Sunflower seeds boost tryptophan levels and heart health

April 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Seeds for Cardiovascular Health(NaturalHealth365) In spite of scientific advances, heart disease is still the leading cause of death for Americans. Yet, experts tell us, many cases of cardiovascular disease are preventable, with simple lifestyle changes – such as a healthier diet – to help lower the risk.

Do you crave ‘junky’ foods? The seeds of a cheerful, hardy summer flower – scientifically known as Helianthus annuum – offer a tasty alternative to junk foods such as potato chips and cookies, and can help you redirect your cravings towards healthier fare.

Sunflower seeds – with their crunchy, pleasing texture and mildly sweet, buttery taste – are a virtually perfect snack food. They are not only packed with essential micronutrients and antioxidants, but are also rich in natural plant oils that work together to ward off heart disease.

Why are sunflower seeds good for the heart?

In addition to polyunsaturated linoleic acid, sunflower seeds contain oleic acid – an extremely beneficial monounsaturated acid that is also found in such heart-healthy treats as olives and avocados. Oleic acid helps to lower harmful LDL cholesterol while raising amounts of desirable HDL cholesterol.

In addition, animal studies have shown that a diet high in oleic acid can help reverse the negative effects of inflammatory cytokines. As inflammation triggers many serious diseases – including heart disease and cancer – this bodes well for sunflower seeds’ ability to promote coronary health.

Can oleic acid prevent heart disease?

The simple answer is yes. In a study published in 2004 in Nutrition, omega-3 polyunsaturated acids, including oleic acid, decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oleic acid also lowered unhealthy LDL cholesterol and decreased concentrations of vascular cell adhesion molecules, making cells less ‘sticky’ – and reducing risk of atherosclerosis, strokes, blood clots and heart disease.

Sunflower seeds have been shown to boost immunity

Sunflower seeds are rich in amino acids, organic compounds essential to the production of protein. In addition to their role as “building blocks” of protein, amino acids can help to prevent the buildup of body fat and boost the immune system; they can also benefit the heart in a variety of ways.

A mere quarter of a cup – about 35 grams – of sunflower seeds contains an impressive .70 grams of arginine – which can increase the elasticity of arteries while decreasing vascular resistance. By helping to keep blood vessels dilated, arginine enhances blood flow, helping to prevent the development of coronary artery disease.

Sunflower seeds also offer healthy amounts of tryptophan. Many people know that tryptophan can promote restful sleep and reduce anxiety and mood swings; not as well known is the fact that tryptophan is a potent antioxidant that can scavenge harmful free radicals in the body.

Glutamic acid, also found in sunflower seeds, benefits the cardiovascular system as well. In a 2009 study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that this amino acid can significantly lower blood pressure.

Good things come in small packages

The same quarter-cup serving of sunflower seeds contains over 80 percent of the adult daily value of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vitamin E – which helps protect against the oxidation of cholesterol, a major factor in heart disease. Sunflower seeds are also high in selenium, a terrific antioxidant – especially when taken in conjunction with vitamin E. Sunflower seeds also contain healthy levels of magnesium – which helps to regulate blood pressure, and niacin – which boosts levels of desirable high-density lipoproteins.

With 204 calories to a quarter-cup, sunflower seeds are not a low-cal food. However, one serving offers the same amount of protein as an 8-oz. container of yogurt; sunflower seeds’ exemplary amounts of vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and protein make them a very good caloric investment. In addition, they are naturally high in heart-healthy dietary fiber – which leads to a feeling of satiety, and can help prevent overeating.

Choosing the best sunflower seeds

It doesn’t much matter if you buy your sunflower seeds shelled or unshelled; the important thing is that they be organic. Unshelled sunflower seeds should feel crisp and firm; avoid any that appear limp, soggy or withered.

Shelled sunflower seeds should be grayish-white, and have a fresh, clean fragrance; if they are visibly yellowed, this could mean that they are rancid. Unshelled seeds may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, while shelled seeds should be refrigerated.

You can use these versatile seeds to add flavor and texture to rice, pasta, tabouleh or casserole dishes. Sprinkle them over green salads, stir them into oatmeal, or use them to enliven chicken salad. Highly portable and convenient to eat, sunflower seeds are perfect for quick energy on the hiking trail, or for an afternoon pick-me-up at your desk.

With almost every constituent working together to ward off coronary disease, it is almost as if sunflower seeds have been divinely engineered towards the goal of protecting your heart. All you have to do is nibble away and enjoy.

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References:
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/120/3/221
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15165614
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=57
http://www.lipidworld.com/content/8/1/25
http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/selenium

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Omega-3 warnings and solutions to avoid disease

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Vegan Sources of Omega-3(NaturalHealth365) Are you Omega-3 deficient? According to an overwhelming abundance of scientific data – the answer (for most people) is yes. Low Omega-3 intake is directly associated with arthritis, brain disorders, hypertension plus many other cardiovascular issues.

So, how can we prevent this risk to our health?

The answer is really quite simple – stop eating too many Omega-6 rich foods. The typical ‘modern’ diet offers way too many Omega-6 fatty acids – by way of conventionally-produced meats and overly-processed foods – which actually inhibits the conversion of Omega-3 into DHA and EPA. In fact, the typical American diet has about 20 times more Omega-6 fatty acids versus Omega-3 fatty acids, and this sets the stage for disease.

How does Omega-3 deficiency damage the body?

Simply put, low Omega-3 intake tends to promote inflammation – the root cause of most degenerative diseases. Think about all those bagels, potato chips, crackers, French fries and the overabundance of processed, vegetable oils in packaged food items. Obviously, over time, all these foods create nutritional deficiencies that damage the circulatory system and brain cells.

Most people tend to think that a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids come from fish, dairy and meats. But, especially these days, one has to consider the quality of the food and its source. When choosing animal food – look for pasture-raised (grass fed) beef and dairy products. Remember, the healthier the animal – the better the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.

Bottom line: Most people eat way too many vegetable oils – high in Omega-6 – and there is significant evidence that this can cause serious harm. People who eat a non-industrialized, organic fresh foods diet have an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of about 4:1 to 1:4 – plus a much lower risk for developing life-threatening diseases.

Is it dangerous to be a vegetarian?

Without getting into a debate, the truth is vegetarians can consume adequate amounts of essential fatty acids – in the right proportion. Like anyone else, it just takes a little thought in making the right decision.

Not surprisingly, flax seeds top the list in terms of best vegetarian choices of Omega-3. In fact, just one ounce of flax seed contains 6388mg of Omega 3 and only 1655mg of Omega 6. In addition, just one tablespoon of flax oil can deliver 7196mg of Omega 3.

Looking for more healthy choices? Try adding some chia seed to your diet. Often touted for its ability to improve physical strength and endurance – one ounce of chia seeds gives us 4915mg of Omega 3 but just 1620mg of Omega 6. Especially for diabetics, chia seeds will help to improve insulin sensitivity.

Where else can I get Omega-3 rich foods?

Walnuts provide an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of 4:1. They are high in the anti-inflammatory ALA and a very good source of manganese and copper. Most importantly, if you’re looking to boost brain power, walnuts have been shown to improve cognitive learning and performance.

Did you know that certain microalage produce high levels of EPA or DHA? Microalgae, like spirulina, are microscopic single cell plants that are found in oceans and lakes. They are at the bottom of the food chain and the only vegan source of both EPA and DHA.

Obviously, there are many other choices – when it comes to Omega-3 rich foods. You can add wakame (seaweed) to soup or try some dark, leafy green vegetables, wild rice, berries or cabbage foods like, cauliflower. All of these foods – naturally – provide a healthy balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio.

Final thoughts. Omega-3 deficiencies can easily be avoided by making better food choices. Spend your money on fresh, organic foods – as often as possible – and stay away from the profit-centered, major food producers that care little about your health.

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References:
http://plenteousveg.com/vegan-sources-omega-3
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids
http://authoritynutrition.com/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio

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Berries prevent memory loss and depression

April 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Berries Prevent Memory Loss(NaturalHealth365) Colorful, juicy and highly nutritious, berries offer more to your health than you can imagine. Substantial experimental data, over the last decade, indicate that consuming berries prevent brain damage and age-related memory loss. The variety of beneficial compounds in berries not only will reduce the risk of many diseases but also prevent conditions such as stress and depression.

Berries are rich in anthocyanins, which are responsible for the bright hue of the fruit. These compounds also demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties along with vitamin C and quercetin. Well known for reducing the risk of diseases, berries have gained popularity for their ability to improve cognitive function and memory in both animal models and humans.

A perfect food for brain strength and vitality

Most berries are particularly high in a subclass of flavonoids called anthocyanidins, a phytonutrient that can cross the blood-brain barrier. These compounds seep into the brain tissues and localize in the hippocampus part of the brain (areas of learning and memory). Anthocyanidins are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that effectively combat oxidative stress and inflammation – two important components to cognitive impairment.

A 2012 study that observed the rate of cognitive decline on older adults found that higher intake of flavonoid-rich berries reduced the rates of cognitive decline. Researchers of this study concluded that increasing the consumption of berries could be a potential strategy for reducing cognitive decline. Interestingly enough, anthocyanin works in synergy with quercetin to prevent age-related memory loss.

A great way to clear away toxins in the brain

A research report presented at the 2013 Experimental Biology revealed that berries protected against radiation – in a study on mice. Based on the study findings, researchers reported that the brains of rats exposed to radiation were protected from damage and accelerated aging when fed with berries for a period of two months.

According to the researchers, the interesting find of this study was that the berries were able to activate brain’s natural ‘clean- up’ mechanisms called autophagy. Autophagy is the natural process of the brain to clear out the accumulated toxins.

However as we age this mechanism declines thereby causing memory loss. This finding is of significance as most diseases of the brain including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are due to an increased accumulation of toxic protein. Berries with their ability to promote autophagy, helps to reduce the accumulation and prevent memory and other age-related cognitive decline.

But wait, there’s more good news about berries.

When it comes to the total antioxidant levels – berries are a winner. One cup of wild blueberries give us about 13,400 total antioxidants – vitamin A, C, quercetin and anthocyanidins; nearly 10 times the USDA’s recommendation for antioxidants.

Cranberries contain about 8900 total antioxidants, blackberries about 7700, raspberries 6000 and strawberries 5900, and sweet cherries 4800. Be sure to consume a spectrum of colored berries, purple-blue-red-orange, to get the most of the antioxidants.

Of course, berries are super convenient, can be eaten raw and makes for a healthy ‘on-the-go’ snack. Tossed into a green salad, they not only improve the nutritional value of the recipe but also helps to spruce up the color, flavor and texture of the meal. Being versatile, berries can be added to porridge, pancakes, yogurt or as a sprinkle over coconut ice cream. (yummy!)

Spring is the best time to enjoy a variety of berries, with the season peak starting in mid-May. You can also buy berries from your local farm in large quantities, clean and freeze it to be used for later months. Naturally, be sure to choose organic berries to avoid pesticides and other toxins.

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References:
1. Devore EE1, Kang JH, Breteler MM, Grodstein F. Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Annals of Neurology, 2012; Jul;72(1):135-43.
2. American Chemical Society. “Eating berries may activate the brain’s natural housekeeper for healthy aging.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2010.
3. Devore EE, Kang JH, Breteler MM, Grodstein F. intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Ann Neurol. 2012 Jul;72(1):135-43.

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Diet soft drinks cause heart disease in women

April 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Diet Soda Alert for Women(NaturalHealth365) Since writing about the 9 legal weapons of mass destruction, I think it’s about time to expand the list. For starters, I would say diet soda is the deadliest beverage on Earth. As if kidney damage and weight gain weren’t enough, diet drinks are now being implicated in heart disease among women.

Women are under attack by the food and beverage industry. Playing on their concerns about appearance and weight issues – many women tend to consume lots of diet soft drinks – which put them at a higher risk for heart attacks, blood clots and other cardiovascular problems.

Is conventional science lying to women (and men)?

I’ll let you decide. According to Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. – from the Mayo Clinic:

”Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.”

She goes on to say…

”Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss. Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories in the short term, it’s not yet clear if it’s effective for preventing obesity and related health problems.”

In my opinion, this is blatantly deceptive and clearly shows a lack of nutritional intelligence. How could any health professional suggest that drinking artificial sweeteners (and chemicals) are ‘safe’ and ignore the facts?

According to a large study, artificially sweetened beverages – including diet sodas and low-calorie fruit drinks – were a cause for alarm. These findings come from a study of nearly 60,000 healthy post menopausal women living in the United States. I’ll bet most dieticians (and nutritionists) that recommend diet soda have never read this report.

Drinking diet soda increases your risk for premature death

The study found women who drank two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, and 50 percent more likely to die, than women who rarely touch such drinks.

According to the lead author, Dr. Ankur Vyas, a cardiovascular disease expert at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic:

’Our study suggests an association between higher diet drink consumption and mortality. People who drank diet sodas had a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference over a few years compared to those who skipped soft drinks. This alone may be part of the reason diet drinks are associated with heart disease.’

Good science is clearly telling people – ‘beware of diet soda’.

The University of Miami and Columbia University researchers followed 2,500 plus New Yorkers for 10 years. The volunteers were over 40 and never had a stroke. At the start of the study, the participants indicated the amount of diet soda they drank.

At the end of 10 years, the daily diet soda drinkers were more likely to have had a stroke or heart attack and to have died from vascular disease. The increased risk remained even after the study investigators accounted for smoking, exercise, weight, sodium intake, high cholesterol and other factors that contribute to heart disease.

The results were published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, French researchers found an association between type-2 diabetes and diet soda.

Researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center claim those who drink diet soft drinks are 43 per cent more likely to have heart attacks, vascular disease or strokes than those who have none.

Why does diet soda threaten the heart?

There are few things that contribute to the diet soda risk. For example, animal studies show that the caramel coloring contained in diet sodas causes vascular problems. Most of the diet soft drink market consists of diet soda.

Women who drank diet soda excreted more calcium in their urine compared to women who drank water. Calcium is essential for normal muscle and nerve function and for blood clotting.

Diet sodas contain mold inhibitors, which are not found in regular sodas such as, sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate. Sodium benzoate has the ability to deactivate parts of our DNA and can damage the mitochondria within our cells. And, we all know, mitochondrial deficiencies reduce cellular energy and promote all forms of disease.

In addition, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame have been clearly tied to pulmonary hypertension, systemic hypertension, and frequent cardiac arrhythmias. Almost nothing could be more toxic to the human body than artificial sweeteners – which are available in thousands of supermarket items.

Conventional healthcare professionals need to stop and think

How could any medical professional suggest that diet soda ‘isn’t likely to hurt you.’ Are you kidding me? Don’t listen to marketing nonsense or propaganda noise – use common sense.

The solution is simple.

Don’t waste your money on artificially-sweetened food or drinks. Replace heavily-processed junk items with natural, whole (organic) foods – as much as possible. If you want to be healthy – drink water, herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices; stay physically active, every day and avoid overeating.

Want to share your health success stories? Post your comments – below.

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Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.

References:
http://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/diabetes/can-diet-soft-drinks-contribute-to-heart-trouble-in-women
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/diet-drinks-linked-heart-disease-death-n66476
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-there-a-link-between-diet-soda-and-heart-disease-201202214296
http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/7-side-effects-of-drinking-diet-soda
http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/osteoporosis-diet-soda-depletes-calcium-and-may-increase-heart-attack-risk.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC387446
http://www.rense.com/general82/gcar.htm

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New research reveals the benefits of cocoa

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Cocoa Prevents Heart Disease(NaturalHealth365) For lovers of dark chocolate, these are happy days indeed. Brand-new research has just revealed that cocoa – a key ingredient in chocolate – can help to prevent heart disease.

Many people may find this a bit surprising – but the act of digesting chocolate actually creates anti-inflammatory compounds in the body. In fact, data presented at the 247th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, is the most recent addition to existing research supporting the beneficial properties of chocolate.

When researchers at Louisiana State College of Agriculture set out to explore the mechanism by which chocolate promotes heart health, they discovered that beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract feed on polyphenols in the chocolate, fermenting them into heart-healthy anti-inflammatory compounds.

The polyphenols, specifically catechins and epicatechins, are difficult for the body to digest, but function as a perfect food for beneficial gut microbes such as Bifidobacterium. However, this latest discovery highlights only one of the ways in which consuming cocoa can improve your digestive heatlh and overall wellbeing.

The true power of dark chocolate gets revealed

Over the last decade, evidence of dark chocolate’s benefits has continued to accumulate. In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, cocoa has an antiplatelet effect – meaning it helps to reduce the stickiness of platelets, thereby cutting the risk of thrombosis.

Researchers believe that cocoa owes at least some of its health-promoting powers to its ability to activate and increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide – which has a relaxant effect on vascular smooth muscle cells.

Can cocoa lower LDL cholesterol levels?

Cocoa butter, found naturally in dark chocolate, is extremely rich in monounsaturated oleic and stearic acids. Researchers think these substances may be responsible for the results of a study in which hypertensive patients consumed flavonoid-rich dark chocolate every day for two weeks, then experienced a 12 percent decrease in harmful LDL cholesterol. See how easy it is to lower excess cholesterol – without the need for toxic drugs?

Theobromine, also found in cocoa, seems to help to reduce blood pressure. In addition, cocoa also contains high levels of flavonols, a type of polyphenol found in grape juice, wine and berries.

Are you still skeptical? (Wait until you read this)

In an article published in 2009 in the well-regarded and peer-reviewed journal Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine, the authors credited cocoa in chocolate with beneficial effects on blood pressure, insulin resistance and platelet and vascular function, and reported that it prevents platelet adhesion and aggregation. In addition, they said that consuming cocoa helps to improve heart function and alleviate angina pectoris, promote digestion, and improve kidney and bowel function.

Good health never tasted so good. Citing a study in which patients with cardiovascular risk factors experienced increased vasodilation after consuming a flavonol-rich cocoa drink, the authors credited the epicatechins in cocoa with providing this beneficial vascular effect.

Important information for smokers and hypertensive patients

In yet another study, dark chocolate not only improved flow-mediated vasodilation in young smokers, but also boosted their antioxidant status, meaning that it gave their bodies more ability to scavenge destructive free radicals. Furthermore, it helped to delay the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reduced reactive oxygen species, and inhibited the oxidation of DNA – all potent antioxidant effects that can help prevent the development of heart disease and cancer.

Can dark chocolate help to control blood pressure?

Perhaps most interesting of all, the authors of the Contemporary Review article reported that a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled studies confirmed that volunteers given dark chocolate experienced a reduction in blood pressure equal to that of pharmaceutical high blood pressure medications. Although they called for further placebo-controlled studies, the authors felt confident enough of cocoa’s health benefits to term it an “important mediator in heart health.”

How do I start using chocolate to promote heart health?

The answer, of course, is not to begin wolfing down candy bars; commercially processed, sugary chocolate has a high caloric load and could induce weight gain, diabetes and dental caries. Health benefits are highest when you use cocoa-based products with little or no sugar.

Keep in mind, milk chocolate does not provide the same benefits as dark chocolate, and white chocolate offers almost no benefits at all. Naturally, if you suffer with heart disease, talk to a knowledgeable doctor or nutritionist about the ideal amount of chocolate for you.

Generally speaking, the darker – and the richer in natural cocoa – the better. Some of the dark chocolate used in the studies contained as much as 74 percent cocoa.

And it seems as though dark chocolate need not be eaten in large amounts for benefits to accrue. In one study, it only took a small amount of dark chocolate – 6 grams, each evening – to significantly reduce both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of volunteers.

One final note. To get even more benefit from your chocolate, John Finley, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher, suggests taking prebiotics, which support the growth of beneficial stomach bacteria. In an article published in ScienceDaily, Finley noted that combining chocolate with solid fruits can also boost the healthful effects.

I don’t know about you – but I think it’s time for some chocolate-covered strawberries.

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References:
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/119/10/1433.long
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm

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The cancer fighting benefits of whey protein

March 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Whey Protein(NaturalHealth365) There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that whey protein can support the immune system, while killing cancer cells. Whey has multi-factorial benefits for cancer patients according to validated studies. It has a broad spectrum of compounds, which protect healthy cells and suppresses cancer cells.

Why should cancer patients consider whey protein?

Simply put, whey’s lactoferrin is a cancer killer. Lactoferrin activates the innate immune system cells like the neutrophils, macrophages and T-cells. These are the first line of defense against harmful pathogens – including cancer cells.

You see, cancer cells have a highly negative membrane charge which attracts lactoferrin, while healthy normal cells have a neutral charge. Lactoferrin is attracted to the cancer cells, attaches to them and triggers a process that kills the cancer cell; as well as blocking angiogenesis – the growth of blood vessels that feed cancer cells.

Just be careful about the quality of your whey protein. For example, I know that Goat Whey Protein Plus comes from grass fed goats and these animals are never fed GMO foods.

Another key to lactoferrin’s cancer-fighting properties is its amazing ability to bind with iron. It forms a bond with iron that’s 100 times stronger than transferrin – your body’s major iron transport protein.

Keep in mind, as you may know, several studies suggest that excessive amounts of iron, in your diet, increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Researchers have shown that many chronic diseases – in particular, cancer – need iron to reproduce and grow.

How does whey protein boost my antioxidant levels?

Lactoferrin triggers the production of glutathione, better known as the ‘master’ antioxidant and a powerful substance in the prevention of cancer. Research reveals that this increase in glutathione was responsible for preventing the development of prostate cancer. In addition, a clinical study with cancer patients showed a regression of patient’s tumors when given whey protein at concentration levels of 30 grams per day.

Glutathione is classified as a phase II enzyme. These enzymes are compounds, which carry out many life enhancing functions on a cellular level.

Paul Talalay, M.D. of John Hopkins says over 20 years of research confirms that raising the levels of phase II enzymes proves to be a highly effective way to protect against carcinogenesis – the development of new cancer. He says whey supplementation should be considered a cost effective way to both prevent and dismantle cancer.

Researchers, at Lund University in Sweden, reported that alpha-lactalbumin proteins found is whey solid have the ability to kill all the known types of breast cancer cells – even at low doses. In fact, their peer-reviewed paper – published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry suggested that when consumed by the body, alpha-lactalbumin is configured into a protein that selectively induces apoptosis (programmed cancer cell suicide) in cancerous tumors.

Even the Unites States National Center for Biotechnology Information – a part of the National Institutes of Health says, ‘whey protein in diets appears to significantly inhibit the incidence and growth of chemically induced tumors in mice.’

Can whey protein slow down tumor growth?

Researchers have shown that the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine and other compounds, found in whey protein, create a calorie restrictive response. Why is this so valuable for cancer patients? Because an extensive amount of research suggests that restricting calories will improve cancer patient outcomes. More than 100 years ago, lab research first indicated that mice fed a calorie-restricted diet had “significantly slower” tumor growth than those fed their regular diet.

Obviously, this research is not suggesting that cancer patients starve themselves – but it’s worth noting that ‘more food’ doesn’t always equal greater nutrient absorption or better results for cancer patients. And, of course, most cancer patients would benefit greatly from eating primarily nutrient-dense superfoods – that tend to be lower in calories and support optimal health.

What can cancer patients do about cachexia?

Loss of muscle and fat tissue – due to chronic conditions like cancer, AIDS and mercury poisoning – is called cachexia. For cancer patients, this is often why they succumb to the disease. Fortunately, by drinking a whey protein smoothie – every day, cancer patients have an easy way to enhance lean muscle mass and boost their energy.

Buyer beware. All whey protein products are not created equal. When choosing a whey protein powder – look for a high-quality whey product that comes from grass fed animals. Simply put, the animals ought to eat only pesticide-free grass and/or non-GMO food. Naturally, consumers must also be sure that the whey is not denatured in the production process.

After much research, and I encourage you to do the same, I have found that whey protein, from goat milk, is the healthiest form of whey. Most animal foods cause acidity – but goat milk is actually alkalizing, easier to digest, less allergenic, and naturally homogenized – making it ideal for health conscious consumers.

If you’re looking for a high-quality, goat whey protein – check out Goat Whey Protein Plus. By the way, I make no money for this recommendation. It’s just my opinion.

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About the author: Dr. Matthew Roe is a practicing upper cervical chiropractor and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science. He has a Doctor of Chiropractic degree graduating Cum Laude from Life University College of Chiropractic. Having studied with the best Upper Cervical specific doctors in the world he understands true healing. His practice focus is to help people fine true health naturally.

For more information about Dr. Roe – visit: WinterGardenChiropractors.com

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10667471
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11352868
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/wheypro.htm
http://www.cancerandmetabolism.com/content/1/1/10
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1808645
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1479806
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10715761003667554
http://glutasource.info/oxidative-stress-stop-the-damage-with-glutathione

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Reduce your risk of diabetes by eating legumes

March 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Legumes Stabilize Blood Sugar(NaturalHealth365) Blood sugar imbalances lead to a plethora of health issues like chronic fatigue, a lack of concentration and excess body weight. Diabetics, in particular, understand the importance of maintaining a stable blood sugar. Have you ever considered eating legumes to reduce your risk of diabetes plus many other chronic diseases?

Obviously, by maintaining stable blood sugar levels, you can avoid unwanted sugar cravings and metabolic disorders. Among the suggested list of foods, legumes form a predominant part of the recommendation by the European, Canadian and American Diabetes Associations – as a means of avoiding sugar spikes and the need for toxic medications.

Science reveals how to control blood sugar – naturally

Legumes, or beans, such as chickpeas and lentils are among the lowest glycemic index (GI) foods and have been recommended in national diabetes mellitus (DM) guidelines for years. There has been a lot of research about how eating beans help promote healthy blood sugar levels.

A 2012 study investigated the effect of legume consumption as part of type-2 diabetic diet. The participants of the study were randomly assigned to take at least a cup of legumes per day. The other group was encouraged to consume insoluble fibers from whole wheat foods for a period of 3 months.

At the end of study period, it was observed that the group that consumed a cup of legumes per day showed a significantly stable blood sugar levels and lower risk score for heart disease compared to the wheat group. Researchers concluded that adding legumes including beans, chickpeas, and lentils not only stabilized blood sugar but also decrease the risk of heart disease among type-2 diabetics.

A 2008 population-based Chinese study showed that populations that consumed high amounts of legumes in their diet showed an inverse relationship to the risk of type-2 diabetes. Another prospective study that observed nearly 10,000 diabetics, for a period of nine years, found that legume intake decreased the death rate from heart disease as well – indicating that legumes play a significant role in diabetic care and cardiovascular health.

What is the best way to prepare beans?

Legumes are seed pods that split into two halves, the edible seeds are part of traditional cooking in many cultures. They are an inexpensive, excellent source of fiber, rich in proteins and nutrient-dense. For vegetarians, beans are a low-fat, high protein substitute for meat.

Boost up your next salad by adding some organic chickpeas or kidney beans. These highly-nutritious tasty beans go well with summer salads or as a hearty ingredient for chili recipes.

In most cases, be sure to pre-soak beans to lower the cooking time and improving digestibility. Remember to discard the soaking water and use fresh water for cooking. If you experience too much intestinal gas, from eating beans, be sure to soak your beans for 8 – 10 hours and always chew your food thoroughly before you shallow.

Always add a pinch of sea salt – at the end of cooking time – to prevent the bean skins from getting tough. Keep in mind, dry legumes store well for up to a year and sometimes even more than a year if stored away from sunlight. Naturally, always look for organic beans – whenever possible – it’s worth the investment.

Good news for diabetics and heart patients

You can completely reverse disease with diet and lifestyle changes – in spite of what pharmaceutical advertising would have you believe. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended 3 cups (6 servings) of legumes weekly – on a 2,000 calorie diet. A serving of legumes is equal to ½ cup of cooked beans, peas, or lentils.

Keep in mind, to stabilize blood sugar, eating healthy is just one part of the equation. If you suffer from any disease – make the effort to incorporate deep breathing and moderate exercise into your daily routine. The rewards are remarkable.

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References:
1. Jenkins DJ et.al; Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Nov 26;172(21):1653-60.
2. Villegas R, Gao YT, Yang G, et al. Legume and soy food intake and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(1):162-167.
3. Nothlings U, Schulze MB, Weikert C, et al. Intake of vegetables, legumes, and fruit, and risk for all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in a European diabetic population. J Nutr. 2008;138(4):775-781.

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Major university finds lead in common foods

March 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Lead Found in Common Food(NaturalHealth365) Lead, a highly toxic heavy metal, has been found in thousands of commonly used food items throughout the world. Millions of unsuspecting food consumers are buying poor quality products that reduce I.Q.; cause learning disabilities; organ failure; reproductive problems and cancer.

Our food money can change the world.. As health conscious food consumers, we must ask questions and see documentation, when appropriate, about the safety of our food. Keep in mind, especially with superfood nutrition companies, many food ingredients are tested for heavy metals. We just need to ask about the test results.

The danger of heavy metal consumption – over time

The body cannot easily eliminate lead from the body – so small doses will accumulate over time. In fact, government health regulators have stated that there is ‘no safe dosage of lead. And, as far as detoxification goes, it is far more difficult to naturally remove heavy metals from the body than it is to prevent exposure in the first place.

Marketing campaigns are targeting the most vulnerable.

The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) recently tested drinks on the market, especially those marketed to children. The report states that a whopping 85% of the tested drinks contained enough lead to require a warning label. The results are alarming since 125 our 146 products had enough lead in a single serving to justify a warning.

Of course, there are currently no juice drinks with such a label. But, with enough public awareness – we can change this quickly.

According to the ELF, lead was found in major brands of juice including Welsh’s, Great Value, Kroger, Traders Joe’s, Walnut Acres Walgreen’s brand, Minute Maid, Gerber, Del Monte, and Dole. Plus, here’s the real surprise, lead was found in organic brands such as, 365 Everyday Value® Organic, Earth’s Best® Organic, and O Organics™. And, by the way, most of these food companies are against the non-GMO labeling movement sweeping the United States.

In addition, ELF found lead in a majority of the packaged fruit and baby food products. So, if you’re spending money on Del Monte, Libby’s, Market Pantry, S&W or Dole canned fruits – make the switch to fresh, whole foods and avoid these toxic, overly-processed foods.

Our food supply is not well-regulated

A new study out of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) may give spicy food-lovers a real tummy ache. Researchers, at UNLV, reported that they’ve found concerning levels of lead in several types of imported hot sauces that were tested.

The study, by Shawn Gerstenberger and Jennifer Berger Ritchie, and published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, is the first known investigation into lead levels in hot sauces, according to the university. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have a safe standard for lead in hot sauce. I’m sure the entire conventional food industry would like this issue to just go away – but it won’t.

Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation, which revealed that several popular highly-processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and the GNC brand – all contained unacceptable levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead.

According to Consumer Reports editor Andrea Rock, ”Consuming these kinds of protein drinks on a regular basis can in some cases create the risk of chronic exposure, even at low levels, to heavy metals such as cadmium and lead that can pose health problems, particularly to vulnerable people.”

She goes on to say that, ”vulnerable people are children under age 18, pregnant women, and people suffering with diabetes or chronic kidney conditions.”

The detection of high levels of lead found in Chinese canned peaches, last year, has reignited calls for stronger country of origin labeling and more rigorous testing. This has yet to happen.

Organic food buyers need to be careful

The state attorney general has accused several large California grocery stores, including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, of selling lead-tainted ginger and plum candies in a case that underscores how little consumers know about the food they eat.

The lawsuit, filed April 30 in San Francisco Superior Court, argues that Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, 99 Ranch Market, Island Pacific Supermarket, Marina Food and other retailers have been selling candy, snacks and bulk food made with ginger or dried plums that contains dangerously high levels of lead.

These companies did not alert customers to the lead, the suit charges, and that violates California’s Proposition 65 – which requires businesses to warn consumers about harmful toxins in food, toys, jewelry and other products.

Lead-tainted food can end up in customers’ shopping carts more easily than they think, said Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union and a national expert on food safety. He said many retailers get products, particularly those made with ginger, from Asia, where food is less expensive and often produced in contaminated environments with little oversight.

If your concerned about the health risks associated with heavy metal toxicity – learn more about how to remove lead safely and effectively. Most natural health care providers will talk about the importance of vitamin C plus many other antioxidants to counter the harmful effects of heavy metals which cause massive free radical damage, cellular inflammation and disease.

A guide to safe, healthy shopping

Do your homework when buying packaged foods. Let’s face it – looking at labels simply isn’t good enough. Living in toxic environment requires phone calls, emails and face-to-face conversations with our food providers.

Are the companies you buy from testing their products for heavy metals? Call and find out. Would you like to avoid GMOs? Get the non-GMO shopping guide and make wise purchasing decisions. Naturally, your greatest food security comes from growing your own food or buying (only) from verified, organic non-GMO food companies.

Looking for natural health solutions? Sign up now – for our free, weekly show featuring the greatest minds in natural health and science plus free gifts!

Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.

References:
http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23366231/lead-tainted-ginger-case-state-sues-trader-joes
https://www.consumerlab.com/news/Protein_Powders_Reviewed/06_11_2013
http://foodbabe.com/2012/12/13/the-healthiest-protein-powders-on-the-market
http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/428-lead-in-fruit-juices-fruit-snacks-and-childrens-drinks.html
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/LeadFAQ.aspx
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/07/study-finds-concerning-levels-of-lead-in-imported-hot-sauces
http://www.inhabitots.com/85-of-kids-drinks-snacks-could-contain-high-levels-of-lead

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Artificial colors trigger unwanted human behaviors

March 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Artificial Color Dangers(NaturalHealth365) In the 1970s, Dr. Ben F. Feingold, a physician out of Kaiser Permanente, noticed the link between behavior and artificial colors. Some physicians embraced his studies and began recommending special diets, however, many physicians found there was not enough evidence and did not recommend abstaining from artificial colors.

Seven years ago, a friend of mine published an article about artificial colors and the unknown fact that nearly all artificial colors contain lead, mercury and arsenic – along with a wide array of other chemicals. Since that time, more research has been published affirming that artificial colors do in fact impact behavior, particularly for those children who are consuming artificial colors on a daily basis.

How can the Food and Drug Administration allow this to happen?

The February 2014 issue of Clinical Pediatrics stated the amount of artificial food colors certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has increased more than five-fold from 1950 – 2012. They further state that double-blind challenges with artificial colors have noted behavior reactions such as hyperactivity.

Nutritional Review found that when kids consumed artificial colors, those with ADHD actually had less attention, were more impulsive and had increased hyperactivity. Both this study as well as an article published in Neurotherapeutics found that artificial colors actually impact more children than just those diagnosed with ADHD and both believe it is a ‘public health problem’.

Don’t waste your money on poisonous products.

Artificial colors are pervasive. They are in candy, supplements, medications, cereal, yogurt, breakfast bars, cheese, bread, marshmallows, soaps and shampoos (to name a few examples).

On a daily basis, children come into contact with all of these and they can have a synergistic effect on them. For instance, a child wakes up eats cereal with artificial colors, takes their chewable vitamin with artificial colors, brushes their teeth with toothpaste that has artificial colors and then heads off to school. While there, they eat their fruit roll up or their sandwich that contains artificial colors and are hyper when they return to their class.

They then come home and have some grape juice and have macaroni and cheese both of which have artificial colors. They later take a bath using soap with artificial color as well. Day after day, this can be a great burden to a little body.

The best way to avoid artificial colors

Buying organic product fruits, vegetables and meats are one way. If you want to buy snacks for your children, buy those organic as well. There are many brands of organic snack products that are free of artificial colors.

If your child is addicted to soda, you can begin to wean them off of soda by introducing Zevia, Blue Sky Zero or adding Stevita to sparking water. These options not only have no sugar, but they are free of artificial colors as well.

Be sure to choose a good quality nutritional supplement – free of artificial colors and aspartame plus, if your child needs medication for any reason, find a compounding pharmacy that can make it for you without artificial dyes.

The benefits of using natural colors in the diet

Sometimes your child really wants color added – such as if you are making homemade play dough or to color Easter eggs. There are natural colors out there than can be used and you can purchase them at your local health food store, online or even make them yourself. Turmeric, for instance, is used as a natural yellow food color. Using plants from your garden to get other colors is also a possibility.

Since we know that kids are impacted by artificial colors and we know they contain lead, mercury and arsenic, it’s truly a necessity to reduce and eventually eliminate them from your child’s diet. You may be pleasantly surprised by their positive change in behavior and the fewer instances of illness they will have.

Using CEASE to help children detox from artificial colors has been quite effective and adding supplements such as omega-3’s can further help children who are experiencing behavior issues.

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About the author: Sima Ash of Healing 4 Soul is a clinical and classical homeopath and certified clinical nutritionist who utilizes a unique approach pioneered by Tinus Smits, M.D. called CEASE therapy. The aim of CEASE treatment is systematic detoxification of the causes of illness, leading to step by step improvement and restoration of health in the individual. For additional information, please visit – Healing4Soul.com. You can follow Sima on Facebook at ‘Cease Therapy California’ and through her weekly blog on NaturalHealth365.com

References:
http://www.townsendletter.com/Nov2007/artfood1107.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24037921
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23590704
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22864801

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Stop the spread of cancer with chili peppers

March 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Chili Peppers Kill Cancer(NaturalHealth365) Did you know the heat you feel after biting into a hot chili pepper is good for you? The compound capsaicin – that causes this pungent heat – is also found to kill cancer cells. In fact, in the last few years, the research on chili peppers has focused on many organs including, the pancreas, brain, prostate, colon and breast.

Do chili peppers harm healthy cells?

To date, there has been many studies on chili pepper’s ability to fight off cancer cells in many cancer affected organs. Among them, the 2006 study on prostate cancer cells drew more interest from researchers. Experiments, on the compound capsacisin reveal that this compound specifically targeted the tumors and cancerous cells without affecting the healthy cells.

It was found that capsaicin was able to do this by interfering with protein synthesis of the cancer cells, degradation of the cell DNA and interfering with cell transcription mechanisms of cancerous cells. While capsaicin affected the mitochondrial pathway of the cancer cells, there was no interference in the activity of healthy cells. This was observed in cancer-induced albino rats in lab studies.

A 2006 study published in Cancer Research revealed that capsaicin was effective in inhibiting prostate cancer cells. The study found that capsaicin promoted automated cell death in primary types of prostate cancer cell lines – as well as in cancer cells caused by hormones.

Furthermore, capsaicin decreased the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and inhibited the ability of the dihydrotestosterone to activate PSA. When lab animals received four weeks of treatment with capsaicin, it was observed that prostate cancer growth and size significantly decreased.

Chili peppers do more than just prevent cancer

Compounds in chili peppers have been associated with multiple benefits like positive immune health, weight loss, lower risk of diabetes, and heart-healthy effects. A randomized, cross-over study among 27 healthy subjects revealed that consuming freshly chopped chili prevented the oxidation (free radical damage) to the fat cells – which was a crucial factor in decreasing heart problems.

Capsaicin is also anti-inflammatory in nature. It inhibits substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammation that results in pain, heart diseases and other conditions. Because of this property, it has been used in a variety of chemotherapy studies for pain relief and also in many treatments involving nerve fiber disorders, conditions like psoriasis, arthritis plus many more.

Researchers say, the hotter the pepper, the higher is its capsaicin content, good examples include habanero and scotch bonnet peppers followed by jalapeno.

Ways to use chili peppers in your next recipe

Chili peppers can give any bland recipe an interesting taste. So, the next time you sauté vegetables in a stir fry try adding some chili peppers to accentuate its health benefits as well as spice up a bit. Other ways to super-charge your recipes include, adding minced chili peppers to plain yoghurt as a salad dressing; in salsa for extra hot taste; pureeing a small amount with tomatoes or olives to give a surprising twist to your recipes.

Just be very careful when you are handling fresh chili peppers, direct contact with skin, lips and eyes can cause a severe burning sensation. Be sure to use cooking gloves instead of bare hands when using them for cooking.

Consuming chili peppers, in moderation, is considered safe, however if you are allergic to peppers or night shade family, it is a good idea to keep away from this spice. Another important point to keep in mind is to buy organic hot peppers instead of conventionally grown ones. According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 report, non-organic hot peppers are among the most toxic (pesticide sprayed) items on the market.

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References:
1. Anandakumar P et.al; Capsaicin provokes apoptosis and restricts benzo(a)pyrene induced lung tumorigenesis in swiss albino mice. International Imuunopharmacology, vol 17 ( 2) 2013.
2. Mori A, Lehmann S, O’Kelly J, Kumagai T, Desmond J, Pervan M, McBride W, Kizaki M, Koeffler HP. Capsaicin, a Component of Red Peppers, Inhibits the Growth of Androgen-Independent, p53 Mutant Prostate Cancer Cells. Cancer Res 2006 Mar 15;66(6):3222-9. 2006.
3. Robbins W. Clinical applications of capsaicinoids. Clin J Pain 2000 Jun;16(2 Suppl):S86-9. 2000.

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Reduce excess cholesterol with artichokes

March 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Reduce Cholesterol with Artichokes(NaturalHealth365) Artichokes can be an intimidating vegetable with its thorny exterior and especially if you have never tried cooking it. But, they are packed with antioxidant nutrients like rutin, gallic acid, cynarin and quercetin – which protect the heart and reduce the risk of liver disease and diabetes.

For those that are accustomed to eating this vegetable, artichoke hearts are probably your favorite; however research shows that the leaves carry the most health benefits than any other part. In a 2004 study, artichokes ranked among the top antioxidant-rich vegetables and surprisingly high levels of disease-fighting compounds called phytonutrients.

How to lower excess cholesterol naturally

In the late 1970′s, researchers started looking at certain plant compounds as an alternative to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs – which is when they discovered compounds in artichokes having a cholesterol-lowering effect. Since then, artichokes have been very popular among scientists.

A 2008 study, among 75 patients, showed that the consumption of 1,280 mg of standardized artichoke leaf extract – for a period of 12 weeks – showed a modest decrease in total cholesterol levels. Researchers of this 12-week, double-blind study, concluded that artichoke extracts showed statistically significant but a modest decrease in total cholesterol levels of 4.2%.

In 2013, a randomized, placebo-controlled study, investigated the effect of artichoke extracts in patients with high cholesterol. The study was conducted for a period of 6 weeks which split participants with high blood cholesterol (>280 mg/dl) into two groups. The test group received 1,800 mg of artichoke leaf extract tablets at a dose of 450 mg tablets four times a day and the placebo group received a neutral pill. At the end of the six-week observation period the group that received artichoke showed an 18.5 % reduction in cholesterol level than the other group.

Why do artichokes decrease cholesterol?

Researchers say that artichoke leaves interfere with the cholesterol production in the body. The compound cynarin is identified as the phytonutrient that plays a key role in decreasing cholesterol. According to researchers, besides cynarin, luteolin another phytonutrient may also play a role in reducing cholesterol.

Keep in mind, the artichoke is just one of many natural ways to lower cholesterol.

Artichokes prevent cholesterol buildup via many pathways however two important mechanisms have been clearly identified. One mechanism is by inhibiting the action of enzymes that participate in cholesterol production in the liver. The second pathway is to increase the production of bile which in turn eliminated more cholesterol from the body.

And, finally, another important heart-healthy benefit associated with artichoke leaves is that they play a significant role in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol and lipoproteins – which is crucial in decreasing the risk of heart disease.

What is the best way to prepare artichoke?

Most of you may be familiar with store-bought artichoke dips or jars of marinated hearts, but many have never prepared and cooked artichokes. Cooking artichoke is easier than you can imagine.

To start, cut off the stem and trim off sharp leaf tips, discard thick outer leaves of the artichoke. Slightly open up the second layer of leaves with fingers so that you can lightly steam or boil – effectively.

You can identify if the artichoke is cooked by checking to see if the petal near the center pulls off easily. The soft pulpy portion of the leaf is the edible part of artichoke. You can eat this by pulling the leaves through your teeth to remove its soft portion – the rest of the leaf should be discarded.

According to a 2006 study, the antioxidant content of cooked artichokes is 3.56 mml/100 g serving (3.5 oz). When you take half cup of cooked artichoke it gives you 7 grams of dietary fiber about 29% of the daily value (DV), 6.2 mg of vitamin C 10% of the DV, 74.8 mcg of folate about 19% of the DV, 12.4 mg of vitamin K 16% of DV. It is also a good source of niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper.

Artichokes are available all year round, with the peak months being March, April, and May. So, next time you see an artichoke, don’t be deceived by its appearance – give it a try and enjoy a heart healthy meal.

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References:
1. Halvorsen BL, Carlsen MH, Phillips KM, Bohn SK, Holte K, Jacobs DR Jr, Blomhoff R. Content of redox-active compounds (ie, antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jul;84(1):95-135. 2006. PMID:16825686.
2. Bundy R., et al. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: A randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine Volume 15, Issue 9 , Pages 668-675, 3 September 2008.
3. Rondanelli M et.al; Beneficial effects of artichoke leaf extract supplementation on increasing HDL-cholesterol in subjects with primary mild hypercholesterolaemia: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013 Feb;64(1):7-15.
4. Kraft K. Artichoke leaf extract—recent findings reflecting effects on lipid metabolism, liver and gastrointestinal tracts. Phytomedicine. 1997;4:369-378.

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