity - NDTV
April 04, 2019 12:52 PM
If you find your self feeling a little more susceptible to all of those nasty bugs going around this season, this article has a few tips for you to keep in mind. By consuming foods and supplements containing vitamin C such as lemons, amla and cherries, you help provide your body with a small boost to your immunity system that may determine the course of your day. Take a few moments out of your day to get a bit more knowledge on Vitamin C.
"This vibrant red-coloured fruit is not only a treat to the palate, but also a storehouse of essential nutrients, including vitamin C. In order to get your daily dose of vitamin C, you can have cherries as is or make them a part of your diet by adding them in smoothies, shakes or even desserts."
Read more: https://www.ndtv.com/food/eat-these-vitamin-c-rich-foods-to-boost-your-immunity-1992440
Medicinal benefits of cinnamon
April 03, 2019 10:08 AM
Once thought to be sacred and rare, cinnamon is now a common house spice that is used in many dishes and desserts. This spice is commonly used for health. There are relatively few clinical studies that show this, but it is a common conception that there are many benefits to cinnamon consumption. The first is that cinnamon is an antioxidant and can help with improving memory. Cinnamon also can aid in the riddance of acne and other common skin issues. On top of this, cinnamon helps the skin look young and fresh. Finally, cinnamon can help lower blood sugar, specifically those who suffer from type II diabetes. To sum, if you want to stay healthy, young, and fresh, increase your cinnamon consumption!
"While there is only a handful of supported clinical evidence that validates the health benefits of cinnamon, there are a lot of small studies which suggest that using the spice offers some advantages."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-02-medicinal-benefits-of-cinnamon.html
Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar (And Other Reasons to Add It toEverything)
January 09, 2019 04:05 PM
Did you know that cinnamon lowers your blood sugar levels, helping fight against type 2 diabetes? That is only one of the many amazing, little known health benefits that cinnamon brings when it is consumed. It is easy to enjoy cinnamon on top of your coffee, a donut, and in many of the dishes that you enjoy now. And, when you add just a sprinkle, the improvements to your health that you enjoy are quiet nice!
"It is especially helpful for lowering blood sugar levels and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels."
Read more: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/cinnamon-lowers-blood-sugar-and-other-reasons-to-add-it-to-everything.html
Cactus can be good food
August 19, 2017 11:14 AM
What is tall green, prickly, lives in the dessert and barley needs any water…. YES your right a cactus. Did you know that eating cactus can be very beneficial for you? Yea neither did I. Read this blog to learn all about the prickly green dessert plant. The article goes on to discuss specifically what the cactus can do for you. Such as protect your liver. The article even talks about why cactus may not have always been consumed.
Read more: Cactus can be good food
Why you should never go gluten-free unless you have an actual allergy or disease
July 15, 2017 09:14 AM
People who go gluten-free may feel better because, to avoid the protein, they end up cutting out desserts and junk foods, thus losing weight. You can eat a healthy diet without gluten, but you have to be very knowledgeable. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity are very similar to those of celiac disease and wheat allergy, often including digestive issues, emotional concerns, and joint and muscle pain. people on a gluten-free diet are more likely to increase their intake of essential nutrients, especially if they replace breads and other flour products with whole foods.
"When you're on a gluten-free diet, your body is at high-risk for inflammation, which the doctor says can slow your metabolism down and actually make you gain weight."
Read more: http://www.thisisinsider.com/why-you-should-avoid-a-gluten-free-diet-2017-6
Ways to Decrease the Risk of Heart Attack
February 20, 2017 12:59 PM
There are ways to decrease the risk of having a heart attack. A heart attack is a life changing event that hurts a lot of people and getting rid of the risks is one important way to avoid having this terrible thing happen. Eating right and exercise are two really important things. Replace burger with something like fish and eat more fruits and veggies.
"New evidence shows that an enteric-coated 81 milligram Aspirin daily decreases the risk of a second coronary attack."
Coconut Meat: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
January 30, 2017 02:59 PM
Coconut oil and milk are common choices for healthy fats in diets. But what about the rest of the fruit? Many don’t know that coconut meat is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is also very versatile, as it can be put in salads, desserts, smoothies, and sprinkled on baked goods. In addition to vitamins and minerals, coconut is also a great source of fiber. The nutritional content of the food gives it the benefits of helping with bowel health, blood sugar levels, supporting the immune system, and fighting off bacteria and parasites.
"Coconut contains the important saturated fatty acids, including lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid. From these three, the monoglyceride of lauric acid called monolaurin has the most antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties."
Science-Backed Health Benefits of Cinnamon
January 12, 2017 10:59 AM
When it comes to cinnamon in general there are many different benefits that it has to offer overall. Some of the science backed health benefits of cinnamon include protecting against cancer, healing wounds, having an improved learning potential, helping against Alzheimer's disease, weight loss, reduction in diabetes, as well as a few other health benefits in general.
"Cinnamon is a spice that has been used to flavor foods for hundreds of years. The spice is used more in desserts or bakery, but it is also an ingredient in various main dish recipes."
Eight Healthy Holiday Superfoods
January 09, 2017 10:59 AM
It's hard to always eat healthy during the holidays, but luckily a lot of the holiday foods we typically eat are healthy as long as the recipes involved avoid sugar. Turkey, cranberries, pumpkin, nuts and butternut squash are all healthy foods that are typical around this time of the year.
"Pumpkin pie - is high on the list of holiday desserts."
Is your relationship with food on the rocks?
November 24, 2016 04:59 PM
Not everyone can manage to have a healthy relationship with food -- or, at least, that's the way it seems. Others seem like they're able to just eat whatever they want and stay alright, while others feel like they're addicted. Still, others bounce from diet to diet. Which are you? "Is your relationship with food on the rocks?" helps determine if your relationship with food is healthy, and what you can do about it if it's not.
"Eat healthy, but treat yourself. What, when and why we eat is so wrapped up in social and emotional factors that it goes way beyond simply fueling the body."
What are the Health Benefits of Beta-Glucans
December 22, 2014 04:54 PM
What are Beta-glucans?
Benefits of beta-glucan
Beta-glucans are use for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and high cholesterol. Beta-glucans are also use for boosting the immune system in people whose body defenses have been weakens by emotional or physical stress, chronic fatigue syndrome or by treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation. Beta-glucans are also used for ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, aging, H1N1 flu, Lyme disease, allergies, fibromyalgia, ear infections, rheumatoid, asthma and crohn's disease.
Can Adrenal Extract Support Adrenal Function?
April 09, 2014 11:47 PM
Effects low adrenal to body
As the adrenal organs affect all body forms, a diminishing in their capacity might be seen practically anywhere. The standard first side effect of LAF is regularly weariness. Individuals experiencing issues getting up in the morning or have spurts of exhaustion at diverse times of the day. Frequently, the following side effect is an inclination of shortcoming, discombobulating or expanded heart rate when climbing from a sitting position to standing. In the event that the issue is not tended to, additional manifestations take after:
Cause of low adrenal level
With adrenal weariness, your body does not process enough cortisol to keep glucose levels consistent as you experience your normal 8-10 hour when we rest. As glucose levels begin to drop throughout the center of the night, ordinarily your adrenal organs discharge cortisol to help push glucose levels move down. These hormones are Central Nervous System stimulants and will wake you up. This is the reason you may appear to get up, wide up and about.
It is critical to take a gander at all the elements that help adrenal weakness and hyperactive action. A sleep deprivation prescription will never alter the center issue in this case. The very situation recently portrayed to you is exceptionally normal. There are numerous variables that must be viewed as including circadian musicality of cortisol discharge, lifestyle components, passionate anxiety, and sustenance sensitivities, in addition to everything else. There is nobody size fits all medication for this syndrome however you can have triumph and overcome you’re a sleeping disorder in the event that you discover a specialist who takes a thorough, all common, huge picture methodology, to this advanced disease called Adrenal Stress Syndrome .
Types of adrenal stress syndrome
Temperament swings: When the cerebrum isn't getting enough sugar, it doesn't work appropriately. A way the cerebrum builds the breakdown fat into sugar is by creating a solid feeling, for example, indignation or great misery. An individual typically feels better a short time later, in the same way that they will be less passionate in the wake of consuming.
Desires of desserts: As the adrenal organs tell the pancreas what amount of insulin is required to process in a dinner, when the adrenal organs are not working accurately, they don't correctly correspond with the pancreas, so a lot of insulin has a tendency to sent by the pancreas for anything consumed subsequently glucose levels drop rapidly after supper; this causes the starch longings.
Mental burdens: Anything that causes mental or enthusiastic misery will fortify the adrenal organs to transform substances to help with the impacts of the anxiety (epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). Delayed mental anxiety, for example, needing to meet a due date, last test of the years, being in an oppressive relationship, and so forth will result in the adrenal organs to need to capacity without enough breaks.
What Is Agar Powder Used For?
January 27, 2014 09:44 AM
What Is Agar Powder Used For?
Agar, also known as agar agar or kanten, is a gelling agent that comes from a South East Asian seaweed. This natural additive has excellent gelling properties. It is often used by vegetarians as a vegetable gelatin as the true gelatin comes from calf’s feet.
For instance, biologists use it as filler in paper sizing fabric. Biologists also use it as a clarifying compound in brewing. Additionally, agar can be used as a laxative, thanks to its high fiber concentration. Better yet, the product can be used as an appetite suppressant.
People who desire to lose weight fast may find agar useful. It has no calories, no fat, no carbs, and no sugar and is loaded with fiber. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of agar is comprised of nothing but fiber.
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 .
The Health benefits of L-Arginine
June 08, 2012 08:10 AM
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, also referred to as Arginine, is a non-essential amino acid-it's produced naturally in the body-and it is vital for the normal functioning of pituitary gland. This substance comes from natural sources such as nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chocolate, brown rice, raisins, carob, oatmeal, gelatin desserts, protein rich foods, and whole wheat bread. Men, whose seminal fluids consist of up to 80 percent of this amino acid, especially need L-Arginine as a deficiency could cause infertility. L-Arginine is not only obtained from food sources but through supplementation as well. As we age, the production of this amino acid decreases in the body and this is thought to cause many degenerative processes associated with aging. Thus, Arginine is vital for maintaining your overall health as well as sexual health.
Deficiency of L-Arginine can delay sexual maturity, impair insulin production, cause liver lipid metabolism and glucose tolerance.
Functions of L-Arginine
L-Arginine amino acid performs various functions in the body, including:
It is a component of collagen, enzymes, ejaculate, hormones, connective tissues, and skin. It plays an important role in the manufacture of protein molecules such as insulin and creatine. It's a precursor of nitric oxide as well as other metabolites.
Health benefits of L-Arginine
Although the benefits of Arginine supplements are debated, proponents state that Arginine converts into nitric oxide inside the body and enlarges or dilates the blood vessels. This helps better circulation and it's one of the reasons it is used to cure erectile dysfunction. This amino acid produces positive results as it enhances blood circulation, especially to the genitalia. Arginine is also a key component in sperm and seminal fluid production, so it's used to treat sterility in men. Other health benefits of L-Arginine include:
Aids in muscle-building
Helps maintain blood-sugar levels
Increases immune function
Increase fertility in females
Improves blood flow and decreases clogged arteries
Increases sperm count
Helps in liver detoxification
Maintains nitrogen balance
Promotes body fat burning
Promotes better bone density
Provides anti-oxidant properties
Reduces effects of alcohol toxicity
Reduces blood pressure
Reduces heart and vascular disease, cholesterol risk and stroke
Helps reduce body fat
Helps remove excess ammonia
Aids faster healing of wounds
L-Arginine anti-aging properties
One last benefit to note about L-Arginine is the fact that it simulates the production of human growth hormone (HGH), IGF, and testosterone. As your body ages, it produces less and less of these hormones which directly affects the aging process. These hormones are responsible for reducing body fat, keeping the skin elastic, and increasing sexual stamina. While your body won't turn into that of a teenager, taking L-Arginine supplements can make you feel and look younger.
Just as other forms of supplementation, you should take caution while using L-Arginine. This means that you have to get a doctor's approval before you take this drug. You should carefully follow the drug's instructions on dosage and frequency. As long as you take L-Arginine with care, you can greatly enhance your overall health and wellbeing.
Preventive Measures for Metabolic Syndrome/ Diabetes
February 10, 2012 07:55 AM
Metabolic syndrome is a serious health problem associated with cluster of conditions like high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, high sugar level and excessive fats in the abdomen. It increases risks of diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Having one of these conditions doesn't mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, frequent occurrence of any of these symptoms can increase risk.
Knowing your family's medical history can prevent metabolic syndrome that can lead to diabetes. If it runs in the family, consult your doctor to have your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checked.
Avoid high carb diet to prevent metabolic syndrome and diabetes. During digestion, carbohydrate rich foods are broken down into sugar or glucose. Glucose gives energy to the body while calorie is the measure of burned energy. When high amount of carbohydrate is digested, it increases sugar level in the blood. The brain prompts the pancreas release insulin to neutralize blood sugar level. Diabetes happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
Replace high carb diet with more nutritious foods like oats, whole wheat, rye, red rice, sweet potatoes and buckwheat. They are energy giving food rich in dietary fibers. Fibers keep a healthy digestive system by improving digestion and eliminating body wastes. It maintains sexy abs by flushing out excess belly fats.
Stay physically active by engaging into sports and exercises. Inactive body does not use much energy. Unused energy is stored in the body in form of fats. Fat cells are resistant to insulin thus, increase blood sugar and cholesterol level. Fat cells slow down metabolism and increase weight gain. While lean muscles hastens metabolism even when the body is at rest. Lean muscle protects the body against insulin resistance.
Maintain a well balanced diet to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Raw fruits like oranges, berries, pineapple, grapes and other citrus fruits are good alternative for desserts like cakes. They are rich in Vitamin C that lowers cholesterol and burns fats. It is also rich in antioxidants that shield the body against harmful toxins.
Add green leafy vegetables to your diet to increase immunity from sickness like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin E that repairs and regenerates damaged cells.
Develop a healthy sleeping pattern. Sleep disturbances and staying up late at night prompt the pancreas to continually release insulin. This creates stress on the pancreas that leads to insufficient production of insulin. A well rested mind and body keep metabolic syndrome and diabetes away.
Try natural remedies like cinnamon, pine bark, and blueberry leaf extract. Cinnamon prevents diabetes and metabolic syndrome by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level. Pine bark, when extracted produces pycnogenol that absorbs glucose in the blood. It also protects the eyes from blindness and blurred vision caused by diabetes. Blueberry leaf extract regulates blood sugar level by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin.
Health supplements like chromium and alpha lipoic acid have shown great results in preventing and managing diabetes. Chromium is a mineral that metabolizes carbohydrates to prevent weight gain. It stabilizes blood sugar and prevents hypertension.
How Does Borage Oil Boost Your Health?
October 06, 2011 12:05 PM
Borage Seed Oil
Borage, also known as starflower, is a medicinal herb that is native in Syria. The plant could approximately grow up to two to three feet in height having a hairy appearance all over its leaves and stems. The leaves of the plant are about half feet in length. Its flowers resemble five narrow and triangular petals that are blue in color. However, there are few instances that borage flowers are pink in color. One distinct characteristic of the borage plant is that it follows an indeterminate growth habit that could lead to a fruitful spreading. In places where climate is mild and good, the plant grows all year round.
In ancient years, the plant was used as a flavoring for wines which ancient Celtic warriors drink before engaging themselves into battle. It has been a tradition because they believe that the wine could boost both their strength, and courage. As time pass by, people discover new uses of borage leaves and flowers. During the middle ages, the people utilized the plant as a relief for melancholy. As a matter of fact, the renowned scholar named Pliny believed that the herb is very effectual in curing depression and boosting mood. During the 16th century, John Gerard was able to discover the herb’s potential in making the heart healthier.
To add, borage is also utilized as a cure for bronchitis because of its soothing effect and capacity to lessen inflammation. Aside from that, borage is also noted for its capability to protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat as well as ensuring that the kidneys and adrenal glands are well functioning.
Borage is helpful in rejuvenating the body during recuperation from a disease. This herb is also useful for curing and correcting problems of in the digestive tract. Research would also show that the herb is effectual in increasing the quantity and quality of mother’s milk.
The seed oil of borage contains liberal amounts of GLA which is highly beneficial for the human body. as a matter of fact, virgin borage oil contains vital components such as essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid that will aid the body in times of stress.
There are a lot of preparations which will allow you to grasp the benefits of borage plant. And two of the most common is to use it as a vegetable or as a dried herb. People enjoy eating borage because it tastes like cucumber hence it is perfect for salads or as a garnish. Borage flower is also palatable. Its taste is similar to that of honey hence, it is also good to incorporate in desserts.
Among the many health benefits of borage leaves would include the following: purgative properties, blood purifier, diaphoretic, galactoagogue, and febrifuge. Vital nutrients such as potassium and calcium are also abundant in the herb. Because of these potent and vital components that the herb contains, various conditions can be corrected and prevented by borage just like inflammation of the eyes, excessive mucus, and a lot more.
You too should grab some borage oil to help improve your health and wellness.
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Gooseberry And Your Health.
Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep purple in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.
Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:
Counters Visual Decline
Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.
Improves Hair Loss
The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.
Give Gooseberry A Try Today!
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
August 28, 2009 01:50 PM
Jojoba is a shrub that is native to the Sonoran and Majoave desserts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. It is the only species in the family SImmondsiaceae. Sometimes, it is also placed in the box family, Buxaceae. This herb is also known as goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush. The jojoba plant grows one to two meters tall and has a broad, dense crown. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape, and approximately two to four centimeters in length and 1.5 to 3 centimeters wide. The leaves are thick, waxy, and gray-green in color. The flowers are small and greenish-yellow in color. They have five to six sepals and no petals. Each plant is neither male or female. Hermaphrodites in this species are extremely rare. The fruit of the jojoba plant is an acorn-shaped ovoid that is one to two centimeters long. The mature seed is a hard oval, dark brown in color, and contains about fifty-four percent oil.
Jojoba foliage gives a year-round food opportunity for many animals. Among these include deer, jaelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. The nuts are often eaten by squirrels, rabbits, other rodents, and larger birds. The only animal known to be able to digest the wax that is found inside the jojoba nut is the Bailey’s Pocket Mouse. The seed meal is toxic to many mammals when taken in large quantities. The indigestible wax often acts as a laxative in humans.
Native Americans in Arizona, California, and northern Mexico used jojoba for the hair and as a tonic for the body. The herb is a valuable crop for some Native American tribes in those areas. This herb can be found in shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and sunscreens.
Jojoba oil, which is made from the seeds of the plant, has been used traditionally by Native Americans. They use this herb to promote hair growth and relieve skin problems. Jojoba helps to remove the sebum deposits that are responsible for causing dandruff and scalp disorders. This herb is responsible for making the scalp less acidic.
One study found the wax that is in the jojoba oil to treat acne and psoriasis. This herb has traditionally been used successfully for this purpose. In addition, it is used to heal minor skin irritations. A study on rabbits found that those who were fed jojoba oil had a reduction of forty percent in their blood cholesterol levels. The reason or component that is responsible for this activity still remains unknown.
The oil of the jojoba plant is used to provide emollient properties. The primary nutrients found in jojoba are chromium, copper, iodine, silicon, vitamins E and B complex, and zinc. It is important to consult your health care provider before consider using this or any other supplement while on prescription medications. Primarily, jojoba is very beneficial in treating dandruff, hair loss, psoriasis, and dry scalp.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in dealing with abrasions, acne vulgaris, athlete’s foot, cuts, eczema, pimples, seborrhea, mouth sores, warts, and wrinkles. For more information on the many benefits provided by jojoba, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Borage Seed Oil (GLA)
June 10, 2009 11:34 AM
Borage, often referred to as starflower, is an annual herb that originated in Syria. However, it was naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region and in Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. The plant grows to a height of two to three feet, having a bristly hair all over the stems and leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ranging from two to six inches in length, while the flower are complete with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. The borage flower is most often blue in color, but occasionally pink flowers are observed. White flowers can also be cultivated. The borage plant has an indeterminate growth habit, which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom for most of the year continuously.
Borage was often used to flavor wine drank by ancient Celtic warriors before going into battle because it held the reputation of enhancing both courage and strength. During the middle Ages, the leaves and flowers of the borage plant were combined with wine to relieve melancholy. The Roman scholar Pliny believed that this herb was useful for treating depression and lifting the spirits. John Gerard, a sixteenth-century herbalist, thought of borage as an herb to comfort the heart and increase joy.
In addition to its mood-boosting properties, borage is often used to treat bronchitis. This is because of its soothing effect and its ability to reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. Borage is known to help heal the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and to stimulate activity in the kidneys and adrenal glands to rid the body of catarrh.
Also, borage is useful for restoring vitality during recovery from an illness. This herb is helpful for treating problems of the digestive system and has been used to increase quantity and quality of mother’s milk. Borage was traditionally cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, but today it is commercially cultivated as an oilseed. The seed oil provides a desired source of GLA, for which borage is the highest known plant-based source. Virgin borage oil contains essential fatty acids, especially when they are in concentrations with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This fatty acid can account for as much as 26 percent of the oil’s content. It is best known for its source of concentrated GLA. The borage plant is known to stimulate the adrenal glands to help the body during stressful times.
Borage includes use as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage has a cucumber-like taste and is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored things that are edible, making it popular for the decoration of dessert.
The leaves of the borage plant are used to provide blood purifier, diaphoretic, febrifuge, galactoagogue, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium and potassium. Primarily, borage is most beneficial in dealing with bronchitis, congestion, inflammation of the eyes, fevers, heart problems, absence of lactation, excessive mucus, PMS and rashes. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating blood impurities, colds, gastric disorders, insomnia, jaundice, lung disorders, nervous disorders, pleurisy, ringworm, and urinary problems.
Borage oil is available in softgel or bulk liquid forms at your local or internet health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase. For more information on the beneficial effects of borage, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 05, 2008 09:02 AM
Bilberry has been used most commonly for centuries as a food, with the English traditionally eating bilberries with a rich cream. Large amounts of bilberries were imported annually from Holland, Germany and Scandinavia for use by pastry cooks and restaurant keepers to make jams, liqueurs, wines, and desserts up until World War II. Bilberry’s use is not only limited to food, as the juice of bilberry yields a clear, dark blue or purplish dye that has often been used to color wool in England.
Over the years, the bilberry fruit has gained recognition for its medicinal properties. Decoctions of the leaves and bark of the root have been used for a topical application to treat mouth and throat ulcers. Syrups have also been made from a mixture of the berries and honey to treat intestinal issues.
Additionally, the berries are very rich in vitamin C, with their astringent action explaining their historical use for diarrhea and dysentery. Many believe that the berries contain a pigment that can kill many strains of bacteria. Bilberry fruit and tea that are dried have been used to treat nausea as well as indigestion. Along with the above, other traditional applications of bilberry include inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat, eyestrain or fatigue, and as a circulatory tonic. The leaves and berries have also been used for a homeopathic treatment of diabetes.
One of the main reasons that bilberry’s medicinal value came to attention in the Western world was because of its legendary ability to improve the nighttime vision of the British Royal Air force pilots during World War II. After consuming bilberry, it was found that they experienced improved visual acuity, making it easier to carry our nighttime bombing raids. It was also found that their eyes could adjust to darkness quicker and their vision was able to better correct after the effects of prolonged glare.
In the proceeding years, scientific research found that bilberry offered a wide range of benefits for both vision and other vascular disorders. French studies found that bilberry supplementation significantly enhanced the ability to adjust for glare and darkness. Bilberry can help to prevent compromised vision for anyone who is susceptible to eyestrain. In the last few decades, more studies have confirmed the medicinal value of bilberry for a variety of eye disorders. Bilberry is routinely used by European medical practitioners for patients with cataracts, venous insufficiency, visual disorders, peptic ulcers, capillary fragility, and even dysmenorrheal.
Finally, bilberry has a great effect on the activity of many enzymes that participate in inflammatory responses. Those who bruise easily or have trouble with capillary weakness can benefit from the anthocyanidin content of bilberry. These anthocyanidins offer many actions including: stimulating the production of collagen; protecting existing collagen stores in the connective tissue; preventing the formation and release of inflammatory compounds including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrines; preventing certain enzyme reactions that occur as a result of inflammatory conditions; and scavenging for free radicals to reduce cellular damage from oxidizing agents.
The Supreme Queen Of Fruits: Mangosteen
January 18, 2008 01:55 PM
Although the word "mangosteen" may sound a little foreign when first heard, or even made-up, it is said to offer many health benefits. This fruit is high in antioxidants and has been used in many applications including beverages, lotions, teas, pills, powders, supplements, extracts, and more. It is commonly referred to as the “Queen of Fruits” in native areas. Even though mangosteen shares the name “mango” with another fruit, is not related at all and is, in fact, in a category of its own.
The mangosteen fruit is purplish-red on the exterior and rind, while the inside is white. Most people are familiar with the white part of the fruit, as it is used for nourishment. Although the place of origin of mangosteen is somewhat unknown, speculation usually focuses on Sunda Islands, Malaysia, Thailand, or Burma. The mangosteen plant can only be found growing commonly in a handful of places in the world, which includes certain places in the Philippines. Most of these places do not provide successful growth, making these plants extremely rare and hard to cultivate. The fleshy segments of the plant are eaten as a dessert, while the rind is extremely rich in pectin. The fruit’s pericup, which includes the rind and pulp, contains a huge supply of xanthones. These xanthones are a powerful family of antioxidants that help with minor muscle pain, immune system support, and intestinal health.
In previous years, mangosteen has been used for a variety of different applications. It can be ground into an ointment which can be used on eczema and other skin disorders. The rind has also been used as a remedy for diarrhea. Additionally, extracts of the bark of the tree have been shown to help with dysentery and urinary disorders. Most of its health benefits have been shown to be in the actual rind of the fruit instead of the fruits fleshy pulp.
Today, mangosteen is mostly used for its antioxidant support, while its ancient anecdotal benefits are supported by many scientific reviews found in alternative medicine products. Mangosteen based supplements are usually formulated so that they may provide better bioavialabity and absorption of the xanthones, which often deactivate free radicals before they are able to reek havoc on the body, keeping it out of harm’s way. Mangosteen can also be used in face creams or in conjunction with other fruit juices, such as noni and the lychee fruit, in order to produce maximum antioxidant power to boost health.
These mangosteen juices or supplements are special because they are concentrated or standardized with the beneficial nutrient xanthones from the plant. Additionally, the xanthones can also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They can do this even without the negative side effects that are usually seen in conventional medications. As of right now, there are no known side effects that can occur while taking it in supplement form or eating Mangosteen fruit as it exists in nature. There are also no records of historical warnings that have occurred after years of traditional use. Even though all of mangosteen’s benefits have no yet been found, ongoing research is currently being conducted to find all of its health promoting properties.
Better Vision Through Bilberries
January 17, 2008 02:20 PM
"Eat your carrots! They're good for your eyes!" Isn't this what your mother always told you? Isn't that what you learned as a kid? Well, how about re-writing that phrase? How about making it into the phrase: "Eat your bilberries!"
What is a bilberry? A bilberry is a shrub just over a foot tall. The bilberry plant possesses a fruit, the cousin of the blueberry, that is indigenous to Northern Europe. These fruits contain bioflavonoids, an antioxidant with a variety of health benefits. A thousand years ago bilberries were used to relieve diarrhea and kidney stones. Today, the bilberry sees use as a treatment and preventive measure in a variety of situations. Some of the benefits seen in the modern age include possible prevention of heart disease and macular degeneration. In fact, bilberries may help strengthen the eyes when used by people regularly who aren't suffering from any ocular conditions.
The active ingredients in the fruit are tannins, which are an astringent and anti-inflammatory. The bilberry also contains anthocyanidins, which are compounds that strengthen capillaries and improve the flow of blood through the circulatory system. These anthocyanidins also increase the body’s production of rhodopsin, which is a pigment responsible for enhanced night vision and increased adaptability to changes in light by the eye. In fact, a jam made from the fruit was used by British Royal Air Force pilots in World War II who often reported that it improved their night vision, a crucial aid in an ace pilot's career.
The anthocyanidins in the bilberry fruit are a bioflavonoid. A bioflavonoid is a substance found in plants which helps strengthen the walls of capillaries. Many bioflavonoids support human health in various ways, such as naringenin which aids in cancer prevention. Others may be useful in treating liver conditions such as cirrhosis. The variety of bioflavonoid uses is a field that is still being developed.
Bioflavonoids have an extensive history. From the previously mentioned uses for bilberries to research after World War II into the connection between bioflavonoids and vitamin C, these biologically active wonder substances are an exciting branch of health supplements. They are available in various forms for your convenience.
Bilberry extract comes in a capsule form, usually meant to be taken three times daily. The manufacturer will have instructions in case of varying dosages. Bilberry extract contains the most potent dose of bioflavonoid that the bilberry has to offer. It is this potency that makes the extract the best choice for maximum ocular benefit. But it is not the only choice, in case you are looking for another way to enjoy receiving its unique health bonuses.
Bilberry tea is also made from the dried berries or the leaves of the plant. The berries are also eaten fresh or made into jam, just like the aforementioned British pilots did. The taste of a bilberry is very similar to that of a blueberry: slightly tart, slightly sweet. It has traditionally been baked in pies and it a special treat with syrup and ginger ice cream. That's a taste worthy of the fruit's pedigree!
In the world of health supplements, the unique properties and advantages this fruit, particularly bilberry extract, make it a worthy addition to anyone's daily regimen. Maybe there's a toddler in the house who won't eat his carrots. He will get similar eye benefits by eating the sweet fruit of the bilberry plant. Perhaps a tasty dessert that packs its own reward would be a welcome addition to the dinner table. The possibilities are limitless. Try some of the fruit or extract and invest in a healthier future.
Passing on the Peptides: The Rise of Gluten-Free Diet And Fiber
January 02, 2008 03:22 PM
When going down the isles of any health food store, you'll find more and more cereals, breads, crackers, desserts, and supplements that claim to be gluten-free. Gluten refers to the peptides in wheat, rye, and barley that are problematic for gluten-sensitive individuals and cause great amounts of damage to the small intestine of those with celiac disease. About two million people in the US have celiac disease, and possibly more that have yet to be diagnosed. Gluten-free foods can help people with celiac disease, as well as many other conditions, feel better. There is currently no FDA regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" in labeling of foods, as long as the claim is not misleading.
Many companies currently provide an extensive selection of gluten-free supplements so that they can meet the needs of gluten-free living. For those consumers desiring a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement, there are large varieties available from many different manufacturers. Many manufacturers are trying to create a product that is able to support the digestion of gluten. They want the peptide to be broken down so that its individual amino acid will no longer damage the gut or create food sensitivities.
Supplemental digestive enzymes have been shown to give an increased advantaged to those who use a gluten-free diet along with enzymes. The Salba seed was recently introduced to those suffering from any level of gluten intolerance as a good source of fiber. It is the perfect solution because it is extremely high in fiber content for every serving and is a whole food source of fiber, which makes it better for you than a supplement that is manufactured solely to deliver fiber. Salba can be purchased as a seed and ground and pure cold-pressed oil. Because the vast majority of gluten-free foods that are available today are manufactured for great taste instead of nutrition, Salba is a great solution because it can be incorporated into gluten-free foods. Therefore, adding all the nutrition that is lacking in the products themselves, without adding any taste. Salba is also assimilated into the body easily because it is a whole food.
By not labeling the absence or presence of gluten on products, retailers and consumers are greatly challenged. Although wheat is one of the major gluten-containing grains, it’s important to remember that rye, barley, and other grains are also a source of gluten. Retailers are able to help consumers determine which supplements are gluten-free by being more knowledgeable about ingredients containing gluten that are included in dietary supplements. For example, grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it is often necessary to seek out the hidden gluten. Among those ingredients that should be avoided by consumers seeking gluten-free products are modified starch, vegetable gum, and caramel. Gluten-intolerant consumers often deal with the issue of managing their own health while being around those who do not have to handle gluten-intolerant issues. Due to Salba’s neutral taste and ease of use, it is the perfect solution of gluten-free and non gluten-free members who are found in the same household and eating the same foods. Salba can help the whole family to improve their health dramatically.
Better Diet, Easier Breathing for Men?
May 22, 2007 02:58 PM
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that men who followed a diet rich in plant-based foods, whole grains and fish – a “Mediterranean” diet – were half as likely as their peers eating the most “western” style diet to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Subjects eating significant amounts of refined grains, cured and red meat, desserts and sweets were at a 4.55 times greater risk of COPD. The researchers followed 42,917 men for over 12 years; 111 men in the group reported new diagnoses of COPD. Top-tier subjects with the healthier diet pattern were half as likely to have developed lung disease as bottom-tier subjects. The researchers stated that fruit and fish have both been tired to better lung function and lower risk of COPD, and noted that fruit and vegetables are good sources of antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, which have been tied to better lung function; omega-3 fatty acids in fish may also contribute to lung health. (Thorax, May 2007 Published online)… Natural Products Association.
Staying on Your Diet throughout the Holidays
January 18, 2006 12:22 PM
The temptations of the holiday season don't have to mean a bigger waistline in the new year and yet another resolution to get in shape. With just a few tricks and tips, you can keep your weight in check and still celebrate with everyone.
While you might be invited to more parties than usual, you can do a lot before you even arrive to keep yourself from eating too much.
One way of keeping your food consumption down is to eat before you go out. An apple or a large glass of water before leaving home will keep you away from the dessert cart at the party.
At-the-Party! Dos and Don'ts
Now that you have lined your stomach, all you have to do is to take care of your calories, maintaining them at a sensible level. Do keep away from the high calorie sips. Alcohol, for instance, has a high calorie content that will easily build up to shatter your calorie allowance. It's a good idea to talk about anything but food, and try avoiding holding a plate! it helps to do something else with your hands, so they are occupied.
If you really must eat, you'll find that the vegetable and fruit trays can be the best places to fill up your plate. If you put these items on your plate first and then put smaller servings of other higher fat items, you'll be able to have everything without the caloric damage.
During the main course, you can balance your calories by eating only half of what is on your plate. You can easily explain it away by complementing your host on the meal, while pleading you couldn't possibly eat more. Or you could tell them the truth, one that most people readily accept! that you are being careful about your diet.
When you're at home
If you're doing the cooking during a holiday, you are more in control of your eating. Why not make items that are low in calories so you don't have to avoid anything?
When cooking, ask a family member to do the tasting. They will be only too thrilled to do this and you can save yourself from consuming added calories.
You might also want to freeze any cookies or other tempting items until you will be eating them for a meal or a gathering. It's a lot harder to eat something that's frozen.
At the end of it all, these dos and don'ts may even take a couple of inches off your waistline at the New Year. But if they don't, and you still weigh the same, you accomplished what you set out to do! now that calls for a party!
Tania Makevey operates the website and writes for R You Diet which a site dedicated to researching diet related topics and contains all the very latest diet news and views. For more details please visit //www.ryoudiet.com
Mayo Clinic Diet
December 26, 2005 11:44 AM
Mayo Clinic Diet
In 2 ½ months you should lose 52 pounds
This diet is given to heart patients needing to lose weight fast for surgery.
1. All soft drinks need to be diet and caffeine free.
Pure Organic Cocoa Powder
December 06, 2005 06:49 PM
New Organic Cocoa Powder from NOW is a perfect addition to any health-conscious kitchen. From holiday desserts and everyday baking, to a steaming cup of hot cocoa on those cold winter days, NOW Organic Cocoa Powder grants you the freedom of satisfying their sweet tooth without the high amounts of sugar, fat and preservatives common to many commercially available mixes.
Each ¼ cup, 55-calorie serving contains only 2.25 grams of fat, just over 11 carbohydrates, 6.5 grams of dietary fiber, 325mg of potassium, 5 grams of protein, is completely free of cholesterol and rich in polyphenols. And of course, it has a delicious taste that young and old will love!
Cuddlin’ in the Kitchen
July 27, 2005 03:44 PM
Cuddlin’ in the Kitchen
You and your sweetie can turn up the heat by cooking together.
Since the beginning of time, the pleasures of the table have been intertwined with those of the boudoir. (Remember the scene in the film Tom Jomes in which Tom and his amorata-of-the-moment wolf down a meal while staring lustily into each other’s eyes?) But when most of your kitchen time is spent trying to get everyone fed and out of the house in time for the night’s soccer game/ PTA meeting/ballet lesson, it can be tough keeping the pilot light lit on your love.
That’s why one of the best ways to spice up your sex life is to prepare a sensuous meal together sans offspring (thank heavens for doting grandparents with spare rooms!). A little fourhanded cooking- preferably while sharing some suggestive banter- can create chemistry that allows your playful, non-parenting side s to emerge, enhancing intimacy and setting the stage for the seductive feast to follow.
Just as the frenzied pace of modern living can often foster a sense of separation, cooking together as a couple can promote a sense of union. “Eventually you get a feel for your partner’s rhythms and adjust yours accordingly,” says food TV personality Jacqui Malouf, author of Booty Food (Bloomsbury). “Before you know it you’re passing the coriander, peeling the potatoes and stirring the risotto at precisely the right moments.”
With time, you can learn what each of you does best: Who has a flair for combining spices in just the right proportions? Who can chop carrots into perfect little matchsticks without taking all night? Since nothing kills the mood more than arguing over who misplaced the baker’s chocolate or the pasta platter, buy your ingredients earlier in the day and have all the necessary utensils out and at the ready. (Safety note: while two in a tiny kitchen can be steamily cozy, do be careful with hot pots and sharp knives.)
Four hands can also be better than two, so why not make the most of it? Malouf suggests approaching your combined efforts with a sense of adventure: “Use more than three ingredients in a salad dressing! Be daring with your desserts! Try concocting something with squab or squid or quince or quail- the sky’s the limit.”
One advantage of using exotic ingredients (or at least foods not normally found on your weekly shopping list) is that they can help you and your partner break through the limits of everyday experience by reawakening long-dormant senses. Go ahead- run your fingertips over the rough rind of a pomegranate before feeling the smooth, full seeds within. Inhale the sweet, perfumed scent of a dead-ripe apricot, and appreciate its downy skin. Admire the cool green beauty of a cut avocado, and share a spoonful with your sweetie.
Avocado, in fact, is one of the foods known for inflaming passion based on its suggestive shape, along with artichoke and asparagus- and that’s just the AS! (Chocoholics rejoice: Chocolate, full of the same feel-good chemical released by the brain when one falls in love, also makes the ecstasy encouraging grade, even when obtained in standard shapes.) “coincidentally, many foods long considered aphrodisiacs are low in fat (avocado and chocolate are delectably healthy exceptions) and are high in vitamins and minerals,” write Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge in Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook (Terrace Publishing). “A diet heavy in these foods, then, yields a healthy blood healthy body with the energy, blood flow and nutrients needed for a peak sexual experience.” (The way these foods feed the imagination- the ultimate smorgasbord of pleasure- is a bountiful bonus.) Other foods, such as honey, have been treasured for supplying the energy needed to fan love’s flames far into the night; no wonder the sweet, sticky stuff shows up in a number of naughty-night concoctions.
Just as Venus, the Roman goddess of love, emerged fully formed from the sea, so do the foods that best encourage those under her spell. In addition to being chockfull of healthy protein, “seafood is elegant, clean and light enough to keep your sleek loving machine fully fueled but never weighed down,” says Jacqui Malouf. Oysters are famous- or infamous- for their amorous effects (Cassanova was fond of them) but aren’t for everyone; other romantic dining favorites include shrimp or scallops.
Time to Eat
Once you’ve worked your kitchen magic together, it’s time to move the action into the dining room. Again, a little preparation can keep the evening at a slow, sensuous boil. Use the best china you have, along with matching silverware, cloth napkins and nice glasses (sippy cups don’t count). The warm glow of candlelight can both set off your tantalizing table and set your hearts aflame, along with a rose or two in the most decorative vase you own. Music (from Mozart to Motown, depending on your taste) is another surefire mojo mover. But please guys- catch up with CNN or ESPN some other time.
When you do finally sit down to dinner don’t rush, even (especially) if fast-forward eating is the norm in your house. “Treat the food as if you are making love for the first time,” advises Kerry McCloskey in The Ultimate Sex Diet (True Courage Press). “Before putting any in your mouth, inhale its aroma to get your digestive juices flowing…Cut your food into small, bite-sized pieces, (which) will ensure that you enjoy each bite.” The idea is to enhance all of your senses, which will come in handy later on in the evening.
You can make your couple dining experience even more intimate by feeding each other; some foods. Like asparagus spears and shrimp, beg for finger-feeding. McCloskey recommends also trying chopsticks: “Because it will take longer to maneuver your food when using them, you will feel full sooner with less food.” That’s important since you don’t want to overeat- passing out right after dessert is not the way to impress your partner (they’ve seen you snoring away on the couch a hundred times before).
In the wee hours, happily exhausted, you can ponder this: No matter how hectic your lives get, you should always make time for each other. You already share a mortgage and kids. Cooking together is a great way to share sensuality, too.
HOW TO USE STEVIA?
July 15, 2005 12:52 PM
HOW TO USE STEVIA?
The most frequent mistake people make with powdered stevia is measuring out too much. Very tiny amounts of the powder can greatly sweeten. Liquid extracts can be measured out in drops until the right amount of sweetening is achieved. Often just one half to one teaspoon of the liquid achieves the same effect as one cup of white sugar. If a powdered form is used, mixing it with hot water is recommended in order to create a more workable concentrate. Hot liquids seem to release the sweetening power of stevia more rapidly. This concentrate should be refrigerated and measured out with an eye dropper. Baked goods sweetened with stevia do not brown as much, and using stevia in recipes with distinct flavors like lemon, cinnamon, carob, etc. achieves better results than adding it to blander food items. Baking with stevia takes some getting used to. Stevia can also be added to other sweeteners like honey to lower their caloric content. People who cook with stevia often add it to honey or molasses to potentiate sweetening power in smaller quantities.
Stevia works particularly well on dairy products, fruit dishes, beverages and fresh desserts. It can be combined with other sugars such as molasses, honey, maple syrup, fructose etc. in order to minimize their use. (NOTE: Stevia does not work well with yeast breads which require caloric forms of sugar to rise.
THE FDA AND STEVIA
July 15, 2005 12:45 PM
THE FDA AND STEVIA
While stevia in no way qualifies as an “artificial sweetener,” it has been subject to rigorous inquiry and unprecedented restraints. In 1986, FDA officials began to investigate herb companies selling stevia and suddenly banned its sale, calling it “an unapproved food additive.” Then in 1991, the FDA unexpectedly announced that all importation of stevia leaves and products must cease, with the exception of certain liquid extracts which are designed for skin care only. They also issued formal warnings to companies and claimed that the herb was illegal. The FDA was unusually aggressive in its goal to eliminate stevia from American markets, utilizing search and seizure tactics, embargoes and import bans. Speculation as to why the FDA intervened in stevia commerce points to the politics of influential sugar marketers and the artificial-sweetener industry.
During the same year, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) began their defense of the herb with the goal of convincing the FDA that stevia is completely safe. They gathered documented literature and research on both stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners. The overwhelming consensus was that stevia is indeed safe, and the AHPA petitioned the FDA to exempt stevia from food additive regulations.
Food Additive vs. Dietary Supplement
FDA regulations of stevia were based on its designation as a food additive. The claim was that scientific study on stevia as a food additive was inadequate. Ironically, extensive Japanese testing of stevia was disregarde—regardless of the fact that this body of documented evidence more than sufficiently supported its safe use. Many experts who have studied stevia and its FDA requirements have commented that the FDA wants far more proof that stevia is safe than they would demand from chemical additives like aspartame.
Stevia advocates point out that stevia not a food additive, but rather, a food. Apparently, foods that have traditionally been consumed do not require laborious and expensive testing for safety under FDA regulations. The fact that so many toxicology studies have been conducted in Japan, coupled with the herb’s long history of safe consumption, makes a strong case for stevia being accepted by the FDA as a safe dietary substance. Still, it was denied the official GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status and designated a food additive by the FDA.
The FDA Reverses Its Position
As a result of the Health Freedom Act passed in September of 1995, stevia leaves, stevia extract, and stevioside can be imported to the United States. However, ingredient labels of products that contain stevia must qualify as dietary supplements.
Stevia had been redesignated as a dietary supplement by the FDA and consequently can be legally sold in the United States solely as a supplement. Its addition to teas or other packaged foods is still banned. Moreover, stevia cannot, under any circumstances, be marketed as a sweetener or flavor enhancer.
SUGAR, SUGAR EVERYWHERE
Ralph Nader once said, “If God meant us to eat sugar, he wouldn’t have invented dentists.” The average American eats over 125 pounds of white sugar every year. It has been estimated that sugar makes up 25 percent of our daily caloric intake, with soda pop supplying the majority of our sugar ingestion. desserts and sugar-laden snacks continually tempt us, resulting in an escalated taste for sweets.
The amount of sugar we consume has a profound effect on both our physical and mental well-being. Sugar is a powerful substance which can have drug-like effects and is considered addictive by some nutritional experts. William Duffy, the author of Sugar Blues, states,“The difference between sugar addiction and narcotic addition is largely one of degree.” In excess, sugar can be toxic. Sufficient amounts of B-vitamins are actually required to metabolize and detoxify sugar in our bodies. When the body experiences a sugar overload, the assimilation of nutrients from other foods can be inhibited. In other words, our bodies were not designed to cope with the enormous quantity of sugar we routinely ingest. Eating too much sugar can generate a type of nutrient malnutrition, not to mention its contribution to obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity, and other disorders. Sugar can also predispose the body to yeast infections, aggravate some types of arthritis and asthma, cause tooth decay, and may even elevate our blood lipid levels. Eating excess sugar can also contribute to amino acid depletion, which has been linked with depression and other mood disorders. To make matters worse, eating too much sugar can actually compromise our immune systems by lowering white blood cells counts. This makes us more susceptible to colds and other infections. Sugar consumption has also been linked to PMS, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
Why Do We Crave Sweets?
Considering the sobering effects of a high sugar diet, why do we eat so much of it? One reason is that sugar gives us a quick infusion of energy. It can also help to raise the level of certain brain neurotransmitters which may temporarily elevate our mood. Sugar cravings stem from a complex mix of physiological and psychological components. Even the most brilliant scientists fail to totally comprehend this intriguing chemical dependence which, for the most part, hurts our overall health.
What we do know is that when sugary foods are consumed, the pancreas must secrete insulin, a hormone which serves to bring blood glucose levels down. This allows sugar to enter our cells where it is either burned off or stored. The constant ups and downs of blood sugar levels can become exaggerated in some individuals and cause all kinds of health problems. Have you ever been around someone who is prone to sudden mood swings characterized by violent verbal attacks or irritability? This type of volatile behavior is typical of people who crave sugar, eat it and then experience sugar highs and lows. Erratic mood swings can be linked to dramatic drops in blood sugar levels.
Hypoglycemia: Sign of Hard Times?
It is rather disturbing to learn that statisticians estimate that almost 20 million Americans suffer from some type of faulty glucose tolerance. Hypoglycemia and diabetes are the two major forms of blood sugar disorders and can deservedly be called modern day plagues. Hypoglycemia is an actual disorder that can cause of number of seemingly unrelated symptoms. More and more studies are pointing to physiological as well as psychological disorders linked to disturbed glucose utilization in brain cells. One study, in particular, showed that depressed people have overall lower glucose metabolism (Slagle, 22). Hypoglycemia occurs when too much insulin is secreted in order to compensate for high blood sugar levels resulting from eating sugary or high carbohydrate foods. To deal with the excess insulin, glucagon, cortisol and adrenalin pour into the system to help raise the blood sugar back to acceptable levels. This can inadvertently result in the secretion of more insulin and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
A hypoglycemic reaction can cause mood swings, fatigue, drowsiness, tremors, headaches, dizziness, panic attacks, indigestion, cold sweats, and fainting. When blood sugar drops too low, an overwhelming craving for carbohydrates results. To satisfy the craving and compensate for feelings of weakness and abnormal hunger, sugary foods are once again consumed in excess.
Unfortunately, great numbers of people suffer from hypoglycemic symptoms. Ironically, a simple switch from a high sugar diet to one that emphasizes protein can help. In addition, because sugar cravings are so hard to control, a product like stevia can be of enormous value in preventing roller coaster blood sugar levels. One Colorado internist states: People who are chronically stressed and are on a roller coaster of blood sugar going up and down are especially prone to dips in energy at certain times of day. Their adrenals are not functioning optimally, and when they hit a real low point, they want sugar. It usually happens in mid-afternoon when the adrenal glands are at their lowest level of functioning. (Janiger, 71) Our craving for sweets in not intrinsically a bad thing; however, what we reach for to satisfy that craving can dramatically determine how we feel. Stevia can help to satisfy the urge to eat something sweet without changing blood sugar levels in a perfectly natural way and without any of the risks associated with other non-nutritive sweeteners.
Diabetes: Pancreas Overload?
Diabetes is a disease typical of western cultures and is evidence of the influence that diet has on the human body. Perhaps more than any other disease, diabetes shuts down the mechanisms which permit proper carbohydrate/sugar metabolism. When the pancreas no longer secretes adequate amounts of insulin to metabolize sugar, that sugar continues to circulate in the bloodstream causing all kinds of health problems. The type of diabetes that comes in later years is almost always related to obesity and involves the inability of sugar to enter cells, even when insulin is present. Diabetes can cause blindness, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, the loss of nerve function, recurring infections, and the inability to heal. Heredity plays a profound role in the incidence of diabetes, but a diet high in white sugar and empty carbohydrates unquestionably contributes to the onset of the disease. It is estimated that over five million Americans are currently undergoing medical treatment for diabetes and studies suggest that there are at least four million Americans with undetected forms of adult onset diabetes. Diabetes is the third cause of death in this country and reflects the devastating results of a diet low in fiber and high in simple carbohydrates. Most of us start our children on diets filled with candy, pop, chips, cookies, doughnuts, sugary juice, etc. Studies have found that diabetes is a disease which usually plagues societies that eat highly refined foods. Because we live in a culture that worships sweets, the availability of a safe sweetener like stevia, which does not cause stress on the pancreas is extremely valuable. If sugar consumption was cut in half by using stevia to
Nutritional Calculator - hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest...
June 12, 2005 05:45 PM
Nutritional Calculator by Thomas Barclay Energy Times, December 5, 2003
For years, some folks have dreamed of having a hand-held nutrition calculator that you can carry in your vest pocket. Then, at every meal, you could whip out your little machine, hit a few buttons, do some nutritional calculatin' and eat only the best-and leave the rest. Fortunately, we have the next best thing: Internet nutritional calculators as well as books and nutrition nudges that can prod and educate you into consuming a healthier diet. (And if you have a PDA, that vest-pocket calculator is actually within reach.)
When you apply nutritional calculation, you reap instant benefits, giving your body top-notch foods to stay healthy and avoid disease.
For instance, when you log onto a nutritional calculation website like www.daysworth.com (more about these nutritional calculators in a moment), one of the first things you should let it calculate is your saturated fat intake: figuring ways to bring it down could possibly save your life.
All that saturated fat that you may be eating in ice cream, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, etc., leads to a cascade of physiological events that raise the risk of cancer. Consume a cheeseburger, with its 562.83 calories, 15.04 grams of saturated fat and 87.6 grams of cholesterol, and you lead your body to produce too much lithocholic acid, a substance that plays a key role in colon cancer.
"Lithocholic acid is highly toxic, and it builds up in a high-fat diet," notes David Mangelsdorf, PhD, professor of pharmacology at Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern. "We don't know how it causes cancer; but it is known to cause cancer in mice, and people with colon cancer have high concentrations of it." The problem with cheeseburgers and their fatty contents is that when the liver breaks down that supersized clump of cholesterol, the process ends with an oversupply of lithocholic acid, a bile acid that ends up in the intestines. There it can stimulate the process that leads to cancer cell formation (Science 5/16/02).
"The rate of colorectal cancer is much higher in the United States... than in Japan, where people don't eat a lot of fat and colorectal cancer is almost nonexistent," notes Dr. Mangelsdorf.
"Our bodies can handle slight changes in lithocholic acid that come from a normal diet, but not a high-fat diet," he says. "The current American diet can provide more fat on a daily basis than a human being was ever meant to handle."
Teasing out where your dietary saturated fat is coming from is easy on a website like www.daysworth.com. By simply entering the foods you eat during the day into the calculator on this site, you can analyze your daily intake of calories, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and protein.
For instance, suppose on Monday you eat:
Breakfast: scrambled eggs and sausage with hash browns, toast and butter, orange juice, coffee and non-dairy creamer.
Lunch: cheeseburger, regular fries, chocolate milkshake.
Snack: Milky Way candy bar, can of cola.
Dinner: fried chicken, mashed potatoes with butter, iceberg lettuce, string beans, glass of root beer and chocolate pudding for dessert.
Snack: potato chips and water.
Enter all of those foods into daysworth.com and you find that your daily calories are about 4,000, your salt (4,700 mg) is too high, your vitamin E (8 units) intake is low and you're missing out on potassium-rich foods and fiber. Other potential nutritional difficulties in those meals include a heavy dose of saturated fat (56 grams) and cholesterol (topping 650 mg).
The calculator will lead you to better sources of vitamin E (like almonds), potassium (almost any fruit) and fiber (whole-wheat breakfast cereals with fruits and nuts).
The latest technological twist: If you have a PDA, you can download the USDA nutritional database. Visit www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp.
Figuring It Out
A host of other sites can help your calorie and nutritional calculation.
For calculating the amount of calories you need during the day you can consult www.wvda.org/calcs, a website run by the West Virginia Dietetic Association.
Nutritional Analysis Tools and System (NATS), which resides at nat.crgq.com/mainnat.html, can help you find foods that will aid your nutrition program. And over at gnutrition.sourceforge.net, you can download nutrition analysis software called Gnutrition. It contains data on 81 nutrients for over 5,000 foods.
Aside from websites, books like The Nutrition Desk Reference (Keats) by Robert Garrison, Jr., MA, RPH and Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, or Food-Your Miracle Medicine (HarperPerennial) can also help you calculate a more healthful diet.
A pleasant surprise as you navigate your way through these calculators: Healthy food tastes good, too! You don't have to sacrifice food to get the nutrients you need. Just calculate, calculate, calculate!
Ellagic Active - Raspberry Extract - Promotes Healthy Cells ...
June 01, 2005 01:22 PM
You may think raspberries are strictly a summertime indulgence. Yet scientists know this simple fruit is far more valuable than a delicious snack or gourmet dessert. Raspberries have the highest content of ellagitannins— amazing health compounds— which are converted into ellagic acids in the body. These compounds are highly regarded for their positive effects on the growth and regulation of various cells and tissues, including those in the breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon and prostate. Ellagic acid is also a powerful antioxidant (even stronger than vitamin C) that supports DNA integrity and promotes overall cell health, according to animal and in-vitro research. Source Naturals offers ELLAGIC ACID in response to a breakthrough in cell research. We strive to be ahead of mainstream nutritional science and are passionate about our commitment to informed health choices.
Dieticians have long stressed the importance of the consumption of fruits and vegetables for general health and well-being, but now these food items are being recognized as even greater contributors to human health. We know that ellagic acid binds to DNA, and acts as a shield, protecting DNA and increasing the expression of the enzyme p21, which arrests division of cells with DNA damage. Raspberries contain phytochemicals that provide protective action: One study showed that ellagic acid was able to induce the production of NAD(P)H:quinone reductase (QR), a major detoxification enzyme. Ellagic acid acts as a free radical scavenger to “bind” irritant-causing chemicals, making them inactive. Ellagic acid stimulates the activity of the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase that supports healthy cell growth.
Raspberry is also a traditional remedy in support of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract. It is used to promote healthy blood vessels, as a mouth and throat remedy and is said to help maintain a “normal, balanced feeling” in the stomach. Research studies on the protective effects of ellagic acid have been extensive—there are approximately 126 published studies. Berries also contain a natural form of salicylates, which provide cardio support. British researchers analyzed the blood of subjects and found salicylates were present from dietary sources, including raspberries and blackberries. Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in Hyattsville, Maryland established a connection between reduced health risks and increased intake of salicylates. Animal tests also suggest that red raspberry may reduce levels of glucose (blood sugar) to support normal blood sugar levels.
Research in the past decade has determined that ellagic acid is one of the most exciting and promising compounds for its striking effect on cell division, regeneration and growth. While ellagic acid has been found to occur naturally in 46 different foods, red raspberry has been identified as having the highest natural content. Each tablet contains 300 mg of raspberry leaf extract (40% ellagitannins), which is ten times higher than other raspberry products. Source Naturals again joins forces with your natural foods retailer to bring you this unparalleled supplement.