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How Maca Powder can boost your energy levels
October 31, 2022 04:10 PM
You may have seen Maca powder in the grocery store and wondered what it is and what it does. Maca is a root vegetable that is native to Peru and has been used for centuries as a food source and as a general energy tonic. More recent scientific data suggest that "gelatinized" maca may help to support healthy sexual activity and fertility for men. Clinical data indicate that maca does not exert a direct effect on endocrine function. Here are some more potential benefits of consuming maca powder.
Maca Root for improved Energy Levels
Maca Powder is high in several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Copper, and Iron, which can all contribute to improving energy levels. Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster, while copper helps the body to produce red blood cells. Iron aids in the transport of oxygen to the cells. All of these nutrients working together can help to improve your overall energy levels.
Maca Root for hormone balance
Maca root is also believed to help with hormone balance due to its high concentration of plant sterols. Plant sterols are known to mimic the action of human hormones in the body. This property of maca root could potentially help with PMS symptoms, menopause symptoms, and even libido. However, more studies need to be done in order to confirm these effects.
Maca Root as an Antioxidant
Another benefit of consuming maca root powder is that it is a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants work by scavenging harmful toxins and free radicals from the body. Free radicals have been linked to several chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, by consuming foods rich in antioxidants, you can help reduce your risk of developing these conditions.
As you can see, there are many potential benefits to including maca root powder in your diet. If you are looking for an energy boost or want to help improve your hormone balance, give maca powder a try! Just be sure to check with your healthcare provider first if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.
5 Reasons Why You'll Look Forward to Crisp, Cool Days with Cocoa Lovers™ Organic Hot Cocoa in Your Cupboard
October 01, 2022 09:15 AM
There's nothing quite like a piping hot cup of cocoa on a crisp, cool day. The rich, creamy, milk chocolate flavor of Cocoa Lovers™ Organic Hot Cocoa is the perfect way to warm up when the temperature starts to drop. Here are 5 reasons why you'll look forward to those cool days when you have a box of Cocoa Lovers™ in your cupboard:
What are you waiting for? Head to your nearest grocery store and pick up a box of Cocoa Lovers™ Organic Hot Cocoa today! You'll be glad you did when those first crisp, cool days of autumn start rolling around.
Are We Headed Towards a Food Shortage in America? : Essential Vitamins, Minerals, and Protein Powders to Maintain Good Health
May 07, 2022 09:33 AM
What is a food shortage, and why are we headed towards one in America?
A food shortage is a period of time where there is not enough food to meet the demand of the people within a certain region. This can be caused by a number of factors, including natural disasters, war, and economic downturns. In America, we are currently facing a perfect storm of conditions that could lead to widespread food shortages in the coming years. Climate change is resulting in more extreme weather patterns that damage crops, while at the same time, the population is continuing to grow. In addition, many Americans are struggling with financial instability, which makes it difficult to afford healthy food. As a result, we are heading towards a time where there may not be enough food to go around. It is important for everyone to be aware of this issue and take steps to reduce their impact on the problem. One way to do this is to reduce food waste, which will help to stretch our limited resources further. We can also support local farmers and producers who are working hard to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. By taking action now, we can help to prevent a future food shortage from becoming a reality.
The importance of having essential vitamins, minerals, and protein powders
It is essential for the body to have vitamins, minerals, and protein to survive. The body needs these essential nutrients to function properly. Vitamins help the body to produce energy, regulate metabolism, and maintain healthy tissues. Minerals are needed for the proper development and function of the skeletal system and muscles. Protein powders provide the building blocks for the growth and repair of tissues. Without these essential nutrients, the body would not be able to perform its basic functions. As a result, it is essential that people get enough of these nutrients through their diet or supplements.
The benefits of taking supplements during a food shortage
One of the most common questions people ask during a food shortage is whether or not they should take supplements. While there are benefits to taking supplements, it's important to understand that they should never be used as a replacement for real food. Instead, supplements should be viewed as a way to fill in the gaps when you're not getting all the nutrients you need from your diet. For example, if you're not getting enough vitamin C from the fruits and vegetables you're eating, taking a supplement can help ensure that your body gets the Vitamin C it needs. While supplements can't take the place of a healthy diet, they can be a helpful way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs during a food shortage.
How to store your supplements for long-term use
Supplements are an important part of many people's health regimens. If you want to make sure your supplements last as long as possible, there are a few things you need to do. First, always store your supplements in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can cause vitamins and minerals to break down, so avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen. Second, keep them out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light can also degrade vitamins and minerals, so it's best to keep supplements in a dark closet or cabinet. Finally, make sure the bottles are tightly sealed. Exposure to air can cause supplements to lose their potency, so it's important to keep them well-protected. Supplements generally have expiration dates of 2 - 3 years out, and are still good beyond the best used by date on the bottom of the bottles.
FAQs about food shortages and supplements
Q: What are the causes of food shortages?
A: Food shortages can be caused by a variety of factors, including natural disasters, war, economic instability, war and climate change.
Q: What are the effects of food shortages?
A: The effects of food shortages can be devastating. People may go hungry or face malnutrition, which can lead to health problems and death. Children are often the most affected by food shortages, as they need adequate nutrition to grow and develop properly. Families may also lose their livelihoods if they can't afford to buy food, which can result in poverty and homelessness
Q: What can I do to prevent a food shortage?
A: There are a number of things people can do to prevent a food shortage. Some of the most important include:
Q: What should I do if there is a food shortage?
A: If there is a food shortage, the best thing to do is to stay calm and ration the food you have. Try to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Don't forget to include essential vitamins and minerals in your diet. You can also try growing your own food or raising your own livestock, If you have to. Store up Food if you see empty shelves at the grocery store.
Q: Are supplements necessary during a food shortage?
A: While supplements can't take the place of a healthy diet, they can be a helpful way to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs during a food shortage.
Q: How can I store my supplements for long-term use?
A: There are a few things you need to do to keep your supplements safe and effective for long-term use. First, always store them in a cool, dry place. Heat and humidity can cause vitamins and minerals to break down, so avoid storing them in the bathroom or kitchen. Second, keep them out of direct sunlight. Ultraviolet light can also degrade vitamins and minerals, so it's best to keep supplements in a dark closet or cabinet. Finally, make sure the bottles are tightly sealed. Exposure to air can cause supplements to lose their potency, so it's important to keep them well-protected. Supplements generally have expiration dates of two to three years out, and are still good beyond the expiration date.
4 amazing reasons to take manuka honey
December 07, 2018 09:35 AM
Honey is something that is very popular around the world. For many cultures, honey is so prevalent. It is always present in foods and it is something that people find to have a lot of use cases. For that reason, many people are starting to come on to manuka honey. This sort of honey is a little bit different than the honey that you find in your grocery store. With that being said, this one is good for your immune system and offers lots of nutrients.
"Manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand and some parts of Australia, has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its many health benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-05-4-amazing-reasons-to-take-manuka-honey.html
5 underrated vegetables you should be eating
October 25, 2017 10:14 AM
There are many kinds of veggies out there but not all of them have a good rep. Some are assumed to not taste good. This talks about five which are highly under rated. You should have these as part of your diet, though, for their health benefits. Most veggies contain vitamins and minerals your body needs. This is why a variety is best. You should try to eat different kinds whenever possible. Try to eat many colors of veggies as well.
"These are the veggies worth watching out for in the grocery isle that offer great health benefits but may not usually be your first choice."
Read more: https://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/5-underrated-vegetables-you-should-be-eating/3241007/
Can You Drink Kombucha Everyday?
October 17, 2017 10:14 AM
Kombucha is fermented. It has its own health properties. Many fermented foods and drinks do. This discusses whether or not you could have it every day. Many enjoy the taste but too much of a good thing can sometimes harm us. It's important to make sure that won't happen to you. Kombucha is often sold at grocery stores now so you should be able to find and try it for yourself so you know if you want to have it daily.
"The study found that kombucha is detoxifying, rich in antioxidants and energizing potencies, and able to boost immunity."
Read more: http://www.organicauthority.com/can-you-drink-kombucha-everyday/
Do Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements Decrease Systemic Inflammation?
October 10, 2017 10:14 AM
Prebiotics and probiotics are good bacteria. They help your body handle many processes. They may help with systemic inflammation as well. Since this can cause pain and can make things hard on you it helps to know what may help. If you want to try this you need only find the foods which contain this bacteria. Yogurt it one example of such foods. That is easily obtained. It is sold at practically every grocery store.
"The studies indicate that this association between fiber intake and anti-inflammatory response may be due to the presence of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are active byproducts of the fermentation of soluble dietary fiber and resistant starch by bacteria in the colon"
Read more: https://www.medicalnewsbulletin.com/prebiotic-probiotic-systemic-inflammation/
Health benefits of sea salt
August 25, 2017 12:14 PM
Many people think that sea salt can be a horrible thing for the body but little do we know it can actually help us with a lot of health issues. For instance sea salt can help with losing weight. Many people have tried to use other health methods when they could have just run to the grocery store and picked up a thing of sea salt. Sea salt can also help with inflammation in the respiratory system. However sea salt may also have it's bad's sides but the important thing is that it CAN help us live a healthy lifestyle.
"In 2006-2011, French archaeologists conducted research in Nakhchivan and concluded that the Duzdag mines are, most likely, the oldest in the world."
Read more: https://www.azernews.az/lifestyle/116460.html
Nutritionist Reveals Five Prebiotic Foods That Can Feed Your Gut
August 15, 2017 09:14 AM
You could be doing your best to make sure that you are ingesting healthy probiotics, but without prebiotics, foods that fuel probiotics, you are not receiving the benefits you are expecting. A nutritionist shares the foods that you need to feed the good bacteria in your gut to maintain your gut and overall health. These foods are easily found in your local supermarkets and can be incorporated into your daily meal plans and beside being prebiotics, they have other health benefits as well.
"Prebiotics feed the good bacteria we already have in our digestive system,"
Read more: https://www.womenshealth.com.au/article/food/five-prebiotic-foods-you-need-for-good-gut-health
Essential Vitamins for Healthy Hair Growth
August 12, 2017 12:14 PM
Treatments at hair salons to get our hair looking healthy and shiny can be expensive and the results are not long lasting. There is a way to keep your hair looking beautiful all of the time. Certain vitamins found in foods and supplements can keep your hair beautiful without several trips to the salon. Read here about the foods that you can eat and supplements available that keep your hair healthy as well as providing other health benefits as well.
"But what will surprise you is that the Vitamin C helps you to strengthen hair and also helps to grow it more healthily."
Read more: http://carebaba.com/vitamins-for-healthy-hair-growth/
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: The Potential Brain-Boosting, Cancer-Fighting Powerhouse
August 08, 2017 09:14 AM
Mushrooms are known to be a health providing food. They are also not as commonly eaten in American dishes as they should be. Lion's Mane is a mushroom that Americans and others might what to add to their diet. It has garnered quite a bit of attention as an all-round powerhouse of health in several Asian based research studies. Korean studies indicate it fights cancer, Malaysian research indicates it might help with gastric issues and in Japan Lion's Mane has been shown to help as an anti inflammatory agent.
"One study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry lists the benefits by stating lion’s mane mushroom is antibiotic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, anti-fatigue, antihypertensive, anti-hyperlipodemic, anti-senescence [anti-aging], cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective, and improves anxiety, cognitive function, and depression. (1)"
Read more: https://draxe.com/lions-mane-mushroom/
5 Reasons Food is More Effective than Medicine
July 29, 2017 12:14 PM
A whole foods diet is one in which foods are eaten in their natural, minimally processed state. There is scientific evidence that diets incorporating plants and un-processed ingredients are correlated with reduced disease. This is particularly true in cases of the modern ills of humanity including high blood pressure, cancer, and current childhood disorders like ADHD. By avoiding processed foods and incorporating more plant foods into the diet, disease can be prevented, halted, and even reversed.
"The food choices we make will either feed our health or our sickness, and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests the key to improving the chronic diseases of the world can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store."
Read more: http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=9772&catId=2
Herbs to enhance beauty
July 07, 2017 12:14 PM
A walk through the cosmetics aisle of your grocery or health food store can reveal a bewildering array of products—shampoos and conditioners, soaps, cleansers, and anti-aging face creams—promoting the benefits of the botanical ingredients they contain. But many commercial skin- and hair-care products touted as "natural" contain synthetic, potentially harmful ingredients, including preservatives and surfactants. However, it’s easy, economical, and in some cases more healthful to make herbal skin- and hair-care products in your own kitchen. By choosing herbs and ingredients recommended for specific skin types or problems, you can easily customize herbal beauty products improve the health of your skin.
"Turmeric (haldi) is a part of our traditional medicinal and beauty aids since the ancient times, due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties."
Read more: http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Sunday-Hans/2017-07-02/Herbs-to-enhance-beauty/309747
Here's what dandelion roots can do for you: Digestion, blood flow, eyesight and more
June 30, 2017 12:14 PM
With its basis in traditional Chinese and Arabic medicine, the dandelion root can provide more health benefits than one might imagine. From liver detoxification and gallbladder health to getting rid of eczema and decreasing inflammation, this powerful root can really do a body good. The best way to ingest to root is through tea, which you can find at your local grocery store or even in your own back yard. If you prefer the home grown approach, you can pick the dandelions from your yard, boil them, and have tea ready to drink within 40 minutes.
"Taraxacerin, a bitter compound found in dandelion roots, is known to increase bile production."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-26-dandelion-root-is-a-great-natural-remedy-to-treat-these-8-symptoms.html
TOP 10 ANTI AGING SUPERFOODS!!
April 11, 2017 04:44 AM
There are ways to slow down the aging process and enjoy good health and vitality. One of the key elements are good food and nutrition. You can spend great amounts of money on expensive supplements, but it doesn't help if you are not enjoying a diet with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. There are also certain fruits and vegetables that are known for fighting the aging process and they are right in your grocery store. Watch this video for details on the top 10 anti-aging superfoods you need to be eating.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ENc-2tAjGg&rel=0
"Anti-aging foods can help counteract the aging process. Check out our list of the best 10 anti-aging foods and start to eat healthier today."
RINSE YOUR MOUTH FOR 1 MINUTE WITH THIS AND REMOVE THE SERUM AND THE ACCUMULATED TEETH PLATE FOREVER
March 13, 2017 11:14 AM
If you rinse your mouth for only 1 minute with a simple drink, then you will be able to make your teeth very healthy. Oral health is something that cannot be neglected. If you take care of your teeth, then you will save yourself from a lot of heartache and cavities. A lot of people have issues with their mouths and could benefit from this.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=406-vVtf-Zo
"Their are many remedies that can help you fight oral problems because they serve as anti inflammatory agents. Bleaches eliminate the pain caused by these conditions."
Stop overlooking this powerful medicinal melon in your grocery store
March 04, 2017 05:59 AM
You may never have heard of Momordica charantia, also known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash or balmspear, but it has been a medicinal staple in India and China for hundreds of years, and its health benefits are far sweeter than its name may suggest. The bitter melon is a tropical fruit that can be eaten whole or can be purchased as a supplement derived from the fruit and seeds.
"The bitter melon is a tropical fruit that can be eaten whole or can be purchased as a supplement derived from the fruit and seeds."
Six immune-building foods and herbs you need to consume to stay healthy
March 03, 2017 02:59 PM
If you're looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, your first step should be a visit to your local grocery store. Feeding your body certain foods may help to keep your immune system running strong. Plan your meals to include the following powerful immune system boosters. You may increase everyone’s chances of fending off those winter bugs before they get sick.
"Usually, your immune system does an excellent job of protecting your body against disease-causing microbes. However, sometimes bacteria or viruses can slip past your body’s defense line."
The Best Vitamins For Skin Health: Why You Should Be Taking Vitamins A, C, And E - Medical Daily
February 17, 2017 02:59 PM
Vitamins are good for your health. Everyone knows that but not everyone knows exactly why. This explains which vitamins are good for your skin and why. You can use this information to get your diet where you want it so your skin improves. It's good health information and is explained clearly and simply.
"The secret to beautiful skin could be at the grocery store hanging out in the supplements aisle. Many experts believe that certain vitamins can help with everything from reducing acne to slowing the signs of aging."
What changes are coming to the Nutrition Facts label?
January 02, 2017 09:39 PM
Nutrition and how company’s market to consumers has been a hot topic lately. This article focuses on the changes coming to the nutritional labels included on many of the products you will find in your local grocery store. If you are the type of person who focuses on the labels included on the products you are buying, this is definitely a good read.
"Nutrition labels will now show serving sizes based on the sizes of the servings people typically eat, rather than on how much they should eat."
Top 5 weight loss tips of 2016
December 16, 2016 10:59 AM
Keeping yourself in a healthy weight range is very important. It can ward off disease and different types of cancer, but it is easier said than done. There are some tips to help lose weight this season. Brushing your teeth after you eat can aid in weight loss, and also making sure the changes you make are not too drastic can help keep you motivated to lose weight.
"Weight loss doesn’t start at the dinner table or even at the grocery store; it starts in the kitchen"
Two Common Food Additives Promote Colorectal Cancer
November 26, 2016 02:59 PM
Chances are you'll see the names of two common food additives that have been shown to promote colorectal cancer development. Previous studies have suggested that food additives known as emulsifiers may help cause inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that encourages tumor formation in the colon, scientists looked at the role of two emulsifiers in the development of colorectal cancer. Overall, the authors of the study concluded that their findings support the idea that the agitation from the emulsifiers resulted in low-grade inflammation in the gut, which can promote the development of colorectal cancer.
"A new study suggests that commonly used food additives in processed foods could play a significant role in the development of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions."
Many Kids Still Eating Too Much Salt
November 18, 2016 03:04 PM
are you monitoring the foods that your children are eating? Chances are the foods they're consuming contain too much salt. New reports indicate that depsite the warnings, kids are eating too much salt. It is time to take a stand against sodium on your kid's plate and this information is a great place to start.
"Foods bought at grocery stores provided 58 percent of children's daily salt intake. Fast-food and pizza contributed 16 percent, and school cafeterias 10 percent, according to the study."
five anti-aging food found in the grocery store
November 13, 2016 06:46 AM
The choices we make at meal time affect how we age. By choosing healthy options, some of the common symptoms of old age can be reversed, removed, or masked. Many vitamins and nutrients prevent diseases that are mostly diagnosed during old age and maintain a healthy body. Eating correctly is essential to preserving our youth.
"Tomatoes, eggplants, blueberries, blackberries, and other colorful fruits are packed with antioxidants. These help combat free radicals that damage healthy cells and suppress the immune system."
Great Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
June 06, 2012 01:44 PM
Wheat germ is the very small part of the wheat kernel that is removed when wheat is being ground to flour. You can purchase it at the grocery stores or health food stores and can be obtained in grain form or in oil form. It is a very small part of the wheat seed but highly nutritious.
There are a number of health benefits associated with eating wheat germ. First of all it has powerful antioxidant and helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in our bodies. Cholesterol normally affects the arteries and the veins by clogging them leading to one developing cardiovascular problems. However, a perfect remedy to these problems would be this health food.
This health food also contains vitamin E complex as well as the natural antioxidants. Apart from helping an individual to prevent heart diseases, they also help in preventing other fatal diseases such as cancer. The antioxidants are also good in reducing or slowing down the aging process. The immune system of your body is also strengthened by these antioxidants. This way you will stay healthy and continue looking vibrant for long.
If you want a lot of fiber, then this is the health food to take. Wheat germ has a lot of fiber that will help you in the digestive system. This is essential in digestive cleansing as it would be easier for your body to pass the food through the digestive systems. This way you would never have petty stomach aches and unnecessary stomach complications.
Men who suffer form impotence need to take a lot of this health food. This is because it helps the reproductive organs of both the female and male to function properly. You can greatly increase your fertility by consuming this food on a regular basis. This can be a good alternative for the many and expensive fertility pills.
This health food contains a lot of folic acid and other nutrients as well. Folic acid is of great importance in the human body. However most important is its ability to reduce the chances of a woman having a defective births.
Nowadays most people have hair that is unhealthy and not looking pleasant at all. The appearance of your hair tells a lot about your health. However when this health food is always on your diet, your hair will always look natural, beautiful and healthy. Thiamine contained in this food is responsible for this and it will ensure that your hair always looks glamorous. It doesn't go without saying that thiamine is also good for your bones and skin. Your bones will stay strong and your skin will always have that youthful glow.
Many are the times you have heard and seen advertisements on weight loss remedies. However, the easiest and perfect weight loss remedy is found in wheat germ. This food contains vitamin B6 and B5 which are responsible for higher metabolism rates and production of more energy respectively. They ensure that calories are always burnt down at a higher rate and thus less weight for you.
Can You Take fiber With Vitamins?
September 06, 2011 03:10 PM
Have you ever had a digestive problem, having hard time digesting food, feeling constipated or even constantly feeling bloated, if you have you probably have heard about fiber being possibly helpful to you, these days you are able to see lots of fiber enriched products in the market, it may be food in the grocery aisle or supplementation in the drug or health food store. Fiber has definitely reached a certain amount of popularity in mainstream natural remedies. It has shown great results in aiding in the relief of digestive tract problems through cleansing. And for many this is considered to be its main function, it allows in a way the purification of your digestive tract which leads to better health since toxins and harmful bacteria are flushed out from your system before it can make any damage. Now you may ask, what does this have to do with vitamin absorption?
Fiber and How it works
For us to understand what fiber’s relation is to vitamin absorption we need to look at first how it works. As mentioned above the key function of fiber is to cleanse the body and purify the digestive tract, in other words cleansing is the key when it comes to the relation of fiber to vitamin absorption. Looking into it with more detail, when fiber cleanses, it does take away toxins and harmful bacteria however with the same function or process it also may promote malabsorption as fiber does not have the ability to determine good from bad substances so in a way it will also flush out vitamins from the body before it can be absorbed. You see, the way fiber works is that it acts like a sponge absorbing substances around it, with water it is able to create that cleansing effect as it absorbs water to help stool move along as it is softened by the liquid.
Blocking certain vitamin absorption
With how fiber works, if we are not careful the vitamins that we take in from the food we eat or from supplementation may not be absorbed by the body. So the answer to the question, if fiber can block vitamin absorption is yes it can. Fiber itself will not be the blockade, rather it is the characteristic it has and since it is not specifically a blockade we can work around that issue. We simply need to avoid taking too much fiber especially at times when we are also taking in either food that are high in vitamin content or vitamin supplementation itself that way the vitamins will stay long enough in our stomach for it to be absorbed by the body. Another thing to consider is, before allowing yourself to be scared of taking fiber is how much is too much fiber? Most researches have proven that 50 grams of fiber is more than should be consumed, however with that said most Americans does not reach that amount with their regular diet, in fact a regular American diet not infused with fiber rich foods only yields about 5 to 10g of fiber.
The real question is, are you getting enough fiber to improve colon health because to much is impossible with out a fiber supplement.
July 31, 2009 12:03 PM
Sarsaparilla can be found natively growing in the Pacific regions of Mexico, along the coast to Peru. The root is commonly used to make root beer. The sarsaparilla plant is mostly a find. It can primarily be found in Mexico, Central America and South America. The root of the plant is the most valued portion. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, much like ginseng or licorice root. Sarsaparilla root is very bitter. Because of this, it was a common practice for pharmacists to distill the useful chemicals from this herb and mix them with sugar water. From this, a very popular beverage called sarsaparilla was born. This was years before other chemists would invent other medicinal drinks like the original Pepsi and 7-Up.
The sarsaparilla plant was most definitely used as a medicinal tonic, but it was often served as a sweetened beverage. Some formulas substituted sarsaparilla root with a combination of birch oil and sassafras, which is a treat that is found in the western United States. Some believe that the informal name of the drink, sasparilla, indicates the use of sassafras extract, while others say the name is a corruption of the original sarsaparilla. Unfortunately, the modern beverage is closer to a birch oil/sassafras mixture than the more bitter sarsaparilla extract. The roots of the sarsaparilla plant can be purchased in certain grocery or health food stores. The beverage called sarsaparilla is a little more difficult to find. Smaller bottling companies may produce a version for local consumption, but that national interest in root beer, sarsaparilla’s cousin, has made it much harder to come by.
Often, sarsaparilla is used in glandular balance formulas. This is because components in sarsaparilla help with the production of testosterone and progesterone. The herb also stimulates the metabolism, aids digestion, and improves the appetite. It has been used to help with gas and edema, along with other related conditions. Additionally, studies have shown that this herb contains diuretic activity and also increased the elimination of chlorides and uric acid. Sarsaparilla is beneficial for many skin ailments. Among these are psoriasis, eczema, and leprosy. This has been found to be true in various studies. The herb also works as an anti-inflammatory by increasing circulation to rheumatic joints. It also helps to relieve arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. This herb also stimulates breathing when congestion occurs. It even helps to purify the blood.
The root of the sarsaparilla plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aromatic, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B-complex, and C, and zinc. Primarily, sarsaparilla is extremely beneficial in treating joint aches and pains, arthritis, blood impurities, eczema, gas, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, inflammation, psoriasis, skin diseases, and syphilis.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, cods, congestion, edema, sore eyes, fevers, gout, impotence, leprosy, menopausal symptoms, metabolism disorders, skin parasites, chronic rheumatism, ringworms, primary tuberculosis, and sores. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen to prevent prescription drug interaction. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sarsaparilla, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Sarsaparilla root is available in capsule and tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. It is recommended that you look for name brands like Solaray, Natures Way, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Long-Sought Food Labeling Law Underway
March 19, 2009 04:55 PM
Shoppers will have more information about where their food comes from under a new policy, which started this week. Labels on most fresh meats, along with some fruits, vegetables and other foods, will now list where the food originated. In the case of meats, some labels will list where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
This is good news to most American that fear they eat foods imported form countries who do not have dumping regulations. Meaning some foods could be grown right next to a land fill that has all kinds of toxins brewing in it. Unhealthy to any who consume these foods.
Commodities covered under COOL must be labeled at retail to indicate its country of origin. For fish and shellfish, the method of production, wild or farm-raised, must be specified. Commodities are excluded from mandatory COOL if the commodity is an ingredient in a processed food item.
Hopefully more manufactures will comply with the new ruling and go beyond the standards to help Americans make a sound choice at the grocery store.
Natural Soap Bars
January 20, 2009 09:34 AM
With the earth-friendly topic being on so many people’s minds lately, consumers are realizing that using natural personal care products is a simple way to start with a greener lifestyle. Consumer demands for natural personal care products has actually experienced double digit growth consistently for the past few years, with this trend not expected to slow. At the same time, non-natural personal care is typically seeing less than a five percent growth.
Natural is currently one of the fastest growing subcategories of personal care, with a large crossover clientele emerging and many mass, grocery, and drug stores are now offering natural products. Success has moved natural ingredients into mainstream brands, opened doors to food, drug, and mass merchant distribution, and driven major consumer brands to enter the market. Larger mass market companies are now realizing the extreme growth potential and profitability of the natural market as compared to the traditional personal care market.
Manufactures have been trying many different things in the soap market including making soaps for sensitive skin, using fair trade ingredients, and discovering new ways to make creamier and more moisturizing soaps. Consumers are looking for their natural personal care products to have the same easy use and performance level of chemical-based personal care products. There is also an increase in interest in using food-based ingredients, as it is appealing on a consumer level due to the familiarity, because if you can eat it, it must be safe.
Fragrance-free and sensitive-sin products are also on the rise, with thirty percent of the population reporting some sensitivity to fragrance, while more than eighty percent report that exposure to fragrances is bothersome, with many synthetic fragrances containing phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and health-related issues. However, the consumer must know that there is actually a difference between unscented and fragrance-free. Unscented products mask the odor of the actual formula with a fragrance, which leaves the potential for skin irritation and allergic reactions.
The Natural Products Association recently launched a Natural Care Product Seal and Standard so that consumers could more easily identify products with truly natural ingredients. Adhering to these requirements can prove difficult for manufactures of natural soaps. Soaps and creams present several challenges to formulators who are seeking to avoid chemicals and synthetic materials. Soaps made according to the above standards will cleanse skin and hair, although they may have an appearance and texture that was different than many consumers are use to. These soaps may be thin, create minimal foam, and may have a shorter shelf life than other natural products that are made according to alternative ingredient standards.
Although bar soaps are staple products year round, liquid soaps are currently gaining popularity, as bar soaps are often drying to the skin and have a high pH. Liquid soaps, on the other hand, have a pH closer to that of skin and also have the ability to moisturize. The market should see an increase in liquid soaps in the future, as the population ages and skin is drier and needs more moisture, leaving the moisturizing abilities of liquid soaps to meet these needs.
Great Taste, Lower Cholesterol, Triglycerides, And Blood Sugar
April 14, 2008 03:11 PM
Cinnamon, a spice that every child loves, known to be added to many culinary foods to enrich the tastes buds. Cinnamon is a very old spice mentioned in the bible and popular in ancient Egypt, once was considered more valuable than gold. There are several varieties of cinnamon available on the market. Chinese or cassia and Ceylon which are found in grocery and health food stores alike.
Cinnamon has been used for the same things over the centuries, as a food and drink additive as well as medicinal purposes cinnamon was one of the first spices to be traded between Europe and the Far East.
Today, cinnamon is used for cooking, baking, and medicinal purposes where recent studies suggest this herb might help equalize blood sugar levels. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may help prevent blood platelets from sticking together in the blood as well as lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Cinnamon is available in power, oil, or whole bark (water soluble and oil soluble) for every need and application you may come across. This herb comes from the cinnamon tree (bark), and can stay fresh un-refrigerated for up to 6 months and longer if left refrigerated and kept in an air tight bottle.
Have you had your cinnamon today?
Protein And Its Role In Bodily Functions
November 09, 2007 05:00 PM
Protein is an essential organic compound composed of 20 or more amino acids which are joined by peptide bonds. Proteins serve as structural material such as connective tissue, and hair (i.e. collagen and keratin) can function as enzymes and hormones, as transporters of essential substances such as oxygen, antibodies, or regulators of gene expression. The importance of protein cannot be overstated in its effects on overall health regardless of age. Dieters using the low-protein diet can be seriously lacking in many essential nutrients including minerals such as zinc, iron, manganese, chromium, copper, etc. These deficiencies can lead to chronic illness, fatigue and make mental function more difficult.
In order to fight sickness and disease, our immune systems need to be in optimum performance. Something you may not have realized but our immune system are almost all protein based. Providing the body with the correct proteins is like providing the proper building blocks of the immune system and can help to fight the common cold and infections better. Proteins are also used to repair muscles during exercise.
There are eight essential amino acids which the body cannot manufacture and which we must derived from our diet each day. The essential amino acids are (i) isoleucine, (ii) leucine, (iii) lysine, (iv) methionine, (v) phenylalanine, (vi) theronine, (vii) tryptophan, and (viii) valine. With this list of proteins it is possible to determine where we can find these amino acids and incorporate them into our diet. We need protein in our diet on a daily basis, especially for muscle function which requires a particular mix of amino acids which are not found in many food sources. For example, to increase muscle mass, you need glutamine, carnitine, taurine, and arginine amino acids.
Now that we know we need protein daily in our diet and that protein is essential to life. So the next question you may have is what kind of proteins are the best? Quality proteins found in your local grocery store can be found in meat, nuts, eggs, and other foods. If you turn to your local health food store, look at soy, casein, whey and egg proteins. The type of protein you take will depend upon what you are capable of eating, i.e. taste. Some people have trouble eating whey protein, while others cannot pallet egg protein.
The best protein found in nature however is derived from egg whites. Egg proteins are not only complete in its supply of what the body needs, the egg is rich in chlorine, niacin, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin K, sulphur, and omega-3. An added bonus to eating egg whites is the lack of cholesterol and sodium in the yoke. Eggs are also one of the most tolerable proteins in the human body where over 90 percent of the proteins derived from eggs is digested into the individual amino acids our bodies need. By eating egg derived protein you are essentially supplying the body with the raw materials it needs for proper function. So, if you have been troubled by fatigue, poor hair and nails the answer may be to increase your protein intake or try an all natural egg white protein for three to four weeks and see what a difference it will make in your health and appearance
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
GREEN TEA CAN PROTECT THE SKIN
August 22, 2005 02:36 PM
A recent study appearing in the Archive of Dermatology revealed that green tea has been shown to inhibit inflammation and cancer in the skin. The study revealed “green tea polyphenols were found to afford protection against chemical carcinogenesis as well as photocarcinogenesis in mouse skin.” The report states that a few experimental studies were conducted with human skin. While green tea has revealed its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties in the lab, researchers caution consumers that little is known about the restorative and protective measures in current skin-care products sold in grocery and department stores, as they are unlikely to “have been tested in controlled clinical trials.” Yet, their scientific findings are encouraging. “Although more clinical studies are needed, supplementation of skin care products with green tea may have a profound impact on various skin disorders in the years to come.”
Fats and Oils: Clearing the Confusion
June 21, 2005 05:31 PM
Fats and Oils: Clearing the Confusion
By Fred Pescatore, M.D.
Aside from tax forms, it's hard to find anything more confusing to consumers than fats and oils. Fat-free diehards still don't know that fat is essential for the brain, hormones, cellular membranes: life itself. The clueless still use shortening, margarine and damaged grocery store vegetable oils. But what worries me more is that supposedly educated consumers aren't even getting it right. Should we be surprised since their doctors probably don't know the truth?
Mistakes made by your customers. They:
Let's clear up these myths so consumers can get busy being confused about something else:
I hope this helps you educate consumers about the proper use of fats. Unfortunately, that still leaves a long list of other things they've been misled about.
Truth in Labeling
June 14, 2005 10:44 AM
Truth in Labeling by Diane Stanton Energy Times, June 14, 2004
Do you or don't you read food labels when you shop? If you don't, you're missing out on a prime source of information about your meals. If you want control of your health, focus on package labels and pick your foods carefully.
The large print on food labels focus on what are called macronutrients: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Some of the smaller categories convey information about vitamins, fiber, and minerals, as well as the totals of fat and saturated fat contained in food. So, you have no excuse for claiming ignorance about your diet: the truth is in the labels.
Food labels can be confusing to the uninitiated. Go into a big food store and you can be faced with what seems to be a forest of food information: more than 15,000 labels. Add to that fact that every year more than 30,000 new food products can be introduced to the marketplace, and what you're faced with is a jungle of food labels.
That overwhelming wealth of food label information doesn't mean you should throw up your hands in dismay and give up reading and deciphering labels. You should arm yourself against that sea of labels with knowledge and, by understanding them, end your confusion and build your health.
A hundred years or so ago, food labels were only required to list the name of the food contained inside the package. The contents, quality and processes used to make the food were often a mystery. Little or no disclosure to consumers was made about how their food was created.
By the early 1920s, the federal government, via the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), began requiring food companies to list the net weight of food on labels as well as the names and addresses of food processors and distributors. Finally, by the 1970s, listing basic nutritional information was mandated in a uniform way so that shoppers could have some basis for comparing foods. Then, in 1990, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act made major alterations to the kinds of labels that had to be included on food packages.
The FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) required significant changes to food labels that were supposed to make it easier for consumers to eat healthier diets. The labels requirements of 1994 included five major changes:
Consumer questions regarding food labels have led researchers to look into ways to help shoppers comprehend what food labels tell them. These studies are designed to help consumers match up their nutrition requirements with the foods they buy.
For instance, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, scientists have devised a label tool called See It, Do It, Teach It to help people improve their diets through comprehension of food label information. " One of the goals of the project was to help...teenaged girls and menopausal women understand how they can get the daily requirement for calcium into their diet in order to help prevent osteoporosis," says Karen Chapman-Novakofski, PhD, associate professor and nutritionist in the school's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.
According to the See It, Do It, Teach It program, you should think of food labels as consisting of two sections:
" Much more attention has been paid to what people should limit rather than the nutrients needed. The average consumer doesn't know, for instance, how much vitamin A 10% of the Daily Value is, or how much calcium 25% of the Daily Value is," Dr. Chapman-Novakofski says.
Upping Calcium Intake
In their eight-week study of people's calcium consumption (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 4/04), the University of Illinois research team found that people didn't know how much calcium was in the food they ate.
After the initial part of the study, in which participants were shown how to look for calcium on labels, "the post-test revealed that the participants significantly increased their calcium intake to 821 mg per day, up from 372 mg per day," notes Dr. Chapman-Novakofski.
" That's a lot closer to the daily requirements of 1,200 mg per day for men and women over 50, 1,000 mg for men and women aged 19 through 50 and 1,300 mg per day for [youths aged] 9 to  years," she adds.
Parts of the Label
The first item at the top of a nutrition food label tells you the portion size that the label measures. An important point to remember: these sizes are determined individually by each manufacturer. Consequently, all of the other values on the label are measured per portion.
So, if you are comparing foods made by two different companies that employ very different portion sizes in their nutritional calculations, your label comparisons may be complicated.
Another fact to be aware of: the listed portion size may be an odd division of the food within the container and not reflect a common-sense division. For instance, some food packages are labeled as containing 2.5 portions.
And, to make things even more interesting, small boxes of candy that you might think contain barely enough for one helping may be labeled by the manufacturer as having two or more portions. As a result, if you eat the whole box, you often have to at least double the number of indicated calories, etc. to figure out the nutrients and calories you are consuming.
The section of the label that notes calories, calories from fat and percent daily values is listed under the portion size. Here you are told how many calories you consume when you devour one portion and how many of those calories are derived from fat.
This label focus on fat originated when consumers and dietitians were very concerned about Americans' fat consumption and hadn't yet switched their focus to carbohydrate consumption as a prevalent dietary health priority.
Also included on the label: the daily value percentages aimed at showing you how much out of a total day's intake of various nutrients a portion bestows upon you.
These percentage numbers are based on a theoretical analysis of a diet that contains 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. (A notation at the bottom of the label tells you whether the calculation is based on 2,000 or 2,500.)
If you've been eating a low-carb diet (or are planning this type of diet), the section of the label that lists carbohydrates may be especially useful. Under this heading, the label lists the totals for fiber and sugar.
No matter what diet you are on, dietary fiber is desirable, since it represents indigestible carbohydrates that both pass through you without conveying any calories and keep beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract healthy.
Most people want to limit their sugar totals, however, since this nutrient may raise your risk of being overweight and, when you eat a lot of it, may contribute to immune problems.
Interestingly enough, when food chemists compute what is in food, they perform lab tests known as assays to distinguish its ingredients. (The manner in which these tests are performed are very strictly regulated by the FDA.)
In fact, just about every nutrient listed on a food label is determined by laboratory test except for the carbohydrate content: the amount of water, fat, crude protein and ash are determined this way. But the total carbs are computed by simply subtracting the total of the other ingredients from the total amount of food, a kind of process of elimination.
So while fat and protein are measured with precise lab tests, carbohydrate totals are figured by the leftovers. (The water and ash, by the way, are not usually listed on food labels.)
Within the general carbohydrate group, are several categories of carbohydrates that produce very different effects in your body. These categories can be divided into sugar, sugar alcohols, dietary fiber and a collection of various chemicals that include organic acids, flavonoids, gums, lignans and others.
According to the FDA, the food label only has to list the total carbs, sugar and dietary fiber. But some food companies now list things like sugar alcohols.
Blood Sugar Effects
Not all of these types of carbohydrates behave the same way in your body. For example, when your body digests table sugar, it turns immediately into blood sugar. So sugar and most other carbohydrate is what we call "digestible carbohydrate." Other carbs, such as sugar alcohol or glycerine, can be digested but do not turn to blood sugar. Still others, such as dietary fiber, are indigestible and pass through your body without impacting your blood sugar level.
To date, the FDA has not focused on these important biochemical differences and treats all carbohydrates alike. This means that when you look at a food label, you do not see a number for the carbs that impact your blood sugar level. To do so, simply subtract the number of grams of fiber from the total number of carbohydrate grams.
Recently, the phrases "low carb," "net carb" and "impact carbs" have begun to appear on food labels. These are not defined by the FDA; they were put on labels by by companies to help consumers pick out foods that are acceptable on low-carb diets. To arrive at the total of net carbs, food companies subtract the total amount of fiber and sugar alcohol from the total carbohydrates.
Since the body cannot digest fiber, this nutrient (which is still important for good health) is not calculated into the total amount of carbohydrates. As for sugar alcohols, while-technically speaking-these are carbs and they do have calories, they have little effect on blood sugar and usually are not counted in total carbohydrates.
According to the American Dietetic Association, people with diabetes who are managing their blood sugars using the carbohydrate counting method should "count half of the grams of sugar alcohol as carbohydrates since half of the sugar alcohol on average is digested.
" Fiber is not digested, however. If the serving of food has more then 5 grams of fiber one should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate grams." As you can see, when it comes to food, as in most things, knowledge is power. If you want power over your health, you need power over the food you eat. The road to that power is by reading food labels. What's in the food you're eating every day may surprise you.
Home on the Range
June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
Home on the Range
by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999
Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.
But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.
The Alternative Chicken
Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.
These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.
Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.
Antibiotics Stimulate Growth
Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.
This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.
This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.
"Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.
A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.
Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.
"Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.
Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.
And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.
"There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.
The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.
Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.
Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.
"Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.
In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!
To fight cruel treatment of poultry:
• Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP
• Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.
June 12, 2005 01:59 PM
Certified Foods by Glenda Olsen Energy Times, July 13, 2003
What's in your food, and where does it come from? To most American consumers, that question may seem unimportant. But the answers might surprise you. Your food's origin and processing can make a big difference in its nutritional value, for better and for worse. Increasingly, concern over the quality of food and its influence on health are persuading shoppers to take a greater interest in their food. The result: More visits to natural food stores and more sales of organic food.
Once upon a time, food used to be just food. Crops were grown on family farms, and animals were raised in barnyards. But today, corporations have conquered food production in a big way. Agribusiness is just that-a big business in which animals and plants are treated like assembly-line items and raised on factory farms.
While the term "organic" gets tossed around endlessly in the media, the term is often misconstrued. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), "Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones."
In addition, organic farmers generally do not use pesticides, sewage sludge or synthetic fertilizers. This type of food is also produced without genetically modified organisms and is not subject to radiation used to zap the bugs on food. Today, USDA-approved certifying agents inspect the farms where organic food is raised to ensure organic standards are followed. In addition, the companies that process food and handle organic food have to be USDA-certified. Meeting these standards allows companies to use the USDA's organic label on foods that are at least 95% organic in origin. Labels for foods that contain between 70% and 95% organic content can use the words "Made With Organic Ingredients," but cannot use the seal.
While the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food has raged for decades, recent research is beginning to turn up evidence that organically grown fruits and vegetables may contain extra helpings of vitamins and other nutrients. A study at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, found that organically grown oranges contain more vitamin C than conventional supermarket oranges (Great Lakes Regional Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 6/02).
Theo Clark, PhD, the Truman State professor who investigated the organic oranges, says that when he and his students began their research, "We were expecting twice as much vitamin C in the conventional oranges" because they are larger than organic oranges. To his surprise, chemical isolation combined with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the organically grown oranges contained up to 30% more vitamin C than the conventionally grown fruits-even though they were only about half the size. "We speculate that with conventional oranges, (farmers) use nitrogen fertilizers that cause an uptake of more water, so it sort of dilutes the orange. You get a great big orange but it is full of water and doesn't have as much nutritional value," Dr. Clark says. "However, we can only speculate. Other factors such as maturity, climate, processing factors, packaging and storage conditions require consideration."
If you want to avoid pesticide residues in your food, research shows that going organic can make it much less likely that you or your family consumes these unwanted chemicals. Research, for instance, into the diets of children (Enviro Hlth Persp 3/03) shows that dining on organic fruits and vegetables, and organic juice, can lower kids' intake of pesticides.
These scientists took a look at the organophosphorus (OP) pesticide breakdown products in the blood of kids ages two to five who ate conventional supermarket produce and compared it with the OP found in organic kids.
The children on the organic diet had less OP in their blood than the other kids. As a matter of fact, the children on the conventional diet had six times the dimethyl metabolites, dimethyl being a pesticide suspected of affecting nerve function and growth. "Consumption of organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children's exposure to OP pesticides," note the researchers. "Organic foods have been growing in popularity over the last several years," says Jim Burkhart, PhD, science editor for the journal that published the study. "These scientists studied one potential area of difference from the use of organic foods, and the findings are compelling."
On the way to tonight's dinner, researchers have created genetically modified organisms (GMO), plants and animals that have been transgenically engineered. In the food world, that means organisms containing genes inserted from another species. Chances are if you eat food purchased at the typical supermarket, those comestibles contain GMO ingredients. In the United States, food companies are not required to label for GMO content.
A growing number of American consumers are upset about not being told about the GMO products in their food. But industry scientists, worried that informed consumers may someday turn their back on GMO foods, consider consumer ignorance to be an acceptable state of affairs.
For instance, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) is fighting regulations that would require GMO labeling. According to ASPB President Daniel Bush, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana, "The language...(in these types of regulations) is based on a system of beliefs of what is 'natural,' rather than a scientifically defined set of criteria focused on content and nutritional value. This is a radical departure from food labeling up to now, which is designed to maximize useful information for consumers concerning what is in the food they are buying."
Dr. Bush continues, "There are, of course, examples of voluntary labeling standards in the food industry that reflect how foods are processed, such as organic foods. The voluntary organic labeling standards were sought by the organic food industry. Kosher foods are also labeled as having been produced in accordance with specific beliefs. However, mandatory labeling of targeted production methods has never before been required and we believe would obscure rather than clarify important issues of food safety."
In other words, Dr. Bush opposes GMO labeling because he feels it would unnecessarily stigmatize GMO food items. Others are not so sanguine about the safety of GMO foods.
The arguments against GMO foods include:
These types of risks have motivated industry groups to urge more regulation of GMO crops. The Food Marketing Institute, the grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) and the National Restaurant Association, plus seven other food groups, are worried that GMO plants grown to produce pharmaceutical drugs could contaminate the food supply and destroy consumer trust in food.
Mary Sophos, a vice president of GMA, warns, "To minimize the possible risks, a clear system of regulatory enforcement and liability needs to be in place. Until then, no permits for new field trials or for commercialization should be issued because there is no room for trial and error."
These food industry groups have voiced their concerns to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA. Last year, the USDA forced ProdiGene Inc., a biotech firm, to dispose of 500,000 bushels of soybeans contaminated with a drug meant to treat diabetes. What are the chances of more GMO accidents? No one knows. But if you buy and eat organic, you minimize your risk and maximize your chances of dining on safer food.
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
May 18, 2005 05:51 PM
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been found to contain antibiotic properties. According to Dr. Khem Shahani, a professor of food science at the Un i versity of Nebraska, milk fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus contains an antibiotic he calls “acidophilin.” It is a powerful antibiotic with similar abilities as penicillin, streptomycin and terramycin. He actually believes that it is more powerful than the antibiotics mentioned.7 Detrimental bacteria invade our bodies on a daily basis. Supplementing with either yogurt containing live cultures or a freeze dried capsule may be necessary to protect the body. Lactobacillus acidophilus can protect the digestive system from microorganisms causing infection and disease. It is a supplement that can help protect the body and work as “nature’s antibiotic.”
Plain yogurt is basically a combination of milk and Lactobacillus acidophilus, the friendly bacteria. This is the bacteria that produces lactase which aids in the process of curdling the milk and giving yogurt its tart flavor. Yogurt containing live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus have been found effective in treating vaginal yeast infections, infant diarrhea, food poisoning,and in preventing flu infections.8 Yogurt must contain the live, active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus to be beneficial. The intestinal flora can be disrupted by conditions such as antibiotic therapy, stress, a poor diet, excess sugar consumption, and oral contraceptives. This friendly bacteria is not destroyed by the acidic gastric juices in the stomach and protects the body by adhering to the intestinal wall. Yogurt is a great way to add the beneficial bacteria often needed in the body. Some physicians recommend plain yogurt to patients undergoing antibiotic therapy to counteract the negative effects of the antibiotic. Many of the commercial brands of yogurt found in the neighborhood grocery store do not contain live, active cultures. Check carefully to assure the best quality available. Most health food stores have specialty brands with live cultures.
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 250ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 100ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 5 - 60ct