Tag Archives: nutrition
Many mothers choose breastfeeding because of the close bonding experience and the fact that it’s the most nutritious option for their baby. Commercial formulas, even the organic ones, simply can’t compare. Let’s take a look at 5 proven reasons why breastfeeding is just plain awesome.
- Breastfeeding Provides the Best Nutrition
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests the best strategy for nutrition and health protection is “exclusive breastfeeding […] for the first 6 months of life” and “breastfeeding with complementary foods from six months until at least 12 months of age.”  Breastfeeding your child during the first few months of life could also influence the makeup of the gut microbiome—making the transition to solid foods easier. 
- Breastfeeding Shapes the Immune System
But breastfeeding does more than just help your baby with that transition to solid food. A recent study suggests breastfeeding your baby could even influence a developing immune system by, once again, influencing the microbiome. This, in turn, could also lessen your child’s chances of developing allergies or asthma. 
- Breastfeeding Promotes Healthy Gut Flora
Preventing allergies (and asthma) is just the tip of the iceberg. Many studies have already suggested children who are breastfed also have a “lower incidence of obesity […] diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease later in life.” (4) Because babies are born without gut bacteria, they need help developing a healthy microbiome.  Recent evidence suggests breastfeeding could help with that.
4. Breastfeeding Makes Kids Smarter and Richer
OK, that’s probably one bold statement, but it’s not quite far off. One study out of Brazil found babies who were breastfed actually had higher IQs, went to school longer, and made more money as adults.  But it’s more than just breastfeeding–the amount of time a child is breastfed could be very important as well: “for example, an infant […] breastfed for at least a year gained a full four IQ points, had 0.9 years more schooling […], and a higher income of 341 reais”—about 112 dollars—“per month at the age of 30 years, compared to those breastfed for less than one month.”
- Breastfeeding Makes the Best Economic Sense
Let’s look past the immediate health benefits for a moment. When it comes to the economy, breastfeeding could save countries millions in future health costs—and those savings make a lot of sense.  A UK research team figured out that savings from “reducing the incidence of common childhood diseases and curbing the subsequent risk of breast cancer” in mothers “all of which have been linked to low rates of breastfeeding” could save the equivalent of close to 60 million dollars each year!
One Final Thought
Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for you as a mother, and your child’s health can only benefit. Make sure that you are getting enough nutrients during pregnancy and while lactating. In addition to a daily multi-vitamin, you also want to make sure that you are getting enough iodine: “the addition of 150 mcg of iodine in all prenatal vitamins will ensure that the developing brain of the baby during pregnancy and early infancy will have sufficient iodine to develop to its maximal potential.” 
Do you know of any other health benefits of breastfeeding? Tell us about them in the comments!
- Lessen, R. & Kavanagh, K. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 115 (3).
- Thompson, A. L. Milk- and solid-feeding practices and daycare attendance are associated with differences in bacterial diversity, predominant communities, and metabolic and immune function of the infant gut microbiome. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.
- Henry Ford Health System. Breastfeeding, other factors help shape immune system early in life. ScienceDaily.
- Bergström, A. et al. Establishment of Intestinal Microbiota during Early Life: a Longitudinal, Explorative Study of a Large Cohort of Danish Infants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 80 (9).
- Victora, C. G. et al. Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil. The Lancet Global Health. 3 (4).
- Pokhrel, S. et al. Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood.
- Public Health Committee of the American Thyroid Association. Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation-United States and Canada: recommendations of the American Thyroid Association. Thyroid. 16 (10).
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
In today’s society, rarely is the news positive. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, networks generally focus on stories that can leave us disheartened and upset. Even some natural health websites will shift their focus of educating their audience on the benefits of eating healthy toward capitalizing on fear about food in our country, warning people the dangers and seemingly disastrous state of dietary trends in America. Fortunately, there have been great strides in nutrition for many people all across the world, and the demand for healthy foods is creating wider availability.
4 Bits of Good News about Healthy Eating and Food in America
There is wonderful news coming from schools, farming, and market trends, and things are looking up for the organic food community. Here are some encouraging facts about our food system to hopefully help brighten your outlook.
1. Healthy Eating is Trending
Your parents, athletic coaches, and doctors probably consistently tell you to “eat healthier,” but newer generations seem to have taken this advice to heart with little coaxing. The latest market statistics indicate that generation Z and Millennials both will pay more of a premium for healthier foods than the Baby Boomer generation. 
2. Food Producers are Listening to Demand
It’s even been shown that farmers whose animals are pasture fed and non-GMO can actually make a better living by keeping their meat organic.  Claims have even been made that organic farming can “feed the world”  if implemented in the appropriate ways. The biggest benefit of organic farming, though, would most likely be the fact that organically grown crops have proven more drought resistant.
3. Schools are Offering Better Food
The nutritional value of traditional school lunches across the U.S. has been the subject of many heated debates. Perhaps you’ve seen the now popular images of school lunches around the world.  Now, some major U.S. school districts have taken the first step in providing healthier, more balanced lunches for our nation’s students, even opting to serve antibiotic-free chicken.  Perdue Farms has committed to taking its hatching chicks off antibiotics, and Chick-Fil-A has a five year plan to be antibiotic free. I personally find the best benefit in a raw, vegan diet and won’t be eating any of those foods. All in all, it’s still one step in a positive direction.
4. The Backlash Against GMO Foods is Growing
Even Hershey’s, the notable chocolate company, has elected to ban GM ingredients in their products!  With more and more notable members in this nation electing to offer healthier options for the food we put in our bodies, it’s hopeful that the number of people opting for healthier living will continue to grow.
- Horovitz, Bruce. Younger folks want healthier food – and will pay for it. USA Today. 2015.
- Ortiz, Edward. Market speaks louder than science: GMO-free animals a good business model. The Sacramento Bee. 2014.
- Bawden, Tom. Organic farming can feed the world if done right, scientists claim. Independent.co.uk. 2014.
- Pinar. This is What School Lunches Look Like Around the World. Distractify. 2014.
- Polansek, Tom. Big U.S. school districts plan switch to anti-biotic free chicken. Reuters. 2014.
- Poulter, Sean. Hershey bans GM ingredients amid growing backlash of ‘Frankenstein food. Daily Mail. 2015.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
By: Dr. Mercola –
Bone broth has a long history of medicinal use. It’s known to be warm, soothing, and nourishing for body, mind, and soul…19
Physicians harkening as far back as Hippocrates have associated bone broth with gut healing. And while the importance of gut health is just now starting to fill our medical journals, this knowledge is far from new.
In fact, you could say modern medicine is just now rediscovering how the gut influences health and disease.
Many of our modern diseases appear to be rooted in an unbalanced mix of microorganisms in your digestive system, courtesy of a diet that is too high in sugars and too low in healthful fats and beneficial bacteria.
Digestive problems and joint problems, in particular, can be successfully addressed using bone broth. But as noted by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, vice president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and coauthor (with Sally Fallon Morell) of the book, Nourishing Broth, bone broth is a foundational component of a healing diet regardless of what ails you.
How Broth Has Been Used Through the Ages
While our ancestors used to have a pot of soup continuously puttering over the hearth, this changed with the advent of the industrial revolution, at which point many poor people simply couldn’t afford the fuel to keep the fire going.
Bouillons and broth powders got their start at that time, as the need for more portable soups arose. A major turning event was when Napoleon put out a call for portable soup to feed his army.
The winner of Napoleon’s competition was Nicolas Appert1 (1749-1841), whose canning process paved the way for the modern day canned goods. Later, John T. Dorrance came up with a process to create condensed soup, which led to the empire now known as Campbell’s Soups.
In the early 1900s, Campbell Soup was a decent product, boasting the best ingredients, including lots of butter, and recipes from the most famous chefs of the era. As noted by Dr. Daniel, it was a very different product from what we find in grocery stores today.
Today, if you want truly high-quality bone broth or soup, your best bet is to make it yourself. Fortunately, it’s easy. The trickiest part is usually going to be finding organic bones.
Bone broth, Dr. Daniel says, is actually a fast food. It just requires a little planning. One efficient way to create your broth is to use a slow-cooker or crockpot.
This will allow you to put a few basic ingredients into the pot in the morning, turn it on low heat, and by the time you get home in the evening it’s done.
Besides being convenient and efficient, it’s also safe, as you won’t have to worry about leaving a pot puttering on the stove, which could pose a fire hazard if left unattended. “It’s an old-fashioned remedy for the modern world,” Dr. Daniel says.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Leaky gut is the root of many health problems, especially allergies, autoimmune disorders, and many neurological disorders. The collagen found in bone broth acts like a soothing balm to heal and seal your gut lining, and broth is a foundational component of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet, developed by Russian neurologist Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
The GAPS diet is often used to treat children with autism and other disorders rooted in gut dysfunction, but just about anyone with suboptimal gut health can benefit from it.
Bone broth is also a staple remedy for acute illnesses such as cold and flu. While there aren’t many studies done on soup, one study did find that chicken soup opened up the airways better than hot water.
Processed, canned soups will not work as well as the homemade version made from slow-cooked bone broth. If combating a cold, make the soup hot and spicy with plenty of pepper.
The spices will trigger a sudden release of watery fluids in your mouth, throat, and lungs, which will help thin down the respiratory mucus so it’s easier to expel. Bone broth contains a variety of valuable nutrients in a form your body can easily absorb and use. This includes but is not limited to:
|Calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals||Components of collagen and cartilage|
|Silicon and other trace minerals||Components of bone and bone marrow|
|Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate||The “conditionally essential” amino acids proline, glycine, and glutamine|
These nutrients account for many of the healing benefits of bone broth, which include the following:
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage and collagen.
- Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses etc.
Indeed, Dr. Daniel reports2 chicken soup — known as “Jewish penicillin”—has been revered for its medicinal qualities at least since Moses Maimonides in the 12th century. Recent studies on cartilage, which is found abundantly in homemade broth, show it supports the immune system in a variety of ways; it’s a potent normalizer, true biological response modifier, activator of macrophages, activator of Natural Killer (NK) cells, rouser of B lymphocytes and releaser of Colony Stimulating Factor.
- Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis3 (whole-body inflammation). Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.
- Promotes strong, healthy bones: Dr. Daniel reports bone broth contains surprisingly low amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals, but she says “it plays an important role in healthy bone formation because of its abundant collagen. Collagen fibrils provide the latticework for mineral deposition and are the keys to the building of strong and flexible bones.”
- Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth. Dr. Daniel reports that by feeding collagen fibrils, broth can even eliminate cellulite too.
How to Make the Most Nourishing Broth
The more gelatinous the broth, the more nourishing it will tend to be. Indeed, the collagen that leaches out of the bones when slow-cooked is one of the key ingredients that make broth so healing. According to Dr. Daniel, if the broth gets jiggly after being refrigerated, it’s a sign that it’s a well-made broth. To make it as gelatinous as possible, she recommends adding chicken feet, pig’s feet, and/or joint bones.
All of these contain high amounts of collagen and cartilage. Shank or leg bones, on the other hand, will provide lots of bone marrow. Marrow also provides valuable health benefits, so ideally, you’ll want to use a mixture of bones. You can make bone broth using whole organic chicken, whole fish or fish bones (including the fish head), pork, or beef bones. Vary your menu as the many types offer different flavors and nutritional benefits.
If you’re using chicken, you can place the entire chicken, raw, into a pot and cover with water. Add a small amount of vinegar to help leach the minerals out of the bones. Alternatively, you can use the carcass bones from a roasted chicken after the meat has been removed. To ensure the broth is really gelatinous, Dr. Daniel suggests adding some chicken feet when you use the carcass of a roasted chicken, as some of the collagen will have been leached out already during the roasting process. You can also add vegetables of your choice into the pot.
The most important aspect of the broth-making process is to make sure you’re getting as high-quality bones as you can. Ideally, you’ll want to use organically raised animal bones. It’s worth noting that chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) tend to produce chicken stock that doesn’t gel, so you’ll be missing out on some of the most nourishing ingredients if you use non-organic chicken bones. If you can’t find a local source for organic bones, you may need to order them. A great place to start is your local Weston A. Price chapter leader,4 who will be able to guide you to local sources.
You can also connect with farmers at local farmers markets. Keep in mind that many small farmers will raise their livestock according to organic principles even if their farm is not USDA certified organic, as the certification is quite costly. So it pays to talk to them. Most will be more than happy to give you the details of how they run their operation.
Sample Beef Broth Recipe
Below is a classic beef stock recipe excerpted from Nourishing Broth, as well as lamb and venison variations. For more nourishing broth recipes, I highly recommend Hilary Boynton and Mary Brackett’s new GAPS cookbook, The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet.
|CLASSIC BEEF STOCK. Excerpted from the book NOURISHING BROTH by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN. © 2014 by Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.|
|Makes 4-5 quarts|
|Good beef stock requires several sorts of bones: knuckle bones and feet impart large quantities of gelatin to the broth; marrow bones impart flavor and the particular nutrients of bone marrow; and meaty ribs and shanks add color and flavor. We have found that grass-fed beef bones work best–the cartilage melts more quickly, and the smell and flavor is delicious.Ingredients
Note: The marrow may be removed from the marrow bones a couple of hours into the cooking, and spread on whole grain sourdough bread. If left in the pan for the entire cooking period, the marrow will melt into the broth, resulting in a broth that is cloudy but highly nutritious.
Variation: Lamb Stock
Use lamb bones, especially lamb neck bones and riblets. Ideally, use all the bones left after butchering the lamb. Be sure to add the feet if you have them. This makes a delicious stock.
Variation: Venison Stock
|Use venison meat and bones. Be sure to use the feet of the deer and a section of antler if possible. Add 1 cup dried wild mushrooms if desired.|
Bone Broth—A Medicinal ‘Soul Food’
Slow-simmering bones for a day will create one of the most nutritious and healing foods there is. You can use this broth for soups, stews, or drink it straight. The broth can also be frozen for future use. Making bone broth also allows you to make use of a wide variety of leftovers, making it very economical. Bone broth used to be a dietary staple, as were fermented foods, and the elimination of these foods from our modern diet is largely to blame for our increasingly poor health, and the need for dietary supplements.
“I would like to urge people to make as much broth as possible,” Dr. Daniel says in closing. “Keep that crockpot going; eat a variety of soups, and enjoy them thoroughly.”
The health risks posed by meat, eggs and dairy products from animals raised on factory farms are well known. But now there’s growing evidence that organic alternatives not only eliminate those health risks, but actually provide significantly more nutritional value.
We know why products sourced from factory farms, can’t be good for our health. Animals on factory farms are fed slaughterhouse waste, blood, manure, arsenic and byproducts from corn ethanol production (which increases the rate of E. coli).
Factory farms also pump animals full of antibiotics, growth hormones, and genetically modified vaccines which, according to scientists, are associated with increased rates of breast, testicular and prostate cancers.
Organic farming prohibits the use of most of the above, including the routine administering of antibiotics and growth hormones. That fact alone leads to higher-quality animal products. But the latest science also tells us that products that come from animals raised organically provide higher levels of antioxidants, lower levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, and higher levels of healthy omega-3s and many vitamins. A new study this month says that organic milk contains far more of some of the fatty acids that contribute to a healthy heart than conventional milk.
Here are some interesting comparisons between meat, milk and eggs from animals raised on factory farms, vs. their grassfed, free-range and organic alternatives.
By: Dr. Mercola –
There are many good reasons to choose your foods seasonally, and contrary to popular belief, there are many foods in-season during the fall.
Seasonal foods will taste fresher and their nutrition will be at its peak level, as opposed to foods picked prior to ripeness, which are then chilled and put into storage for days or weeks. As they sit, both their flavor and nutrient levels diminish.
Meanwhile, in-season foods will typically be available in abundance, which means prices tend to go down, making seasonal eating easier on your wallet. It’s good for the environment, too, because in-season foods are often locally grown and available from farmer’s markets or other direct-to-you venues (like community-supported agriculture programs).
And in the grand scheme of living, eating seasonally allows you to be a part of the natural ebb and flow of nature. According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, for instance, seasonal eating helps with digestion, because it favors easier-to-digest foods in the winter when your body is hard at work burning energy to keep you warm (and therefore theoretically has less energy to devote to digestion).
If you eat seasonally year-round, it will even automatically create a varied diet that provides your body with a diverse palate of nutrients to keep you going strong. Still, just because a food is in-season doesn’t make it healthy, which is why I’ve featured 15 of the best in-season foods for fall.1
15 Top Fall Superfoods
1. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. These activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in your body. Brussels sprouts have been linked to the prevention of a number of cancers, including colon cancer,2 ovarian cancer,3 and others.
One study even found that compounds in Brussels sprouts may trigger pre-cancerous cells to commit suicide, which suggests adding more of this superfood to your diet could be a powerful anti-cancer strategy.4
Brussels sprouts also have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, useful for fighting both chronic oxidative stress and inflammation.
They help to support your body’s natural detoxification system and are an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. Brussels sprouts are in season from September to March.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the US, apples ranked second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest for the proportion of free phenolic compounds, which means they are not bound to other compounds in the fruit and therefore may be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream.5
Notably, much of apples’ antioxidant power is contained in the peel, where you’ll find antioxidants like catechin, procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, ploridizin, and more. Eating apples has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
It’s best to eat apples in their whole form, as this will give you the synergistic blend of nutrients and fiber the way nature intended, yielding greater health benefits than apple juice. Apples are in season from August to November.
Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit apples to one small one a day or even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.
Cauliflower is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, and may boost both your heart and brain health. Eating cauliflower will provide your body with impressive amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and much more while supporting healthy digestion and detoxification. Cauliflower is in season from September to June.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Orange-colored sweet potatoes owe their appearance to the carotenoid beta-carotene. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene can help ward off free radicals that damage cells through oxidation, which can speed up aging and make you vulnerable against chronic diseases.
This antioxidant can help support your immune system, as well as lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Research shows that sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar because of their ability to raise blood levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone created by your fat cells, to help regulate how your body metabolizes insulin.
Sweet potato extract is said to help reduce inflammation in brain and nerve tissue throughout your body. The phytonutrients within sweet potatoes also influence fibrinogen, an important glycoprotein required for blood clotting.
Together with thrombin and fibrin, balanced amounts of fibrinogen are important for wound healing and blood loss prevention. Sweet potatoes are in season from September to December.
The primary source of pomegranate’s benefits come from its antioxidant content, particularly ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which account for about half of the pomegranate’s antioxidant ability. It’s also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, with one pomegranate providing about 40 percent of the daily requirement for this vitamin.7
In fact, according to a 2008 study, which compared the potency of 10 different polyphenol-rich beverages, pomegranate juice scored top billing as the healthiest of them all.8 Pomegranates contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, in significant amounts.
Pomegranate’s antioxidant activity is known to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and promote apoptosis (cell death) in various cancer cells.9 The antioxidants in pomegranates may also help to reduce inflammation that contributes to the destruction of cartilage in your joints, a key reason for the pain and stiffness felt by many osteoarthritis sufferers.
One study even found that pomegranate extract blocked the production of a cartilage-destroying enzyme.10 Many people enjoy pomegranates alone as a snack, but you can also sprinkle the arils (the juice-filled seed sacs) over salads or cooked dishes. Inside each aril is a crunchy fiber-rich seed. While some people spit them out, you can eat them whole, seed and all. Pomegranates are in season from August to December. So how do you get out the arils? The POM Council recommends this simple three-step process:11
- Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections
- Place the section in a bowl of water, then roll out the arils with your fingers (discard everything else)
- Strain out the water, then enjoy the arils whole, seeds and all
Turnips contain a type of phytonutrient known as indoles, which may help fight cancer. One type in particular, brassinin, has been shown to kill human colon cancer cells.12 Turnips are also rich in fiber. Just 100 calories’ worth of turnips can give you 25-40 percent of your daily fiber requirement. While turnip root is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it is a starchy vegetable and therefore should only be eaten in moderation. The greens, on the other hand, can be eaten in generous quantities (although admittedly they are quite bitter).
Turnip greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and manganese, but it’s their vitamin K content that really stands out. One cup of turnip greens will give you nearly 600% of your recommended daily value of the nutrient. Vitamin K is a powerful regulator of your inflammatory response, and along with the anti-inflammatory plant-based omega-3s found in turnip greens (in the form of alpha linolenic acid, or ALA), make this vegetable an inflammation-fighting powerhouse. Turnips are in season from September to April.
Rutabaga, a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, are rich in fiber and vitamin C (one cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value). Rutabagas are also members of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and anti-cancer phytonutrients. Rutabagas are also an excellent source of potassium, manganese, B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Rutabagas are also a good source of zinc, which is essential for immune support and may help protect your body from the effects of stress. As a mild-tasting root vegetable, rutabagas work well roasted or baked, and can serve as a nutrient-rich substitute for potatoes. They can also be eaten raw along with a dip, such as hummus. Rutabagas are in season from October to April.
8. Winter Squash
Winter squash contains an impressive amount of vitamin K1 (not K2) – 457 percent of the daily value per serving. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is beneficial for your skin, vision, and mucous membranes and may protect against certain types of cancer. Squash is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. It even contains a respectable amount of plant-based omega-3 fats. Because winter squash has such a thick skin, it can be stored for months. Try it paired with healthy spices like cinnamon and ginger. Winter squash is in season from October to February.
Pumpkin is a type of winter squash but deserves special mention. It is an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in your body). Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, with three grams in a one-cup serving, and you can consume the seeds, too, for additional benefits (like immune system and prostate support). Other notable nutrients in pumpkin include vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, copper, and manganese, along with vitamin E, B vitamins, folate, iron, and phosphorus. Taken together, pumpkin provides a powerful blend of nutrients that work together to synergistically benefit your health. As reported in Nutrition Research Reviews:13
“Pumpkin is one of the well-known edible plants and has substantial medicinal properties due to the presence of unique natural edible substances. It contains several phyto-constituents belonging to the categories of alkaloids, flavonoids, and palmitic, oleic and linoleic acids. Various important medicinal properties including anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and others have been well documented.”
When using pumpkin in your cooking, you needn’t resort to canned. Simply wash the pumpkin’s exterior, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and roast it, whole, in a 350°F oven for one to two hours, until tender. You can also cut it in half and place it, cut side down, on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for one to two hours. Then, simply scrape out the tender flesh and discard the rind.14 Pumpkin is in season from October to February.
These root vegetables resemble carrots but are whitish in color and have a sweet, nutty flavor. Parsnips are rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. Eating foods rich in potassium is important because this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. An imbalance in your sodium-potassium ratio can lead to high blood pressure and may also contribute to a number of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Parsnips are in season from October to April.
Pears are rich in vitamin C and copper, and are on of the highest-fiber fruits (one medium pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber). Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and more. People who ate a diet high in white-fleshed fruits like pears or apples also had a 52 percent lower risk of stroke, according to an American Heart Association study,15 likely due to their fiber and phytochemical contents. Pears are in season from August to February.
Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit pears to one small one a day or even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.
Rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage, kiwi is also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Kiwi is also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. One cup of kiwi contains 273% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which is five times that of an orange. Kiwi is in season from September to March.
Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and also contain pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Grapefruit is also a good source of the dietary fiber pectin and the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene. Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than other carotenoids such as beta-carotene.
Research has even revealed it may significantly reduce your stroke risk (while other antioxidants did not). Lycopene has also been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that people with a diet high in lycopene have a lower risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Grapefruit is in season from September to April.
Tangerines are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. They also contain the healthy fiber pectin and, if you eat the white tissue between the segments, even more soluble fiber that may offer protection to your heart. Notably, nobiletin, a citrus flavonoid isolated from tangerines, appears to prevent atherosclerosis16 and may also help prevent the buildup of fat in your liver.
Dates are a rich source of fiber and potassium, along with B vitamins, vitamins A and K, copper, magnesium, and manganese. There are also at least 15 minerals in dates, including selenium, along with protein, 23 types of amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids including palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. One study even concluded, “In many ways, dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”17
Dates are in season from September to December. One caveat: dates should be eaten only in very limited amounts because they are high in fructose. One medium date (Deglet Noor style) contains 2.6 grams of fructose. My recommendation is to keep your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day, if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day, including that from fruit, if you struggle with insulin resistance.
Also, four in five of us are insulin resistant and you now are if you are overweight, diabetic, have high pressure, or taking a statin drug. If you have insulin resistance, then it is best to limit dates to only a few a day as they are very high in fructose or better yet even avoid them until you resolve your insulin resistance.
Where to Find Locally Grown, Seasonal Foods
The following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh seasonal foods in your local area, raised in a humane, sustainable manner. If you want to get the freshest seasonal produce possible, you can also try your hand at growing it yourself by planting a winter garden.
Do you want glowing skin, boundless energy, and a nearly super-human resistance to germs and viruses?
It’s time to step up your nutritional game. With flu season bearing down on us, we’re hearing a lot in the media about how we should be rolling up our sleeves for a toxic flu shot. Instead, perhaps we should be focused on immunity-boosting foods that will help our bodies to fight off the bugs that come knocking. Last week, we discussed what NOT to eat, but it’s a lot more fun to think about the delicious bounty we should be consuming.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
There are so many wonderful nutritious whole foods out there that it would be impossible to make a comprehensive list of everything that enhances your immune system. It probably goes without saying that I strongly recommend organic, local versions of these items whenever possible. If you can’t get the food locally, the next best choice is usually frozen, since that was done at peak ripeness. Food that was picked two weeks ago while unripe, then shipped and artificially ripened, just doesn’t have the same benefits. As well, not all of these foods are healthy for everyone. Obviously, if you’re lactose intolerant, you shouldn’t be downing a glass of raw milk. If you’re a vegetarian, look for other sources of certain nutrients. Adapt these suggestions to fit your lifestyle.
Garlic contains the chemical compound “allicin”, which can also be found in veggies like onions and leeks to a smaller degree. It also contains beneficial levels of sulfur, arginine, oligosaccharides, flavonoids, and selenium. One study showed that daily consumption of garlic increased subject’s resistance to the common cold by 2/3s and a shorter duration of symptoms for those who did catch a cold.
One hundred forty-six volunteers were randomized to receive a placebo or an allicin-containing garlic supplement, one capsule daily, over a 12-week period between November and February. They used a five-point scale to assess their health and recorded any common cold infections and symptoms in a daily diary. The active-treatment group had significantly fewer colds than the placebo group (24 vs 65, P < .001). The placebo group, in contrast, recorded significantly more days challenged virally (366 vs 111, P < .05) and a significantly longer duration of symptoms (5.01 vs 1.52 days, P < .001). Consequently, volunteers in the active group were less likely to get a cold and recovered faster if infected. Volunteers taking placebo were much more likely to get more than one cold over the treatment period. An allicin-containing supplement can prevent attack by the common cold virus. (source)
Simply including garlic in your cooking is a delicious way to reap the benefits. As well, include things like onions, shallots, and leeks in your diet.
Both black and green teas increase your resistance to illness. Both types of tea contain L-theanine, an amino acid that can not only improve your physical health, but also your mental health. L-theanine enhances the function of gammadelta T lymphocytes. These t-cells are your body’s first line of defense against the microbes that can make you sick. A Harvard study showed that the production of antibacterial proteins was up to five times higher in the tea drinkers than in non tea drinkers, via blood tests.
These primed gammadeltaT cells have an enhanced capacity to proliferate and to secrete cytokines upon ex vivo exposure to a wide variety of microbes and tumor cells. The largest dietary source of alkylamines is L-theanine, an amino acid unique to tea beverages that is catabolized to ethylamine. Supplementation of subjects with capsules containing L-theanine and catechins has recently been shown to decrease the incidence of cold and flu symptoms, while enhancing gammadelta T cell function. (source)
For optimum benefits, consume at least 3 cups of black or green tea per day.
When I say, beef, not just any old hunk of cow will do. It’s better to go with smaller servings and to spend the extra money for grass-fed, hormone free beef to reap the maximum immune-boosting benefits.
The reason beef is so great for your immune system is because of the mineral zinc. Even a small deficiency in that mineral has been linked to increased incidences of infection.
Zinc deficiency impairs overall immune function and resistance to infection. Mild to moderate zinc deficiency can be best detected through a positive response to supplementation trials. Zinc supplementation has been shown to have a positive effect on the incidence of diarrhea (18% reduction, 95% CI: 7-28%) and pneumonia (41% reduction, 95% CI: 17-59%), and might lead to a decrease in the incidence of malaria. Zinc has also proven to decrease the duration of diarrhea by 15% (95% CI: 5-24%). Maternal zinc supplementation may lead to a decrease in infant infections. Two studies have shown zinc supplementation to decrease child mortality by more than 50%. Zinc clearly has an important role in infant and childhood infectious diseases. (source)
Although not as bountiful as beef, other sources of zinc are seeds (especially pumpkin), shellfish, poultry, pork, and dairy products. If you do happen to get sick, grab some organic zinc lozenges and chomp them throughout the day to help fend off your illness.
Raw Dairy Products and Probiotics
This one is hotly debated, but many people believe that raw dairy products build more than just strong bones. Dr. Weston Price was a dentist who traveled to world to research the link between nutrition, dental health, and overall physical health back in the1930s. Price hypothesized that as indigenous groups shifted away from their traditional diets towards Western diets, that they became less healthy. The processing that Western food undergoes to be “safe”, according to Price, stripped away vitamins and necessary nutrients. In particular, Price was a proponent of raw, unpasteurized dairy products and healthy, naturally occurring fats. (You can read more about Price’s research in his book: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration)
A scholarly paper presented to the British Columbia Center for Disease Control debunks the myths that raw milk is dangerous. When milk is pasteurized the levels off these nutrients decrease to nearly non-existent amounts: B2, B12, C, E, and folic acid. Not only that, pasteurization destroys the components of milk that are beneficial to your immune system.
Raw milk contains many components that kill pathogens and strengthen the immune system. These include lacto-peroxidase, lacto-ferrin, anti-microbial components of blood (leukocytes, B-macrophages, neutrophils, T-lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and antibodies), special carbohydrates (polysaccharides and oligosaccharides), special fats (medium chain fatty acids, phospholipids and spingolipids), complement enzymes, lysozyme, hormones, growth factors, mucins, fibronectin, glycomacropeptide, beneficial bacteria, bifidus factor and B12-binding protein. These components are largely inactivated by the heat of pasteurization and ultrapasteurization. (source)
Whichever type of dairy you choose for your family, the immune-boosting benefits can increase even further when the milk is cultured. This increases the probiotic goodness, vitamins, enzymes, and active cultures and makes your body inhospitable to the bacteria you do not want coming to stay. Don’t limit yourself to yogurt. Cultured milk products can be things like sour cream and creme fraiche, buttermilk, cultured butter, clabbered milk, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, feta cheese, fresh cheese, queso fresco cheese, cheddar cheese…the list goes on and on. You can find out how easy it is to make your own cultured dairy products from THIS E-BOOK.
A study undertaken in Sweden followed 181 factory workers over the course of an 80-day time span. It showed significant results to support including probiotics in the diet to enhance the immune system. Those who drank a daily supplement of the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri took 33% fewer sick days than those who did not.
If you’re purchasing commercial dairy products, look for “live and active cultures” on the label.
Everyone’s favorite fungi offers major immune-boosting power. Dr. Douglas Schar, the director of the Institute of Herbal Medicine in Washington, DC, has spent a great deal of his career studying the effects of mushrooms on the immune system.
In Europe, several mushrooms have been used as panaceas with particular application in the treatment of poisoning, venomous bites, infectious disease, and loss of immune function. They were used to treat conditions that required on an active immune system, whether that was an infectious disease or a bite in which venom was injected into the body. They were called tonics and were used when a person faced what was formerly described as debility or loss of vitality. Today, we know “debility” often results from a failed or failing immune system.
The allopathic medical community often ridicules the lists of traditional uses of medicinal plants. Admittedly, claims that a mushroom was used to treat snake bite, tuberculosis, hepatitis, poisoning, influenza, debility, and rheumatoid arthritis seem a bit incredible. However, there is a common thread to all of these conditions. They are all caused by either a failing immune system or are improved by an active immune system. Many panaceas have in the laboratory proven to be immune system stimulants. This is the case with several European medicinal mushrooms.
For the ethnobotanist, it is interesting to note the use of medicinal mushrooms in Europe parallels the Native American use of Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea purpurea was used to treat rattlesnake bite, insect bite, wounds, burns, and coughs and colds. A list that, again, suggests its proven action on the immune system.
It would appear medicinal mushrooms have been used since the earliest day as medicine in Europe. In 1991, hikers discovered the remains of a man that died 3500 years ago in the Italian Alps. The discovery was well covered by the media though certain key facts were omitted. The frozen man had a medicine bag attached to his person which contained a pair of medicinal mushrooms. (source)
In particular, the Maitake mushroom has been valued medicinally for its antiviral properties, however the edible (and delicious) Enoki and Shiitake mushrooms are also beneficial. They all contain polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids. These compounds increase the production and activeness of white blood cells, which work more aggressively to protect you from illness.
Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables will help load up your system with vitamins (like C) and antioxidants. Antioxidants improve the immune system by destroying detrimental free radicals.
Oxygen-derived free radicals are important in both natural and acquired immunity. Neutrophil and macrophage phagocytosis stimulates various cellular processes including the “respiratory burst” whereby increased cellular oxygen uptake results in the production of the potent oxidant bactericidal agents, hypochlorous acid and hydroxyl radical. In addition, nitric oxide, a gaseous radical produced by macrophages, reacts with superoxide to form peroxynitrite, also a potent bactericidal agent. Conversely, oxidative stress may be detrimental in acquired immunity by activation of nuclear factor kappa B, which governs gene expression involving various cytokines, chemokines, and cell adhesion molecules, among others. However, antioxidant supplementation essentially reverses several age-associated immune deficiencies, resulting in increased levels of interleukin-2, elevated numbers of total lymphocytes and T-cell subsets, enhanced mitogen responsiveness, increased killer cell activity, augmented antibody response to antigen stimulation, decreased lipid peroxidation, and decreased prostaglandin synthesis. (source)
By opting for organic fruits and vegetables, you’re getting all of the benefit while not forcing your immune system to fend off the toxic additions of herbicides, pesticides, and GMOs.
Easy ways to get mega-nutrition:
- Make soup. When you make a pot of soup, you can meld delicious bone-broth with loads of garlic, onion, and mushrooms, as well as nutrient dense vegetables. Start dinner each night with a piping hot serving of soup. It’s like a satisfying bowl of vitamins. Soup also makes a simple, healthy weekday lunch.
- Drink tea. Even coffee lovers can fit in a few cups of tea. For an added bonus, try some delicious black tea chai with raw milk.
- Eat consciously. Make a point of consuming a minimum of 2-3 servings per day of food with immunity benefits.
- Prep foods in advance. Make things easy on yourself. Keep a fruit salad and green salad in the fridge, ready to scoop out. Stock up on kefir and yogurt (or make it yourself). Have supplies close at hand that make a cup of tea as simple as bringing water to a boil. Make a big pot of soup in the crockpot to provide healthy meals throughout the week. Make good choices so simple that you won’t even be tempted to opt for foods that are not beneficial.
- Invest in some high quality supplements. For those days when your food intake is not the best, consider some nutritional supplements. It’s important to remember that food is the most accessible source of nutrients. Supplements run a distant second, but they can still help. Things like Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Selenium, probiotics, zinc, odor free garlic tablets, and a quality multivitamin can help keep your immune system fueled. Even though they are more expensive, invest in the best quality of supplements that you can find. Some supplements contain GMOs, sugar, and artificial sweeteners – all things on the list of consumables that you should be avoiding. Then these are combined with low-quality nutritional ingredients. This could actually have the complete opposite of the desired effect. If you aren’t getting high quality supplements, don’t waste your money on the cheap versions.
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Nobre AC1, Rao A, Owen GN.; L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8.
Miyagawa K, Hayashi Y, Kurihara S andMaeda A, Co-administration of L-cystine and L-theanine enhances efficacy of influenza vaccination in elderly persons: Nutritional status-dependent immunogenicity. Geriatr Gerontol Int 8:243–250
Bukowski JF, Percival SS.; L-theanine intervention enhances human gammadeltaT lymphocyte function.; Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):96-102. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2007.00013.x.
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DR.Douglas Schar, BA, DipPhyt, MCPP; Grifola frondosa: A Possible Addition to the Materia Medica
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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]
A new study finds that most U.S. adults fail to meet recommended daily levels of 10 key nutrients, and those with disabilities have even worse nutrition than average.
An estimated 10 to 25 percent of U.S. adults fit into one or more category of disability, from those who have difficulties with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing and eating, to those who cannot use their legs or struggle to accomplish routine tasks, such as money management or household chores.
To determine how these physical or mental difficulties can affect nutrition, University of Illinois researchers analyzed two waves of self-reported food and supplement consumption data from 11,811 adults, more than 4,200 of whom qualified as disabled. The team drew the data from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, which are conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
“We conducted statistical analyses to compare people with and without disabilities in terms of nutrient intake,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An, who led the effort. He and his colleagues report their findings in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
“We found that American people consume much lower amounts of nutrients than are recommended,” An said. “For example, only 11.3 percent of people meet the daily recommended intake of fiber. Only 4.7 percent of adults consume recommended amounts of potassium.”
A large majority of U.S. adults also fall short of recommended intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C , vitamin D, calcium and iron, An said. They also eat more saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium than recommended, he said.
The picture for those who are disabled is even bleaker. Disabled American adults were even less likely than those without a disability to meet recommended dietary levels of saturated fat, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and potassium, the researchers report. The only exceptions (for intake of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber) were among people with the lowest level of disability, whose intakes were comparable to non-disabled adults, An said.
“In general, people with disabilities are also disadvantaged nutritionally compared with people without disabilities, even though the bar is already so low,” he said.
Those with the most severe physical and mental challenges were also the least likely to eat well, An said. This makes sense if one considers the challenges they must overcome to obtain, prepare and eat a healthy diet, he said.
“Physically, financially and mentally, they have different barriers to accessing healthy food,” he said.
A trip to the grocery store can be a challenge for anyone who uses a cane, walker or wheelchair to get around. Some cannot grasp small items, open cans or jars, or stand at a countertop to prepare foods. Some have difficulty chewing or digesting certain foods, or may be restricted to a liquid diet. Or they use medications that affect their appetite or ability to taste foods, An said.
“Policymakers and activists for the disabled traditionally have focused primarily on improving transportation options and the physical accessibility of buildings, roads, paths and parking lots,” An said. “Now it’s time for them to turn their attention to the nutritional challenges that confront people with disabilities.”
h/t: Natural Blaze
By: Heather Callaghan, NaturalBlaze.com –
In “She Used to Be In A Wheelchair – The TED Talk That Comes With a Warning” I showcase Dr. Terry Wahls who successfully reversed her debilitating multiple sclerosis with the application of nutrients and meditation. She talks about the importance “minding your mitochondria” and how lifestyle, diet and environment can switch genes on or off. Similarly, there are people reversing ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease using similar methods.
What’s cellular protein got to do with it? A whole lot! Turns out, you can influence it with food. In order to drum up more money for research and drugs, researchers also kind of have to admit the power of food.
Below, I’d like to show two recent, similar but unrelated studies about how cells deal with protein production and disease. One of them demonstrates a type of protective protein and how nutrients from superfoods influence it to keep watch over cells.
With all of this information one can see some patterns: a tipping point that leads to disease manifestation, either a clogging of or lack of protein at the cellular level, and how nutrient dense foods play a role in rebalancing the cell.
From Study Number #1
Cells put off protein production during times of [cellular] stress – High error rate on production line triggers slowdown
Living cells are like miniature factories, responsible for the production of more than 25,000 different proteins with very specific 3-D shapes. And just as an overwhelmed assembly line can begin making mistakes, a stressed cell can end up producing misshapen proteins that are unfolded or misfolded.
Now Duke University researchers in North Carolina and Singapore have shown that the cell recognizes the buildup of these misfolded proteins and responds by reshuffling its workload, much like a stressed out employee might temporarily move papers from an overflowing inbox into a junk drawer.
The study, which appears Sept. 11, 2014 in Cell, could lend insight into diseases that result from misfolded proteins piling up, such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Christopher V. Nicchitta, Ph.D said:
We have identified an entirely new mechanism for how the cell responds to stress. Essentially, the cell remodels the organization of its protein production machinery in order to compartmentalize the tasks at hand.
The general architecture and workflow of these cellular factories has been understood for decades. First, DNA’s master blueprint, which is locked tightly in the nucleus of each cell, is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA). Then this working copy travels to the ribosomes standing on the surface of a larger accordion-shaped structure called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The ribosomes on the ER are tiny assembly lines that translate the mRNAs into proteins.
When a cell gets stressed, either by overheating or starvation, its proteins no longer fold properly. These unfolded proteins can set off an alarm — called the unfolded protein response or UPR – to slow down the assembly line and clean up the improperly folded products. Nicchitta wondered if the stress response might also employ other tactics to deal with the problem.
The researchers found that when the cells were stressed, they quickly moved mRNAs from the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol. Once the stress was resolved, the mRNAs went back to their spots on the production floor of the endoplasmic reticulum.
You can slow down protein production, but sometimes slowing down the workflow is not enough. You can activate genes to help chew up the misfolded proteins, but sometimes they are accumulating too quickly. Here we have discovered a mechanism that does one better — it effectively puts everything on hold. Once things get back to normal, the mRNAs are released from the holding pattern.
From Study #2
New superfoods could help key protein keep bodies healthy
A new generation of new superfoods that tackle heart disease and diabetes could be developed following research into a protein that helps keep cells in our bodies healthy.
Researchers at the University of Warwick (UK) found that the protein, called Nrf2, continually moves in and out of the nuclei of human cells to sense the cell’s health and vitality.
When Nrf2 is exposed to threats to the cell’s health it oscillates faster and activates an increase in the cell’s defence mechanism, including raising the levels of antioxidant.
The researchers, from the University’s Warwick Medical School, successfully increased the speed of Nrf2’s movement by artificially introducing health beneficial substances – potential components of new superfoods.
The beneficial substances comprise broccoli-derived sulforaphane and quercetin, which is found in high-levels in onions. [helpful for immunity and fighting allergies]
Published by Antioxidants and Redox Signalling, the research investigated the ways in which compounds in fruit and vegetables keep humans healthy.
The research team are the first to record the continual movement cycle of Nrf2, which sees the protein oscillate in and out of the cell nucleus once every 129 minutes. When stimulated by a health beneficial vegetable-derived substance Nrf2’s cycle sped up to 80 minutes.
Professor Paul Thornalley said:
The health benefit of Nrf2 oscillating at a fast speed is that surveillance of cell health is increased when most needed, that is, when cells are under threat. By understanding how this process works and increasing Nrf2’s speed without putting cells under threat, new strategies for design of healthier foods and improved drugs can be devised. Current designs may have selected substances with suboptimal if not poor health benefits in some cases.
The researchers in study number one wanted more answers and appeared to be interested in ways to artificially manipulate the cell for future use in medicine. The second study’s researchers, while supporting the role of nutrient dense foods, wanted to develop nutraceuticals, drugs and newer, engineered foods.
Dr. Terry Wahls used studies, and scaled the doses of superfoods given to mice to a human of her weight and size in order to reverse her MS. I’m hoping that by having this information one can see not only the magnificence of cells vs. disease, but that the body is actually equipped to heal with the right tools – before succumbing to and becoming dependent to the intended methods presented by the researchers.
Our lung health is so important to us no matter our age. We use our lungs every second of every day and the healthier they are, the healthier we are overall. As we get older, how we treated our lungs in our earlier years really begins to show itself and can quickly adjust the experience we are having in our life, especially if we didn’t take good care of them.
Our world is surrounded with toxins. Pesticides, household chemicals, pollution, and harsh cleaning chemicals just to name a few. As we breathe this stuff in, it slowly has effects on the health of our lungs. This isn’t something I’m encouraging anyone to fear, but simply to be aware of so we can make new choices. Without awareness, we don’t know how to make changes.
We have spoken before about 15 plants and herbs that boost lung health, now it’s time to go over the top foods that help improve lung health. These foods can help in preventing lung cancer, help with various lung diseases and can help keep lungs clean and healthy.
Water is essential to the human body in so many ways. When it comes to the lungs, water helps to keep our lungs moist and free of irritation. The amount of water each person should drink is dependent on their own body. We always hear the 6 – 8 glasses of water rule but this really depends on what we are eating, whether we are exercising and so forth. If you exercise a lot or eat a lot of foods that suck water out of you, you are going to need a lot more than 6 – 8 glasses a day. Pay attention to whether you feel hydrated and try and push your water intake up to about 2L. See how it feels for you. Adjust according to YOUR body and lifestyle.
Apricots are not only a great time to eat but they contain a solid amount of antioxidants and Vitamin A. Antioxidants are important in keeping lungs healthy and warding off the potential for lung cancer. Along with protecting lung linings and preventing infection, apricots have also been linked to helping to treat asthma which is a disorder of the lungs.
Scientists who studied 2,500 Welshmen aged 45 to 59 found those who ate five or more apples a week had the healthiest lungs. The test was done by performing a test geared towards determining lung capacity. Apples contain high levels of an antioxidant called quercetin. This is good for keeping the lungs healthy and clear of lung cancer.
Beans contain a substance called phytic acid (IP6). IP6 has been shown to help reduce the risk and fight cancer at various sites including the lungs. Kidney, pinto and black beans are also great sources of antioxidants that help fight off free radicals in the body. For the lungs, these free radicals can damage the lungs and cause cancer.
Compounds called isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli may have cancer-fighting properties. Broccoli is also high in antioxidants which we know help reduce the risk of various lung diseases.
Berries are also rich in antioxidants, in fact they are one of the most antioxidant rich out there, topping the charts with the Acai berry. The blackberry is also being tested for its use against lung cancer in women -scientists have found that the berries could reduce the estrogen activity which feeds the tumour. Animal studies have shown similar effects. Other berries with great lung potential are cranberries, grapes and strawberries.
Walnuts contain a form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol. This vitamin has been found to help fight breast, prostate and lung cancer making walnuts another powerful food for the lungs. Walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are important for our overall health. If you can, grab a handful of walnuts every day to help stay healthy and steer clear of lung and respiratory illness.
A groundbreaking new study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research titled, “Interspecies communication between plant and mouse gut host cells through edible plant derived exosome-like nanoparticles,” reveals a new way that food components ‘talk’ to animal cells by regulating gene expression and conferring significant therapeutic effects. With the recent discovery that non-coding microRNA’s in food are capable of directly altering gene expression within human physiology, this new study further concretizes the notion that the age old aphorism ‘you are what you eat’ is now consistent with cutting edge molecular biology.
Exosomes: The ‘Missing Link’ In How Plants and Animal Cells Communicate and Collaborate
This is the first study of its kind to look at the role of exosomes, small vesicles secreted by plant and animal cells that participate in intercellular communication, in interspecies (plant-animal) communication.
The study explained the biological properties of exosomes as follows:
“Exosomes are produced by a variety of mammalian cells including immune, epithelial, and tumor cells [11–15]. Exosomes play a role in intercellular communication and can transport mRNA, miRNA, bioactive lipids, and proteins between cells [16–19]. Upon contact, exosomes transfer molecules that can render new properties and/or reprogram their recipient cells.”
While most of the research on exosomes has focused on their role in pathological states such as tumor promotion, they were recently found to play a key role in stimulating regeneration within damaged cardiac tissue, and are known to be found in human breast milk, further underscoring how irreplaceable it is vis-à-vis synthesized infant formula.
The New Study
The investigators isolated plant derived exosome-like nanoparticles (EPDENs) from ginger, carrot, grape and grapefruit, and observed their behavior in mammalian cells (mice).
They chose these commonly consumed edible fruits and vegetables because,
“It is well established that a plant-derived diet has great influence on regulation of mammalian host cell homeostasis, in particular, cells in the digestive system [1–3]. Deregulation of plant-derived diet regulated host cell homeostasis leads to increased susceptibility to infections, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, and cancer [4–10].
They noted, “the cellular and molecular machinery regulating such interspecies mutualism between a plant-derived diet and the mammalian gut is not fully defined.” Their new study aimed to gain new insight into defining the mechanisms through which cross-kingdom crosstalk occurs.
Plant Exosomes Affect Mammalian Cells Intimately
After isolating and characterizing exosome-like nanoparticles from all four edible plants, the researchers discovered they possessed remarkable similarity in size and structure to mammalian-derived exosomes. Furthermore, the study showed “that these exosome-like nanoparticles are taken up by intestinal macrophages and stem cells, and have biological effects on the recipient cells.”
The biological effects were described as follows:
- Ginger exosome-like nanoparticles strongly induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and IL-10 expressed in macrophages, an indication of anti-inflammatory and antoxidant properties.
- Fruit-derived exosome-like nanoparticles including grape and grapefruit induced Wnt/TCF4 activation, which is a key component of the anti-inflammatory response
- All tested foods activated nuclear translocation of Nrf2, a key regulator of the HO1 gene, which has an important role in anti-inflammation and antioxidation; ginger was found to be most potent, followed by grapefruit, carrot and grape
Notably, EPDENs were found to be resistant to gastric and intestinal enzymatic digestion, further indicating they are capable of exerting significant biological effects by escaping digestive degradation, which has also been found with lectins and microRNA’s within edible foods.
The researchers discussed their results:
“Our findings show that exosome-like nanoparticles are present in edible fruits and vegetables and reveal a previously unrecognized strategy by which plants communicate with mammalian cells via exosome-like nanoparticles in the gut, and in particular intestinal macrophages and stem cells. We found that edible plants contain large amounts of nanoparticles. Like mammalian exosomes, further characterization of the plant nanoparticles led to identifying them as exosome- like nanoparticles based on the nanoparticles being com- posed of proteins, lipids, and miRNAs. EPDENs from different types of plants have different biological effects on the recipient mammalian cells. This finding opens up a new avenue to further study the molecular mechanisms underlying how the plant kingdom crosstalks with mammalian cells such as intestinal macrophages and stem cells via EPDENs. This information may provide the molecular basis of using multiple plant-derived agents for better therapeutic effect than any single plant-derived agent.”
They also offered that their results may explain why those who consume a greater variety of edible plants are healthier:
“It has been known for decades that people eating a variety of edible plants daily are the recipients of many beneficial health effects when compared to subjects that ingest fewer types of edible plants. Ingesting EPDENs from a variety of fruits and vegetables daily would be expected to provide greater beneficial effects for maintaining gut homeostasis than ingesting EPDENs from single edible plant.”
Discussion: Deeper Implications of the Study
As part of the fascinating new fields of epigenetics and nutrigenomics, this new study’s findings promise to expand the relevance of food in the practice of medicine and the prevention of disease. We have crossed a critical threshold in the past few decades where food can no longer considered simply as a source of caloric content, minerals and vitamins, and building blocks for the body-machine. [Learn more by taking the author’s E-Course] Rather, food carries very specific forms of biologically meaningful information (literally ‘to put form into’), without which our genetic and epigenetic infrastructure cannot function according to its intelligent design.
The discovery of plant-dervied exosome-mediated modulation of fundamental mammalian cellular pathways, lends powerful support to the concept that ancestral nutritional practices handed down for countless generations are critical in maintaining our health. With the advent of the post-industrial diet, based largely on ‘food-like’ synthesized nutrition, and the novel introduction of grain-based nutrition in only the past 500 generations, our present diet suffers from a series of profoundly biological incompatible foods.
Millions of years of co-evolutionary processes have generated a wide range of interspecies, cross-kingdom co-dependencies. For instance, mammals and angiosperms (which comprise about 250,000 species and include most of the flowering plants that provide the modern world its diet) co-evolved for at least 200 million years together, and are today two of the most dominant forms of life on the planet. The very molecular and informational fabric of our bodies evolved to intimately depend on the presence of various key food components in the human diet, and the absence of others which may be detrimental to our health. Food components like exosomes may be as important to our health as vitamins and other classically defined ‘nutrients,’ and may even be more important in modulating a wide range of complex genetic- and epigenetic-mediated cellular processes within the body. This may also explain the mystery of how certain fruits, such as pomegranate, have been found to replace the function of the mammalian ovary in an ovariectomy induced models of premature aging. While pomegranate is one of nature’s most concentrated source of bioidentical estrone, exosomes may be the ‘missing link’ as to how a plant food can support complex hormonal processes within the animal body, along with exerting such a wide range of additional therapeutic health effects. This is all the more evidence with plants like turmeric, which have over 600 health benefits and has been found to modulate the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously.
We believe that taken together, the recent discoveries that 1) microRNA’s within foods like rice can enter into our blood and tissue and regulate gene expression 2) that double-stranded RNAs within a wide range of commonly consumed foods have molecular homology with thousands of human RNAs (and are therefore capable of silencing them) 3) that lectins also can directly activate nuclear machinery within certain cells, the addition of exosome-mediated gene modulation, lends further support to the concept that the quality and types of food we consume carry as much relevance in terms of ‘biological destiny’ as the DNA within our genome.
With exciting research now available, the famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison rings truer today than ever:
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
 Lin Zhang Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011
 Qi Zhou1, et al Immune-related MicroRNAs are Abundant in Breast Milk Exosomes Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(1):118-123. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8.118
 Sreenivasan S, Thirumalai K, Danda R, Krishnakumar S. Effect of curcumin on miRNA expression in human Y79 retinoblastoma cells. Curr Eye Res. 2012 May;37(5):421-8. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2011.647224. PubMed PMID: 22510010.
Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of www.GreenMedInfo.com
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
There is a big secret out there in the grocery store aisles that no one wants you to know. There is a hoax of monumental proportions that is being perpetrated on the American public.
Before I tell you what it is, let me remind you of some things that you already know.
It’s no secret at all that the American economy is in dire straits. Unemployment has skyrocketed and today’s dollars buy a lot less than the dollars of just a few years ago. Even the most thrifty shopper will pay substantially more for a cart full of groceries. To make matters worse, our country’s main food-producing areas have been devastated by droughts, and you can expect that prices will only go up from here.
So people work for slave wages, if they can find work at all, then go to the grocery store and buy what they can afford. And that is where the secret comes in.
The secret is:
The stuff sold there is not actually food.
Nutritional Anarchy has posted a couple of videos recently about the massive number of ingredients in inexpensive processed food items. You can learn about what is contained in a Hungry Man Homestyle Dinner HERE and about the gastronomical delights that 48 cents will buy you HERE.
If you’ve ever been broke, you can easily see how a “meal” for a couple of dollars or less would be an appealing addition to a grocery cart.
But here is the scary epiphany:
The stuff sold there is not actually food.
I guess this depends on one’s definition of the word “food”.
Dictionary.com says “food” is:
any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life,provide energy, promote growth, etc.
Merriam-Webster says “food” is:
material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also : such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and condiments)
The Oxford Dictionary says “food” is:
any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth
Traditionally…and by traditionally I mean ever since there were humans on the planet eating stuff…food came from one of these sources: plants or animals. It has been hunted, gathered, foraged, cultivated, and farmed.
But now these substances are being created in a lab environment. From purely synthetic ingredients, compounds are formed. Sometimes a bit of the original food is present, perhaps a small bit of meat or vegetable or grain, and that item is stretched with chemicals to turn it into a food-like substance. The substance is shaped to look like food. It is artificially colored and molded into forms like some kind of semi-edible play-dough. Then scents and flavors, also artificial, are added. This makes the substances resemble food even more because now it tastes and smells like food.
Because it isn’t immediately lethal to ingest, those noble guardians at the FDA slap a label on it that the substance is GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe.
Then the substance is placed into little plastic trays, foil, bags, or cellophane. That is placed inside a box with an illustration on the outside. The illustration looks like the food that the substance inside all of the packaging is supposed to taste like. Perhaps it is a juicy roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, savory gravy, and carrots. Your brain processes this visual stimuli and expects that the substance contained within is indeed “food.”
But it isn’t.
It’s a scam. People go to the store to buy food, but they are sold something else, something that only pretends to be food.
The stuff sold there is not actually food.
Only a tiny fraction of the contents of that box is actually food. Your ancestors would not recognize this as food at all. If you dare to eat this, you are consuming a food substitute that is being passed off to you because there is no food left for the likes of us. Most of what is being sold in the grocery store is NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. It is food-like substances. It is a pile of chemicals masquerading as food to satiate hunger and deceive those who consume it into believing that they are eating food and ingesting nutrients.
Did you ever see the movie Soylent Green? In the movie, the futuristic over-populated world no longer can provide food for the population. Instead processed food-like substances are rationed out to keep people alive. Initially, there was Soylent Yellow and Soylent Red, but then, a new product, Soylent Green, became available in limited quantities. The actual source of Soylent Green is a closely guarded secret: no one is allowed to know what is actually in it. Consumers are deceived with some scientific sounding descriptions until the awful truth comes out.
Does this sound familiar?
While Soylent Green was actually made from ground up humans (sorry, spoiler), the origins of what is being sold in our groceries stores today are no less mysterious or closely guarded. Soylent Green was so delectable to the unknowing public that they would commit heinous crimes to get more. The food-like substances in the grocery stores are loaded with processed white sugar (which actually has addictive properties similar to heroin), high fructose corn syrup, and MSG, which stimulates the production of hunger hormones, giving a whole new meaning to that fun slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one.” If you eat this stuff,you will be hooked because they want you to be hooked. You will be perfectly content feeding your addiction instead of nourishing your body. You won’t even MISS actual food. The next generation may not even know what actual food IS at the rate these processed concoctions are filling pantries and refrigerators in homes across the country. Those with lower incomes are particularly targeted by this, because unless you are making good money, it’s nearly impossible to purchase nourishing, whole foods.
I’ll give you a hint: if it is sold in a box and it has more ingredients than you have fingers, it probably isn’t food by any accepted definition.
It might keep you alive, but it will not keep you nourished and healthy.
Big Food doesn’t really care if you die from eating this stuff, as long as you don’t keel over immediately – then they’d be liable. They don’t care if you develop cancer or if you are malnourished. That actually just helps out their buddies at Big Pharma. Then they can go play golf together on the proceeds.
There is a conspiracy afoot and you can find evidence of the massive deception as close as your nearest grocery store, fast food establishment, or corner store. They are selling poisonous artificial food, and people are happily paying them for it.
Commit Nutritional Anarchy.
Rebel. Just say no to food-like substances. Declare war on Big Food.
- Refuse to eat these products that are flavored with brain-cell killing neurotoxins that tickle the pleasure centers in your brain and make you want more.
- Grow what you can – no matter how little, it is going to be better and healthier than what you’ll get at the store
- Buy ingredients instead of “meals” in a box.
- Cook from scratch.
- Visit your farmer’s markets or local farms. (Find one near you HERE)
- Learn what to eat when you’re broke – make the best choices when you are on a tight budget.
- Build a whole-food pantry
Originally appeared at nutritionalanarchy.com
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor with a passionate interest in food freedom and activism. She regularly commits acts of Nutritional Anarchy by growing and preserving food on her small organic farm in the Pacific Northwestern United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. Daisy is the founder of The Organic Prepper, where she writes about healthy prepping liberty, and survival issues. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]
Before Michelle Obama’s New Labels, “All You Could Do Was Scratch Your Head, Confused And Bewildered” At The Grocery Store
Are you frazzled and confused every time you go to the grocery store and attempt to strain your little brain to read those labels with all of the big, scary words? Do you stand in line, wringing your hands over the terrifying experience of trying to shop for your family? Is it a horribly trying experience, culminating in a paroxysm of anxiety at the checkout stand?
Well, thank goodness for us moms, the First Lady of the United States understands.
When she gave a speech on Thursday at the White House introducing the new and improved nutrition labels proposed by the FDA, she attempted to step from her image as the woman who takes the multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded vacations and who serves her dogs dinner from crystal and fine china.
Moms of America, Michelle Obama understands how hard it is to navigate those baffling and scary food labels with all of those great big words, and she’s got your back. Grocery shopping no longer has to be traumatic.
So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, is there too much sugar in this product? Is 50 percent of the daily allowance of riboflavin a good thing or a bad thing? And how on Earth could this teeny little package contain five whole servings?
This stream of questions and worries running through your head when all you really wanted to know was, should I be eating this or not? Is this good for my kids or not? And if it is healthy, how much of it should I be eating? But unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck. So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy.
And that’s a familiar scenario for far too many families and parents trying to do the right thing for their kids — and it’s simply not acceptable.
As consumers and as parents, we have a right to understand what’s in the food we’re feeding our families. Because that’s really the only way that we can make informed choices — by having clear, accurate information. And ultimately, that’s what today’s announcement is all about.
Among other things, the revised nutrition label shows the calorie count in large, bold print; it includes the amount of “added sugar,” and it reflects more realistic serving sizes.
Now, I know there will be many opinions on what this label should look like, but I think that we all can agree that families deserve more and better information about the food they eat. So this is a huge deal, which is why everybody is here. And it’s going to make a big difference for families across this country. (source)
Well, here’s the real issue with labels, Mrs. Obama. Not only did you fail miserably with your insulting attempt to “relate” with us mere mortals, you did nothing but espouse the propaganda of the Big Food giants that helped foot the bill to elect your husband. We certainly can’t tell the truth about our corporate cronies, now, can we?
Despite Mrs. Obama’s condescending attempt to obscure the facts with folksy rhetoric, here are a few things her new labels won’t do:
- The labels don’t tell you how much the food manufacturers had to pay to get the deadly carcinogenic ingredients which are banned in other countries to be approved by the FDA as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) in the US
- The labels don’t tell you whether you’re feeding your child glyphosate because the GMO contents have been so heavily sprayed with the herbicide.
- The labels straight out LIE, touting AMA approval and referring to things as “heart smart” when the “food” is highly processed, chemical laden, stripped of naturally-occurring nutrients and “enriched” with indigestible fake vitamins and minerals.
- The labels don’t warn you about the growth hormones, the antibiotics, or the GMO feed that the animal was given.
- The labels like to cheer about the item being low calorie but the problem is, the calories that are being stripped are the ones with the vital nutrients – and those are being replaced with neurotoxins like MSG and artificial sweeteners.
- The labels don’t tell you if the contents contain the FDA’s allowable amount of rodent feces.
Here’s the thing about labels. If you want to make healthy choices for your family – don’t look for labels TELLING you something is healthy. Look for things without any labels at all because real food doesn’t have a UPC code. If you’re buying real food, you won’t have to read an ingredients list because there is only one ingredient in the item: fruits, vegetables, meats, milk, rice, for example.
Don’t worry about consuming too many calories after watching this video. I can promise you that you won’t have an appetite left.
By Kat Carroll
Culinary Indian spices are rising superheroes of the nutritional World. When most of us were growing up, these spices were not a regular part of many of our diets. Today, though, they are commonly available high-profile healers of the highest order. But if history repeats itself, we can anticipate a raid on powerful molecules found in your spice rack, turning them into drugs available only by prescription or subject to unnecessary regulation. This is one of the reasons the National Health Federation (NHF) opposes Senator Dick Durbin’s Dietary Supplement Act – in this case, to protect manufacturers who encapsulate spices in therapeutic formulations designed to heal serious eye disease and more. As Codex Alimentarius has decided to add a new committee to its roster with the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) in February 2014, the potential for unnecessary regulatory control has NHF concerned.
Curcumin is the main curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric, which is currently enjoying exalted status as a true panacea for modern-day ills as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor spice. Zeaxanthin-rich saffron, the most expensive of spices at $500 a pound, is a proven star in both the Eastern and Western healing traditions for treating macular degeneration. It takes nearly 150 flowers to produce a single gram of dried saffron threads. Even ordinary rosemary is being touted as one of the healing modalities for the potentially blinding diseases of macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
Several studies of these spices have shown their effective use in the potentially blinding diseases macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and cataract development as well. In a December 2013 study, “Curcumin: Therapeutical Potential in Ophthalmology,” curcumin proved itself effective against several ocular diseases, such as chronic anterior uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome. “Unfortunately, because of its low solubility and oral bioavailability, the biomedical potential of curcumin is not easy to exploit; for this reason more attention has been given to nanoparticles and liposomes, which are able to improve curcumin’s bioavailability. Pharmacologically, curcumin does not show any dose-limiting toxicity when it is administered at doses of up to 8 g/day for three months.” Black pepper and lecithin also improve bioavailability.
But to truly impact absorption of the healing spices and creating a remedial response, restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract which is potentially the greatest source of inflammation in the body. Microbial imbalance leads to increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired immune response and more—which are foundational to potentially blinding eye diseases. A January 2014 study in Cell researched life extension and the diseases related to age-related changes in the gut flora. When bacteria in the gut are in balance, not only is one’s life span extended, but the diseases common to the elderly decrease, leading to a higher quality of life.
From tumors and cancer to cataracts there is little turmeric cannot heal. Speaking with an Indian delegate to Codex recently, a food scientist from the Spices Board, she said that even a poultice made of turmeric and applied overnight would resolve most ulcers and abscesses on the body. Many East Indians eat pickled turmeric daily; NHF wants to ensure that it remains available as a nutritional supplement for those who don’t eat it daily as a part of their dietary pattern.
In another study from PubMed republished on GreenMedInfo’s database in 2008, diabetes was induced in rats but the subsequently administered curcumin-and-turmeric treatment appeared to have countered the hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress. Blindness is a complication of diabetes. Curcumin will make an effective addition to a diabetic protocol on several counts.
In the July 2012 issue of Evidence Based Complementary Medicine, a longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early, age-related macular degeneration reported sustained benefits to central retinal function. Lastly, lowly rosemary comes to the forefront in retinal protection in macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, which has no known therapeutic treatments, so this is exciting indeed.
If you don’t think the drug companies are anxious to swoop in and snatch up these ancient spices and herbs to patent them out of your reach, just look at how GlaxoSmithKline reacted in 2010 when resveratrol’s incredible healing powers were rising and its impact on multiple myeloma was creating excitement for the next super-drug. Observing the incredible potential of resveratrol, GlaxoSmithKline pursued this molecule, skewing its molecular structure in order to patent what was being touted as a “poly-pill” capable of curing anything. What they most likely did not factor in was dose-dependency and ended a trial when their presumably high dose created kidney failure; they may very well have missed their aim of patenting a natural substance that still holds its place well, impacting an important cross section of diseases. But the pharmaceutical model stands as a threat to health and health freedom today as common spices are exhibiting radical healing potential on their own without the structural skewing and we have access to them directly and much more cheaply due in large part to NHF’s protective stance in regards to nutritional supplements at Codex.
It puts NHF on high alert when Codex Alimentarius decides to insinuate itself into your kitchen spice rack by adding a new Codex committee meeting in India in February 2014. According to Sanjay Dave, Codex Chairman, the first meeting will be to frame strategies for quality of culinary spices and promote harmonization to facilitate World trade. As far as the spice quality is concerned, that deals with issues like physical characteristics, uniformity in color, size, appearance, and packaging, which come under quality parameters.
Safety parameters in spices focus on pesticide residues, mycotoxin contamination, microbiological such as Salmonella, E. coli, and other contamination that is harmful to health. When these issues arise in relation to quality regulation, which again is simply addressing color, size, appearance, and packaging, they will be referred to the appropriate Codex committee responsible for them, such as the Food Labelling, Food Additives, Food Hygiene, Pesticide Residues, Contaminants, and so on, most of which the National Health Federation participates in. This initial Codex committee meeting on Culinary Spices will begin the tedious process of sorting every culinary herb into monitoring pathways handled by appropriate Codex committees on all of the issues from quality to safety. For example, the Pesticide Residue Codex Committee will determine appropriate parts per million or maximum upper limits of pesticide residues which will be adopted globally for purposes of creating harmonization in World Trade when that particular spice is exported.
According to the Spices Board of India, countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Netherlands have laid down cleanliness specification for spices. The European Spice Association (ESA), comprising members of the European Union, has come out with the “quality minima for herbs and spices.” This serves as a guideline with specifications for member countries in European Union. The European Union has yet to finalize the cleanliness specification for spices and spice products. It is too bad this governing body was not able to achieve a clean, relatively standardized export product without Codex involvement. So while there are some decidedly good aspects to Codex’s goal of harmonization by promoting the assurance that imported spices are clean and free from contaminants, where spices are concerned that have been proven in scientific research to heal many diseases, of the eyes in particular, NHF sees a pathway directly from the kitchen spice rack right to the revolving door of the Pharmaceutical industry in the hopes of patenting these healing spices. This will reduce the power of the average person to control their own health by using these spices for treating disease as World trade and the potential for profits and increased regulatory control at the expense of health reigns supreme.
The threat is not only drug companies lobbying to regulate common, but powerfully healing, kitchen spices but irradiation is an issue as well, which lowers the nutritional content of foods. India is having a problem currently with a lack of integrity in the cleanliness of their spices. Like China, once you gain a reputation for releasing impure product in world trade, you are forever suspect. They are wise to adopt standards and guidelines in many respects if they wish to increase their economy by trading globally. This could have been achieved apart from Codex, however, and should have been achieved nationally. But they have adopted this course and the National Health Federation intends to have a say in how it’s managed as we see the potential pitfalls and loss of control of healing spices currently labeled “culinary.”
Perhaps the most important part of the Indian spice issue is just what happened when GlaxoSmithKline tried to get a patent on resveratrol for use in diabetics. This action threatened to take a valuable healing tool out of the reach of the consumer and leave drug companies and doctors in full control of access and availability. The same could happen with the developing spice market being so effective in healing potentially blinding eye disease with curcumin, turmeric, saffron, and rosemary being potentially regulated as drugs. If NHF can stave it off, so much the better for us all who feel our eyesight is too precious to brook the interference of excessive and unnecessary regulation. NHF appreciates your support (http://www.thenhf.com/page.php?id=19) as we attend many Codex meetings in 2014 to protect you and your family.
 See “Saffron Stamens” page on Mountain Rose Herbs website: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/saffron_stamens.php, accessed on December 27, 2013.
 “PGRP-SC2 Promotes Gut Immune Homeostasis to Limit Commensal Dysbiosis and Extend Lifespan” ; publishing January 12, 2014 in Cell
 Suryanarayana P, Saraswat M, Mrudula T, Krishna TP, Krishnaswamy K, Reddy GB, National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Hyderabad, India, “Curcumin and turmeric delay streptozotocin-induced diabetic cataract in rats,” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 2005 Jun;46(6):2092-9.
 Piccardi M, Marangoni D, Minnella AM, Savastano MC, Valentini P, Ambrosio L, Capoluongo E, Maccarone R, Bisti S, Falsini B, “A longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early age-related macular degeneration: sustained benefits to central retinal function,” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2012;2012:429124. doi: 10.1155/2012/429124. Epub 2012 Jul 18.
 Tayebeh Rezaie1, Scott R. McKercher1, Kunio Kosaka2, Masaaki Seki1, Larry Wheeler3, Veena Viswanath3, Teresa Chun3, Rabina Joshi1, Marcos Valencia1, Shunsuke Sasaki4, Terumasa Tozawa4, Takumi Satoh1,4 and Stuart A. Lipton1, “Protective Effect of Carnosic Acid, a Pro-Electrophilic Compound, in Models of Oxidative Stress and Light-Induced Retinal Degeneration,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., November 27, 2012 vol. 53 no. 12 7847-7854, Published online before print October 18, 2012, doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10793.
Allan Haberman , “GlaxoSmithKline Stops Development Of Resveratrol Drug SRT501,” Haberman Associates
Consulting for Effective Life Science R&D and Partnering Blog, December 1, 2010.
 See“Uniform standards would help improve trade in spices,” http://www.fnbnews.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=34453§ionid=11, accessed Monday, October 07, 2013.
 See “Quality Specifications,” on Indian Spice Board website at: http://www.indianspices.com/html/spices_board_quality_spec.htm.
Kat Carroll is Associate Editor of the National Health Federation’s magazine, Health Freedom News, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Health Federation Canada. She also writes for several blogs, magazines, and is currently compiling a book on Codex Alimentarius based on first-hand experience attending International Codex meetings. Kat is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Clinic Administrator at her and her husband’s Optometry clinics. Additionally, Kat enjoys hosting guests at Adytum Sanctuary, their Pacific Northwest retreat. [email protected]. www.adytumsanctuary.com. www.thenhf.com
By Kat Carroll
An FDA Enforcement Report for the week of November 13, 2013, requested a voluntary recall of Xylanase after the discovery September 30th, citing that products may be contaminated with Chloramphenicol. Enzymes manufactured by Advanced Enzymes in Mumbai, India may result in one of the most widespread recalls of products in history. The incomplete list that follows represents primarily digestive enzymes. More products are being added daily. To date, the FDA has issued no official statement on the scope of the US contamination. http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2013/36355a-eng.php. Not only are dietary supplements affected, but various baked goods, beverages, and animal feed are now contaminated with Chloramphenicol residues that have infiltrated the United States (U.S.), Canada, Japan, and the European Union (EU).
Sales from India to Japan began the chain of contamination, which traveled through the EU and onward. A manufacturing plant in Chino, California (Specialty Enzyme and Biochemicals Company) was the point of entry into the U.S. where the tainted products were released to food and feed manufacturers. This is a call to manufacturers who adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in the U.S. to hold their suppliers to the same high standards they subscribe to; not trusting in promises but visiting raw material suppliers on site in unscheduled inspections. This is an added expense; however, liability issues come into play in cases such as this one as well so to neglect vetting suppliers is a false economy.
In an era of increased focus on food sourcing, integrity, and transparency in labeling, this is a violation of the highest order adding one of the most dangerous, banned antibiotics to an increasing burden of antibiotic resistance in a general population fully awake to the multiple assaults against them.
Sadly, there has been a lack of media attention in response to one of the largest recalls in recent history and you may still be consuming contaminated product if your supplier lacked the integrity to participate in the voluntary recall.
Chloramphenicol is quite familiar to the National Health Federation (NHF) as we recently attended the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food (CCRVDF) in August of 2013 to fight to ban this potentially fatal drug in our food supply. Chloramphenicol is a veterinary antibiotic and an unexpected “solution” to sanitizing manufacturing equipment as in the case of this recent contamination in India.
NHF was the only health-freedom organization in attendance at Codex and also the only one with the right to fight against vet residues of drugs in our food, beverage, and nutritional supplement supply and we won! The news release summarizing the results of CCRVDF is at this link on the NHF website: http://www.thenhf.com/article.php?id=3664. At the time of this Codex meeting, it was not common knowledge that India was washing equipment with a soon-to-be contraband, dangerous antibiotic. Had NHF known this, we would have argued against this on your behalf as well.
At CCRVDF, NHF successfully argued to get 9 out of 10 antibiotics banned in the Global food supply entering the U.S. as imports. One of those antibiotics was deadly Chloramphenicol, which is used in imported meat producing animals and aquaculture, primarily shrimp and clams. It is banned in the EU, Canada, and United States, yet illegal use of inexpensive Chloramphenicol to treat seafood products remains a possibility due to its broad-spectrum antibiotic activity. This is a concern as dangerous Chloramphenicol has among listed side effects aplastic anemia leading to leukemia.
Even pro-drug-industry Wikipedia has this to say about this toxic antibiotic, which NHF demanded banned at CCRVDF, “Chloramphenicol… is both cheap and easy to manufacture and it is frequently an antibiotic of choice in the Developing World…The most serious adverse effect associated with Chloramphenicol treatment is bone marrow toxicity, which may occur in two distinct forms: bone marrow suppression, which is a direct toxic effect of the drug and is usually reversible, and aplastic anemia, which is idiosyncratic (rare, unpredictable, and unrelated to dose) and generally fatal.”
Potent Chloramphenicol has excellent blood-brain barrier penetration as well as passing through breast milk. 20g cumulative dose seems to be the tipping point into serious disease, even increasing chances for childhood leukemia. While these potentially fatal levels seem unlikely to be obtained by the amount of Xylanase present in digestive enzymes, consider the unnecessary introduction of antibiotics into our system in nutritional supplements and the potential for accumulation by consuming it regularly with the addition of other Chloramphenicol tainted foods and beverages.
In nutritional supplements, Xylanase was the ingredient contaminated by Chloramphenicol. It is used to break down cornstarch, which leads to a whole other issue: get verified non-GMO nutritional supplements from a reputable source like Mountain Health Products, which only stocks pharmaceutical quality supplements in over 30 professional lines. (http://www.mhpvitamins.com/). Sharon Lynn, owner of Mountain Health Products, shared how this problem was resolving from her standpoint as a raw materials purchaser, “A clean form of Xylanase is now available but to be on the safe side I requested reformulations of our product lines without Xylanase in them.” She added, “Make sure you ask your retail supplier, if you buy from them instead of a professional quality line, if their product contains Xylanase as the recall was voluntary. Vendors lacking integrity will simply choose not to say anything.” And they must not have as this has not been prominent in the media.
The contamination initiated in India blindsided supplement manufacturers. How are manufacturers supposed to know to test for non-standard items like antibiotics in their enzymes? Sharon Lynn added, “If this is happening with Xylanase where they are washing their equipment down with Chloramphenicol, we can assume it may be happening with other supplement ingredients as well.” This kind of deception, so recently evident in the Chinese food supply as well, raises doubt and trust issues between consumers and suppliers. This is one of the main reasons NHF has a strong, protective presence as food and supplement regulators at Codex where these guidelines and standards are set for the World.
What you can do to cut your chances of contamination:
- Demand to know the source of your raw ingredients, whether supplements, beverages or food.
- Buy from only reputable sources that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices.
- Good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are guidelines that provide a system of processes, procedures and documentation to assure a product has the identity, strength, composition, quality and purity that appear on its label. NSF International’s GMP Registration Program enables manufacturers to become independently registered by NSF to meet GMP requirements. The program is open not just to manufacturers of dietary supplements but also to manufacturers of ingredients and raw materials, as well as distribution, warehousing and packaging companies, who want to demonstrate their commitment to public safety.
- Insist on non-GMO nutritional supplements and foods.
- Support the ongoing work of NHF ensuring these dangerous contaminants are kept out of the food, beverage, and nutritional supplement supply by joining and donating at www.thenhf.com. NHF has no government funding and relies on the public solely for financial support to continue representing consumer on the Global level as food regulators with a highly successful track record.
Kat Carroll is Associate Editor of the National Health Federation’s magazine, Health Freedom News, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Health Federation Canada. She also writes for several blogs, magazines, and is currently compiling a book on Codex Alimentarius based on first-hand experience attending International Codex meetings. Kat is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Clinic Administrator at her and her husband’s Optometry clinics. Additionally, Kat enjoys hosting guests at Adytum Sanctuary, their Pacific Northwest retreat. [email protected]. www.adytumsanctuary.com. www.thenhf.com
Roast Beef, Potatoes, And Carrots Don’t “Meet Nutrition Guidelines” But GMOs, HFCS, And Trans Fats Do
The school lunch drama continues, this time in Manitoba, Canada.
Close on the heels of a federally sponsored preschool in Virginia disallowing homemade lunches without a doctor’s note, a mom in Manitoba was given this note and a $10 fine when her children’s preschool felt that the lunch she sent from home required “supplemental” Ritz Crackers.(source: Weighty Matters Blog)
The lunch that didn’t meet the Canadian Food Guide requirements?
Leftover roast beef, potatoes, and carrots, with an orange for dessert, and a container of milk.
Natalie and Logan’s mom, Kristin Bartiw, wrote of her dismay:
[If the lunch contained] “microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box” those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.
So what say you? Have you come across a more insane school lunch policy? Because I sure haven’t. (source)
This particular brown bag hullabaloo is based on a policy of the Manitoba provincial government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations, which require children’s lunches to be checked against the Canadian Food Guide and then “supplemented” by the workers of the school. The “supplementation” comes with fine of $5 per child, which is taken directly from the parent’s account.
Now, generally speaking, grains are encouraged because they contain fiber. But check out the nutritional information on Ritz Crackers. What seems to be missing from this “grain supplement”? Also note which vitamins are present…pretty much NONE of them.
So…Ritz Crackers, of $5 add-on fame, contain no fiber, no protein, and no vitamins, but this ticks the boxes required by the government of the province of Manitoba?
This leads to the question, “What do Ritz Crackers contain?” I’m glad you asked.
Wow – what parent could object to these GMO-laden “grains”? Loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (a GMO-sourced poison linked to obesity, diabetes, and containing unregulated toxic contaminants), partially hydrogenated oils (this is a trans fat and currently on the verge of becoming a banned ingredient in the US), sugar (because HFCS just doesn’t make it sweet enough), and chemicals, it’s a great addition to a healthy lunch…please note my sarcasm.
The government is stepping in to replace the parents. They are overriding parental authority by teaching the kids their version of nutrition, based on vitamin-deficient processed foods over whole foods. Then, to add insult to injury, they’re charging the parents money to do this.
Don’t look at this story and say, “Oh, it happened in Canada – it could never happen here.” It could and it has and it will continue unless we stand up to it. Our school systems are disastrous. Common Core, a curriculum intent on churning out little worker bees, is making them even worse. – they are about “habit-training” rather than teaching. Todd Walker of Survival Sherpa lists some unwritten lessons of forced schooling:
- Never question authority – rulers are right
- School nutrition is healthy
- Teachers are experts
- College is the only ‘real’ choice for success after high school
- History taught in schools is accurate: “God cannot alter the past, but historians can.” – Samuel Butler
- Faux hero-worship is encouraged
- Regurgitate answers rather than solve problems – (State Standardized testing is a money-making scam to pad pockets while keeping the masses dazed and confused. Of course, this isn’t openly taught, but true none the less.)
- Give up your right to privacy in exchange for security in a world filled with boogie-men<
- Understand that the State owns your child and there will be no negative consequences when you transfer your authority over your children to that of government force
- Individualism is not tolerated and will be squashed with great force
- Students are lumps of clay that need to be molded to be useful to the collective
- Guns are evil – knives too
- Schools incubate a mini police state in every child to forcefully mold compliant subjects
- Learning through play is no longer allowed
Politicians like to bandy about the phrase that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Unfortunately, it seems to be the idiots who are in charge of this village. Don’t let them raise your children.
Monsanto, McDs, Coke And Friends Mis-Educate Registered Dieticians About the “Benefits” Of Processed Food
In the most mind-boggling conflict of interest you may have seen in quite a while, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) has put out a “fact” sheet on the “benefits” of processed foods for the members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
First, here’s a little background on the cast of characters in this little propaganda drama.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is “the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals” and is made up of registered dieticians and dietetic technicians. Their mission states, “The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a multidimensional organization that strives to improve the nation’s health and advance the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.” The group claims to be “ the public’s and news media’s best source for the most accurate, credible and timely food and nutrition information” and they are committed to the ongoing education of their members and the general public.
The International Food Information Council
The IFIC is “your nutrition and food safety resource”, allegedly committed to helping out both consumers and professionals. According to their website, ”The International Food Information Council Foundation provides food safety, nutrition, and healthful eating information to help you make good and safe food choices.”
The IFIC sounds absolutely awesome until you learn who their sponsors are: ”IFIC receives funding from the usual suspects — including, but not limited to, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Mars, McDonald’s, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Red Bull, and Yum! Brands (this last being the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and WingStreet).”
The Dietitians for Professional Integrity
Finally, we have our heroes, a group of rebel dietetic professionals. Dietitians for Professional Integrity stand for everything that is right about the field of nutrition and dietetics. They promote real food for real health. Their mission:
We are a group of concerned dietetics professionals advocating for greater financial transparency, as well as ethical, socially responsible, and relevant corporate sponsorships within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This website was created to let you know more about who we are and why we do not think Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, and other Big Food giants should sponsor the country’s largest nutrition organization.
Our efforts are guided by professional integrity. We believe the American public deserves nutrition information that is not tainted by food industry interests. Those of us who co-founded Dietitians for Professional Integrity are nutrition experts first and foremost; we went to school to help people achieve better health through food, not to help multinational food companies sell more unhealthy products. (source)
Hey – The “Experts” Say that Processed Food is Not That Bad!!!!
The IFIC has put together a
propaganda handout “fact” sheet, “What Is A Processed Food? You Might Be Surprised!” for the benefit of the members of the AND. (Read it and weep RIGHT HERE.)
The professional watchdog group, Dietitians for Professional Integrity, points out the blatant dishonesty of the flyer.
[The “fact” sheet] … perfectly demonstrates how food industry front groups spin science in an attempt to assuage public concerns about their clients’ products.
Titled “What Is A Processed Food? You Might Be Surprised!”, this ‘fact sheet’ mentions that breakfast cereals, like frozen vegetables and roasted nuts, are processed. They conveniently fail to mention that, unlike most breakfast cereals, the freezing of vegetables and roasting of nuts does not obliterate nutrients. Nor do frozen vegetables and roasted nuts contribute artificial dyes, artificial flavors, chemical additives, or partially hydrogenated oils to people’s diets.
IFIC also relies on a familiar food industry tactic — absurdly tying modern-day processing techniques to traditional ones. “Food processing began about 2 million years ago, when our ancestors put flame to food”. Of course, heating food has nothing in common with partially hydrogenating oils, making aspartame, or turning corn into high fructose corn syrup. The food industry is aware that people are increasingly concerned with hyper-processed products, and trying to link the term “processed food” to chopping a carrot or cooking a piece of fish is one way of perpetuating deception. (source)
The flyer is also quick to laud the many wonders of corn (one of the major sources of toxic GMOs in the North American food supply) and to patronizingly try to convince us that we completely misunderstand the noble purposes of the food industry. They are trying to actually serve up food that is fresher by processing it until it is chemically unrecognizable as food.
Back in January, the AND received harsh criticism from another industry watchdog, Eat Drink Politics, because of corporate conflicts of interest.
Public health attorney and author Michele Simon asks: Are America’s nutrition professionals in the pocket of Big Food? While the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 74,000-member trade group partners with the likes of Coke and Hershey’s, the nation’s health continues to suffer from poor diet.
The largest trade group of nutrition professionals—the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—has a serious credibility problem. In a damning report released today, industry watchdog Eat Drink Politics examines the various forms of corporate sponsorship by Big Food that are undermining the integrity of those professionals most responsible for educating Americans about healthy eating.
The report details, for example, how registered dietitians can earn continuing education units from Coca-Cola, in which they learn that sugar is not a problem for children and how Nestlé, the world’s largest food company can pay $50,000 to host a two-hour “nutrition symposium” at the Academy’s annual meeting. (source)
This is a clearcut case of the foxes telling the chickens how to best build their henhouses. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics can maintain no credibility whatsoever when they are being “educated” by Big Food, who is not at all interested in consumer health, but only in health of their bottom line. AND likely started out as a positive organization dedicated to good health, but they were sidetracked along the way by all of the money that Big Food threw in their path.
If you wonder why the public is so confused about what constitutes good nutrition you need look no further than the propaganda being spouted by these so-called “experts” and beacons of ”continuing education.” There is a real problem when the people sponsoring the nutrition lessons are the very purveyors of GMO crops, potato chips, soda pop, and fast food.
Many people are out there trying valiantly to make the best possible choices for their families on limited budgets, but they must combat the constant disinformation on product labels that herald phrases “all-natural”, “heart-healthy”, and “low-fat”. These folks are being deliberately deceived by food manufacturers, but even worse, by professional societies like the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, all so the rich can get richer while the poor get sicker.
One of my favorite after dinner snacks to have with tea is almonds. I love the delicately flavored nut with its soft texture and light, sweet taste. If I don’t watch myself, I’m inclined to eat far more of them than I should, because I find the taste of almonds addictive. Fortunately, unlike the chips and candy many people like to snack on, almonds are extremely healthy. If you eat more than you should, no harm is actually done to your health, aside from the extra calories.
Where do almonds come from?
Almonds grow on almond trees, which are medium sized trees. Almond trees grow fruits with pits in them and those pits, not the fruits, are the almonds that many have grown to love to eat.
What makes almonds healthy?
Almonds are best known for providing a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are also found in olive oil. These healthy fats have been directly linked to improved cardiovascular health. Eating a healthy diet that includes almonds has been shown to reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL). That reduction in LDL is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
In addition to the benefits to heart health, almonds are also loaded with vitamin E (an antioxidant), magnesium, potassium and protein. Plus, studies have shown that eating almonds may help with weight loss and may be beneficial in lowering blood sugar after a high glycemic meal.
How can I incorporate almonds into my diet?
Almonds’ light, sweet taste makes it easy to incorporate into your diet. Unlike many healthy foods, it feels like the opportunities to use almonds are near unlimited. Here are a few suggestions:
- Almond butter: Add some almond butter to a shake or spread it on a sandwich, instead of peanut butter.
- Chopped/sliced almonds: Garnishing your granola, yogurt, salad, quinoa, rice, fish, or sauteed vegetable dish with almonds both enhances the taste and improves the presentation. Almonds are also great in baked goods.
- Plain almonds: Makes a great healthy snack at any time.
Just remember, because of their high fat content, almonds can turn rancid. That robs them of much of their health benefits and of their taste. To prevent that, almonds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment and kept away from sunlight.
The bottom line:
Almonds are a tasty, healthy food that can easily be incorporated into your diet either as an ingredient in a meal or as a between meal snack. So, the next time you are at the store, don’t forget to stop in the nut aisle and get yourself some almonds. Your heart (and your tastebuds) will thank you for it!