Organic food – who can we trust

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Organic Food News” hspace=(NaturalHealth365) Organic food is big business. According to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. sales of organic food and beverages went from $1 billion in 1990 to $26.7 billion in 2010. The Organic Monitor estimates that organic sales (globally) reached $54.9 billion in 2009.

But, unfortunately, many small organic farms are selling out to bigger food corporations. We must ask – who can we trust?

On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour – Jonathan Landsman and Mark Kastel, one of the leading advocates for organic food integrity will talk about the current trends within the organic food industry; the legal aspects of organic branding; the GMO labeling movement plus much more. If you care about the source of your food supply – don’t miss this show!

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‘Organic’ food from China – can we believe it?

Whole Foods, arguably the largest retailer of organic foods, ended the year 2013 with sales approaching $13 billion. Clearly, consumer demand for fresh, organic (healthy) food is on the rise. But, wait, for the uninformed consumer – you may want to be careful with your food money.

Many of the foods sold at Whole foods – plus many other health food stores – are loaded with heavy metals, genetically modified ingredients and may not be organic, especially if these foods come from China. You see, even though we see the ‘USDA organic seal’ – many of these foods from China are not really inspected by USDA officials. We have to trust or rely on a ‘third party’ inspector that resides inside China.

In addition, we have to wonder about the quality of the food grown in China – due to its contaminated water supply. A growing number of health conscious consumers are learning that polluted water will usually equal a greater risk for heavy metal toxicity. Bottom line – just because a food product says it’s ‘organic’ doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat. Know your source.

On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, Jonathan Landsman and Mark Kastel, a leading organic food advocate will talk about the integrity of the entire organic food market plus much more.

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5 great reasons to buy local, organic food

Obvious, for most people, it’s a bit challenging to buy every food item locally. So, at the very least really get to know the source of your food – before you make your purchase. No one wants to invest in toxic food – which promotes sickness and disease.

Naturally, there’s nothing more enjoyable (or healthier) than buying food from a local, organic farmers market. Even better – try to grow your own food. You can even create a sprout garden – indoors!

Here are just a few reasons to buy locally:

1. Local food taste better. Obviously, when food is grown locally, you’ve got a better chance of eating fresher food. Most produce, in the supermarket, is picked weeks ahead of time – before it’s ripe.

2. Eating local food is seasonal. This is one of the best ways to get ‘in touch’ with nature. As you eat food seasonally – you’ll also notice that your diet tends to have much more variety.

3. Local food has more nutrition. Once a fruit or vegetable is picked – it will begin to lose its nutritional value. When you buy local food – you’re more likely to be eating fresher food – filled with more vitamins and minerals.

4. Local food supports your community. This is a great way to boost the economy around you. When you spend your money (locally) – it helps to support local farmers. This money is more likely to be re-invested in local businesses and services.

5. Local food is better for the environment. This is a great reason to buy locally-grown, organic food. Many of these farmers are less likely to use an abundance of dangerous chemicals or use genetically modified seeds to grow their crops. Want to help defeat Monsanto? Buy local, organic food.

This week’s guest: Mark Kastel, co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute and organic food advocate

The organic industry is changing fast – find out what you need to know before you shop – Sun. Feb. 9

Mark Kastel is co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute, a populist farm policy research group and directs the ‘Organic Integrity Project’. For almost 20 years, his professional practice included political consulting, lobbying on behalf of family farm groups, and business development work benefiting family-scale farmers.

Mark has played a key role in a number of cooperative ventures designed to empower farmers in the marketplace. His development work has focused on creating sustainable farmer-owned businesses with an emphasis on dairy production and marketing.

Do you know what you’re buying? One of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle is to know the source of your food. Today, we see big companies buying up small, local organic food providers. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour – we’ll talk about organic brands; farmers markets; GMOs; USDA policy plus much more. Join us and learn more about the quality of our food supply.

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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.

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Farm-raised salmon poisoned with petrochemicals

February 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Farm Raised Salmon Warning(NaturalHealth365) As of January 2014, the synthetic (toxic) astaxanthin – derived from petrochemicals – fed to farm-raised salmon will be available for human consumption through ‘nutritional’ supplements. That’s right – the same stuff that runs your car engine will be pumped into ill-informed vitamin consumers. But, the big question is why?

Uninformed consumers are being poisoned by untested food ingredients

Farm raised salmon would normally never be purchased by consumers because of its pale, grey color. So, farm raised salmon producers must feed the salmon a synthetic version of astaxanthin. This practice has never been tested for safety in humans. For more details – listen to my exclusive interview with Bob Capelli, a leading expert on the health benefits of natural astaxanthin.

How does natural astaxanthin protect my health?

In a previous article, I talked about how astaxanthin can boost your energy and immunity. But, many people ask me – ‘what is it’? Simply put, this reddish-colored pigment is produced by microalgae and gets eaten by many different forms of sea life including, salmon, lobster and shrimp.

Astaxanthin is often referred to as the ‘king of carotenoids’ due to its high potency versus other carotenoids like, beta-carotene and lycopene. Bottom line, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant like, vitamin C.

Would you like to improve your health?

Astaxanthin, like any antioxidant, has natural anti-inflammatory properties. But, unlike prescription drug painkillers, natural antioxidants do not threaten human health with unwanted (negative) side effects.

How can astaxanthin help me?

Let’s put it this way – if you suffer with chronic fatigue, digestive issues or any other kind of degenerative disease – you need to eat more antioxidants. Just be careful – natural food substances should never be viewed as a ‘magic bullet’. Unlike the unnatural conditioning we receive from conventional medicine – good health takes time to develop and maintain. Naturally, in the long run, the more you consume antioxidants, the better you’ll feel.

Time and again, we see that natural (organic) foods and non-denatured nutritional supplements can help to prevent, even reverse health problems like arthritis, poor eye health, heart disease, cancer – the list goes on and on.

My final point would be, when suffering with a chronic health issue, never give up. Work with a trusted (competent) natural healthcare provider and keep doing everything you can to nourish your body back to life!

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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://www.naturodoc.com/sulfurstudy.htm
http://www.organicsulfur-msm.ca/cellular_matrix_study.html
http://drsircus.com/medicine/cancer/cancer-sulfur-garlic-glutathione
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21269260

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Adzuki beans cut the risk of heart disease

February 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Adzuki Beans for Heart Health” hspace=(NaturalHealth365) Hippocrates, the 4th-century Greek physician credited with the quote ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,’ would probably not be at all surprised by the latest medical research on adzuki beans.

According to scientists, these small, reddish-brown, white-striped beans can play an important role in preventing heart disease, while providing outstanding nutritional value. A mainstay of Asian cuisine and macrobiotic diets, adzuki beans have been linked in scientific studies with the ability to lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure; high triglycerides – excessive fats in the bloodstream – and hypertension are both associated with increased risk of heart attacks.

And, unlike cholesterol-lowing statin drugs and prescription blood pressure medications, adzuki beans achieve their beneficial effects with no negative side effects.

How do adzuki beans lower blood pressure and triglycerides?

In a placebo-controlled study published in 2008 in the peer-reviewed medical journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, researchers gave adzuki bean extracts to hypertensive rats for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the rats in the adzuki group had fewer increases in their systolic blood pressure than the control group, along with significantly lower heart and kidney levels of inflammatory macrophages associated with the development of high blood pressure.

The team credited the beneficial effects to the adzuki bean’s high levels of proanthocyanidins, or antioxidant plant pigments.

In a clinical, placebo-controlled study published in 2008 in Journal of Clinical Biochemical Nutrition, researchers found that adult female volunteers given adzuki bean juice for a month had significantly lower amounts of serum triglycerides than the control group. The team noted that adzuki bean juice is a major ingredient in shozu-to, an herbal preparation used in Chinese Traditional Medicine to prevent stress related to aging, and concluded that further study on adzuki bean juice was warranted to clarify its triglyceride-lowering and antioxidant effects.

These numbers put adzuki beans in the ‘superfood’ category

Low-fat, cholesterol-free, with a subtly nutty taste and a satisfying consistency, adzuki beans are an ideal addition to almost any diet.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of prepared and cooked adzuki beans provides 17.30 grams of protein – over twice the amount of protein found in a cup of yogurt – and contains 294 calories. With .265 milligrams of vitamin B-1, or thiamine, 1.47 milligrams of vitamin B-2, or riboflavin, and 1.649 milligrams of vitamin B-3, or niacin – a cup of adzuki beans is high in B-complex vitamins, which are needed to metabolize fats and proteins and convert carbohydrates to glucose.

The same cup of adzuki beans contains 1,224 milligrams of the essential mineral potassium, an electrolyte needed to regulate heart rate and blood pressure; this is over four times the amount of potassium found in a medium banana.

A one-cup serving of adzuki beans also provides 386 milligrams of phosphorus, which assists calcium in creating and maintaining healthy bones. When it comes to providing manganese – a trace mineral which helps to form superoxide dismutase, the body’s natural antioxidant – adzuki beans really shine; a cup contains 1.318 milligrams, the recommended adult amount for an entire day.

What is the best way to add adzuki beans into my diet?

You can buy adzuki beans whole or powdered at many local health food stores or online. They first must be soaked (overnight) and simmered; then use them as you would any other bean: in rice dishes, soups and stews. You can also enjoy adzuki beans for dessert in the form of yokan, the red bean ice cream featured by many Asian restaurants.

Naturally, you should seek the help of a trusted medical professional to help manage high blood pressure or elevated levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.

Although their colorful appearance gives them a candy-like appearance, adzuki beans have serious benefits – these tiny powerhouses of nutrients and phytochemicals can be a valuable weapon in the battle against heart disease. Enjoy them in good health.

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References:
http://www.dietsinreview.com/slideshows/2012-super-foods/adzuki-beans
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04743.x/abstract
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/4726
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2459248

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The secret to making delicious green juices

February 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Delicious Green Juice Secrets(NaturalHealth365) Making green juice delicious is as easy as what I call using the ‘magic 3’ – and boy are they magical. It’s amazing just how much this simple little secret can change the way our taste buds react to dark green juice recipes. Believe it or not, even your children will love green juices – if you make them correctly.

Okay, get your pen and paper out – here’s the easiest way to make those healthy green juices come alive and taste spectacular!

Are you using the ‘Magic 3’ in every green juice?

1. Use organic limes or lemons.

2. Add fresh mint. (spearmint and peppermint are the best tasting)

3. Don’t forget organic apples or pears.*

*Note: We do not recommend adding any other fruit into the green juice combinations – because if you add too much fruit, you will mitigate any real value in absorption of nutrients, and especially the tonic then becomes less (by far) alkaline, and most fruits are high in sugars.

If you use the following leafy and nutritious greens, then the ‘magic 3’ will dramatically improve the taste of your health beverage. Nutritionally speaking, the best greens to use are:

Kale, spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, collards, Turnip greens, Mustard greens, broccoli, Romaine lettuces (red and green) and cabbage (green and/or red)

What is the best way to balance out my green juices?

Make 70% of your tonic made from any one of the top 10 greens.

Make 20% of your tonic made from these greens out of apples or pears.

Make 10% of your tonic made from these greens made out of lemons or limes. If you leave the peel on the limes and/or lemons -this will make the tonic stronger. If your produce is not organic, please never use the skin, but double up on the lime and/or lemons – because without the skin, they are not as potent. So, for example, if you are using 1 lime with skin, we say use 2 limes without the peel.

Sugars interfere with the healing power of the greens. So please take this into consideration when you are juicing with fruits, other than apples. Apples are neutral and do not interfere with the oils from the vegetables – as most all fruits are acid.

The whole idea is to absorb nutrients and to get the benefits of the high alkalinity from these green juices. That’s why we limit the sweetness to only 10% of the tonic. Keep it down to 10% and you’ll be fine, even if you want to add 10% of pineapple – as the only sweetener. I don’t recommend it, but if you must, then just do the 10%.

However, you can add as much of the mint, into the tonics, as you like because they are a leafy herb, rich in phytonutrients. Even the limes or lemons can be extended to 20% if you have to, in the beginning to start to train your taste buds to like the green juices. But I am asking you not to add too much fruit. A secret is to add more mint to the tonic if you are struggling along with a lime.

Try Linda’s delicious green tonic recipe

All of the ingredients below ought to be put through your juicer – not blender:

1 large English cucumber
1 lime with the skin
1 inch of fresh ginger root
3 cups of spinach
2 cups of parsley
1 apple

This recipe makes approximately 24 – 30 ounces of fresh, living green juice. Another really great food to add to your green juices is fresh coconut. Fresh (young) coconuts blend beautifully with dark leafy greens and make them taste spectacular.

Would you like a delicious smoothie recipe? You can take the green tonic (above) and add all the juice to the blender – then add 1 young coconut, it’s soft white meat and its water, to a blender and blend until you reach the consistency desired. Now, you have a tonic that will keep you satisfied for about 6 hours – without being hungry.

Just remember, if you don’t blend this tonic and only juice it – without adding the coconut – you will be hungry again in just a few hours or less. So, I would recommend this as a meal replacement or as a kick off to a good morning breakfast. Enjoy!

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About the author: Linda Kordich has been married for 33 years to Jay Kordich, world renown health educator and the “Father of Juicing”. She is the co-author of their new book, Live Foods Live Bodies and teaches throughout the world on the ‘Powers of the Gentle Art of Foods and Juices’. For more information about Jay and Linda Kordich – visit: www.JayKordich.com

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Ashwagandha can cure insomnia and anxiety

February 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Ashwagandha Cures Insomnia” hspace=(NaturalHealth365) Given the relentless pace and pressures of modern life, it’s not surprising that conditions such as anxiety and insomnia are at near epidemic levels. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control notes that between 50 and 70 million American adults currently suffer from sleep disorders.

In addition to causing impaired concentration and daytime fatigue, sleep disorders exact a grim toll in increased automobile and industrial accidents, as well as raising your risk for dangerous conditions such high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression and cancer.

Sleep better and de-stress with ashwagandha

Naturopathic practitioners and Ayurvedic healers have long known of the calming effects of the root of the ashwagandha shrub – a member of the nightshade family also referred to as winter cherry and Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha is revered in Ayurveda as a “rasayana,” or a “royal herb” – that can boost the immune system, help the body adapt to stress, and prolong life.

For centuries, ashwagandha has been prescribed not only to treat infectious diseases, fevers and inflammatory conditions, but also to elevate mood, fight panic attacks, reduce anxiety and depression and alleviate insomnia. In fact, a clue to the calming effect of ashwagandha can be found in the second part of its scientific name, Withania somnifera; the word arises from the Latin word “somnus,” or sleep.

Of course, western medicine has been slow to acknowledge the therapeutic potential of ashwagandha – with, quite frankly, many doctors unaware of the herb’s effects. But recent scientific studies have caused medical researchers to join natural healers in recognizing the healing power of ashwagandha.

Animal and human studies have demonstrated that ashwaganda has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, adaptogenic, antipyretic and antimicrobial (germ-fighting) benefits as well as its anti-anxiety and mood-elevating capabilities.

How does ashwagandha relax the body and mind?

According to medical researchers, ashwagandha owes its relaxant properties to a group of alkaloids called, withanolides. Other constituents – including other alkaloids called sitoindosides, along with saponins and assorted minerals – may also play a role in producing a state of relaxation. Ashwagandha works as a depressant on the central nervous system, causing sensations of tranquility and relaxation – making sleep easier to achieve.

What does the scientific research tell us?

In one well-designed clinical study published in 2009 in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One, 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root were given – twice daily – to subjects who had been diagnosed with moderate to severe anxiety; a control group received standard psychotherapy aimed at reducing anxiety. Evidence about the properties of ashwagandha came when results were compared – using the Beck Anxiety Inventory as a diagnostic tool – researchers found that the group treated with ashwagandha received a much greater clinical benefit with anxiety reduction of up to 50 percent more than the group that had received psychotherapy.

In a recent study published in Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 64 subjects with a history of chronic stress took either placebo or 300 milligrams of ashwagandha extract – once a day. After 60 days, the ashwagandha subjects reported up to 44 percent lower scores on the ‘Perceived Stress Scale’, as compared to the placebo group. They also had substantial reductions in serum levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. The team concluded that ashwagandha is a safe and well-tolerated treatment for reducing stress and improving quality of life.

Ashwagandha proven to be just as good as anti-anxiety drugs

In a 2000 study published in Phytomedicine, the calming effect of ashwagandha on rats was equal to that produced by the prescription anti-anxiety medicine lorazepam – sold under the trade name Ativan. The team concluded that the use of ashwagandha was supported for treatment of clinical anxiety and depression.

In contrast to Ativan — which can cause side effects such as nightmares, headaches and depression, plus it can be physically addictive – ashwagandha features no reported adverse effects in studies.

What is the best way to take ashwagandha?

Powdered ashwagandha root is available at health food stores and online – the dosage for most studies has been 300 milligrams per day. Many natural health experts suggest making a tea by boiling about 1 teaspoon of the powdered root for 15 minutes; drink up to 3 cups a day. You can also take ½ – ¾ of a teaspoon of ashwagandha tincture daily, some people may do well with more.

Naturally, you should consult a trusted medical health professional before using ashwagandha to treat anxiety or insomnia. There are no serious adverse effects reported with ashwagandha, but – as with any substance – allergic reactions are possible. So, don’t use ashwagandha if you are allergic to potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or other members of the nightshade family.

For sleeplessness stemming from anxiety and depression, ashwagandha may well be the remedy of the future, bringing gentle, natural, drug-free relaxation without side effects.

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References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174
http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/

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Reduce blood sugar with green coffee bean extract

January 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Health Beneftis of Green Coffee(NaturalHealth365) While most in society believe that coffee is bad for health – this is only a half-truth. Pure green coffee extract has become one of the top selling weight loss products on the market. Truth be told, green coffee bean extract has some very good health and performance related benefits.

Coffee is one of the most widely used beverages throughout the world. Many health authorities have labeled it as a negative health food due to its caffeine content. For some individuals, caffeine can be hazardous while others seem to tolerate it with little stress on the system. The major benefits of coffee have to do with the powerful polyphenol antioxidants it contains.

What makes green coffee bean extract so special?

There are two major types of coffee plants; Arabica and Robusta. The highest quality green coffee bean extract comes from the Arabica plant – which is higher in the polyphenol antioxidants, chlorogenic and caffeic acids. The majority of coffee drinkers are missing out on much of the benefits that coffee contains because the ‘deep roasting process’ significantly reduces the antioxidant content.

Additionally, coffee is one of the most widely pesticide/herbicide sprayed crops in the world. Studies have shown there are over 1000 toxic chemicals in roasted coffee. Therefore, it’s essential to use organic coffee – that is free of these dangerous chemicals which mimic hormones, congest our liver, kidneys and bowels plus promote cancer growth.

When does coffee promote cancer?

Another powerful carcinogen is produced when high temperature cooking (baking, frying and roasting) damages sugars – which then interact with the amino acid asparagine. This chemical reaction creates the potent carcinogen acrylamide. Instant and deeply roasted coffee has been shown to have significantly more acrylamide than brewed coffee.

However, let’s not forget, there are many great health benefits associated with coffee consumption. A recent 2011 study indicated that individuals who consumed the most coffee had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that the chlorogenic acid reduces the release and creation of excess glucose in the body.

One of the best ways to prevent premature aging

Blood sugar balance is an absolutely critical measure of healthy aging in the body. Too much sugar and grains in the diet will lead to blood sugar imbalances. The body then goes through spirals of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. These blood sugar imbalances cause inflammation in the body that damage hormonal control systems, organs and immune function.

Glucose overload is another major cause of blood sugar imbalances. This happens when glucose is released into the bloodstream by the muscle and liver tissues – even though the blood sugar is already elevated. The common sign of this is elevated fasting blood sugar levels.

At night, the individual has elevated glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) enzyme activity that causes an elevated release of blood sugar from the muscle and liver. The body is basically eating these tissues.

The latest evidence shows that healthy fasting blood sugar ranges are between 65-85 mg/DL. Meanwhile, post meal ranges (2 hrs. after) should never go above 120 mg/dL. When levels test higher – it is a clear indication of oxidative stress damaging cells and tissues of the body.

Can green coffee bean extract help to balance blood sugar?

The major antioxidant in green coffee bean extract, chlorogenic acid, has been shown to profoundly inhibit the release of the G6P enzyme – which significantly stabilizes blood sugar levels. In one clinical study, a dose of 400mg of green coffee bean extract showed a 32% reduction in the post meal blood glucose spike. This translates into someone who would have an extremely dangerous 160mg/dL blood sugar level down to a safe post-meal level of 109mg/dL

Green coffee bean extract is fantastic for energy

Stabile blood sugar allows for better energy, mental clarity, hormone function, detoxification capabilities and weight loss. Raw green coffee bean extract, along with other superfoods such as cacao and cinnamon, all show great results in stabilizing blood sugar and improving overall bodily functions. The combination of these three also synergizes to create even greater effects in the body.

Due to the diuretic effects of caffeine, in the coffee, it is necessary to consume extra water. The water should ideally be from a natural spring or have gone through a deep filtration process to remove environmental toxins.

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About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171062
http://greencoffeebeanbenefits.com/
http://www.springerlink.com/content/r165687515131203/?MUD=MP

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Reduce inflammation with 3 powerful spices

January 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Spices Reduce Inflammation(NaturalHealth365) Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism within the body, but out-of-control inflammatory responses can create disease. Fortunately, there is a simple way to reduce inflammation – by adding some powerful spices to the diet.

Spices are time-tested and much safer than conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. Besides adding a kick of flavor to any meal, they are proven to bring many health benefits ranging from weight loss to cancer prevention. Today, we’ll focus on turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.

Turmeric can help ease inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Bright yellow in color with a peppery, bitter flavor – turmeric has been used in traditional Indian cuisine for many centuries. A study on mice induced with ulcerative colitis showed that turmeric protected the mice from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In the study, turmeric was added to the diet – for five days prior to inducing the inflammatory agent. Researchers found that the mice that received turmeric showed decreased signs of colitis and healthier intestinal cell function.

Researchers suggest that curcumin’s antioxidant effect and its ability to inhibit the inflammatory agent NF kappa-B are instrumental for the protective effect. It is easy to get similar protective effects by adding a quarter to one teaspoon of turmeric or a fresh turmeric root – every day – to curry dishes, soups and gravies. Generally speaking, you’ll get better results by adding turmeric powder or the root to dishes versus questionable supplements.

Relieve arthritis pain with ginger

Ginger is a spicy herbal remedy that eliminates intestinal gas and distress – while adding some zest to any food or juice. Research clearly indicate that the potent anti-inflammatory compounds, found in ginger, are responsible for relief from pain, swelling and muscular discomfort due to arthritis. In fact, clinical studies show that spicing up your meals with ginger on an everyday basis is beneficial in improving painful arthritis.

A double-blind, placebo controlled study published in the journal Osteoarthritis Cartilage revealed that ginger was effective in treating arthritic pain. Patients consuming ginger supplements everyday experienced less pain in the knee cap region and moved better than those who received a placebo.

When researchers replaced the ginger supplements with placebo, pain and other symptoms returned indicating the significant role of ginger. Researchers discovered that 6-gingerol, the active phenolic compound in ginger acts as a potent inflammation suppressor to help soothe arthritic pain.

Cinnamon helps to lower muscle soreness and inflammation

Cinnamon is valued in energy-based medicine system due to its warming qualities. The active ingredient, cinnamaldehyde, displays many benefits including inhibiting inflammation in the cells. Researchers say that cinnamaldehyde helps to release arachidonic acid from cell’s membranes – which in turn reduces the formation of an inflammatory messaging molecule called thromboxane A2. In addition, being a natural antioxidant – it curbs the release of free radicals which also is a reason for decreased inflammation.

A 2012 study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, showed that cinnamon extracts were able to decrease inflammation in lab studies. According to researchers, the rich polyphenolic components in cinnamon like flavonoids and tannins are responsible for the potent anti-inflammatory effect. These compounds were shown to inhibit specific signaling pathways that cause inflammation in the body namely NFkB and MAP kinase.

A word of caution. When choosing spices – go for organic varieties that are not irradiated. Irradiated spices have decreased antioxidant effect and lower potency. Most spices are readily available, inexpensive and can be easily incorporated in most meals. So cook up relief from pain and inflammation by using these ingredients in your next meal or smoothie.

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References:
1. Calabrese V, et. al. Paper on curcumin’s induction of hemeoxygenase-1. Presented at the annual conference of the American Physiological Society, held April 17-21, 2004, Washington, D.C. 2004.
2. Wigler I, Grotto I, Caspi D, Yaron M. The effects of Zintona EC (a ginger extract) on symptomatic gonarthritis.Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 Nov;11(11):783-9.
3. Otsuka H, Fujioka S, Komiya T, et al. [Studies on anti-inflammatory agents. VI. Anti-inflammatory constituents of Cinnamomum sieboldii Meissn (author's transl)]. Yakugaku Zasshi 1982 Jan;102(2):162-72. 1982. PMID:12260.
4. Mashhadi NS et.al; Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes. Int J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;4(Suppl 1):S11-5.

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Pumpkin seeds protect your heart and bones

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Pumpkin Seeds Heart Healthy(NaturalHealth365) Pumpkin seeds are subtly sweet, protein-rich and a healthy anti-inflammatory snack. In addition, most seeds like pumpkin, chia and hemp are a great source of essential minerals. There are, in fact, many studies that suggest pumpkin seeds will keep the heart healthy and bones strong.

Did you know that consuming an ounce of pumpkin seeds a day can provide you with vital minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper?

Seeds are packed with essential fats, heart-healthy magnesium and phytosterols – which is why pumpkin seeds standout as a functional food. In fact, its medicinal ability is officially recognized by the European Commission and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Eliminates your fears about ‘good and bad’ cholesterol

Pumpkin seeds have an amazing potential to decrease bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol levels. This was shown in research conducted on rat models that were induced with atherosclerosis (a form of heart disease) and supplemented with pumpkin seeds. After 37 days of supplementation, researchers observed that there was a 47% drop in total cholesterol and 78% drop in bad LDL cholesterol.

By the way, the study was published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines – for those that want to look deeper into the research.

Researchers point to the high levels of magnesium; phytosterols and monounsaturated fats as three prime contributing factors that help to protect the heart from disease. According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, pumpkin seeds are among the third highest in cholesterol-reducing phytosterols. High levels of phytosterols, in foods, hinder the absorption of cholesterol in the body – thereby reducing blood cholesterol levels.

How can I strengthen the bones with a healthy diet?

Surprising, to some people, when it comes to bone health – there are many minerals that are involved in maintaining a healthy bone structure. Very often, there are minerals like boron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc which are overlooked – when it comes to preventing osteoporosis.

The science is overwhelmingly clear.

Two separate human studies underscored the importance of minerals other than calcium in preventing the development of osteoporosis. A study published in the November 2005 issue of Journal of American Geriatric Society revealed that high dietary magnesium intake is associated with better bone density and decreased risk of osteoporosis – in over 2,000 elderly subjects.

In the second study, from the journal Osteoporosis International, researchers found that the low intake of minerals like, phosphorous and zinc increased the risk of fracture in participants aged 46 – 68, versus those with higher intake.

Pumpkin seeds are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, another important nutrient in bone-building. Furthermore, researchers say that just one quarter cup of the seeds can provide a rich amount of bone-building nutrients like, manganese and iron. Plus, due to its alkaline forming nature – pumpkin seeds significantly decrease the loss of calcium from bones and increase the retention of all kinds of minerals.

Keep in mind, since the nutrients in pumpkin seeds are fragile, the seeds need to be refrigerated soon after the shells are removed. It is also a good idea to eat fresh (organic) seeds for obvious reasons. And, to improve digestibility and nutrient absorption – you may want to try sprouted seeds.

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References:
1. Nissinen M, Gylling H, Vuoristo M, Miettinen TA. Micellar distribution of cholesterol and phytosterols after duodenal plant stanol ester infusion. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2002 June;282(6):1009-15.
2. Phillips KM, Ruggio DM, Ashraf-Khorassani M. Phytosterol composition of nuts and seeds commonly consumed in the United States. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov;53(24):9436-45.
3. El-Mosallamy AE, Sleem AA, Abdel-Salam OM, Shaffie N, Kenawy SA. Antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of pumpkin seed oil. J Med Food. 2012 Feb;15(2):180-9.
4. Ryder KM, Shorr RI, Bush AJ. Magnesium intake from food and supplements is associated with bone mineral density in healthy older white subjects. J Am Geriatr Soc.2005 Nov;53(11):1875-80.

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Health alert: Toxic astaxanthin on the market

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Dangers of Synthetic Astaxanthin(NaturalHealth365) Synthetic astaxanthin is now being sold in the United States. Unfortunately, the truth must be told, consumers are unknowingly using supplements that are downright dangerous to human health. Cyanotech, a supplier of microalgae-derived (natural) astaxanthin, has an important warning for every health-conscious consumer.

It turns out that synthetic astaxanthin comes from petrochemicals or genetically mutated yeast. The petrochemical derived astaxanthin is not approved for human consumption in any country, while the yeast derived astaxanthin has limited approval in a few countries.

Gerald Cysewski, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Cyanotech, says that it is very difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic astaxanthin – in lab tests. This makes it easy for the adulterated version to get into the market.

Why would anyone make petroleum-based astaxanthin?

Cysewski reminds us that natural astaxanthin is quite challenging to grow – especially when trying to meet the growing demand for this super antioxidant. It is labor intense and an expensive process to produce astaxanthin from microalgea.

Obviously, for greedy corporations, it’s more profitable to market mislabeled, illegal, and untested astaxanthin.

Cysewski says, “some companies will do anything to make money, and we’ve definitively confirmed that some astaxanthin products entering the United States and world markets are synthetically produced from petrochemicals.”

Keep in mind, astaxanthin is a high valued product and annual sales are in the $200 million range and climbing. No doubt, with a growing demand, synthetic astaxanthin will be heavily pushed into the marketplace.

It’s no surprise that Chinese astaxanthin is beginning to flood the market.

They have two approaches – one is to mix synthetic astaxanthin with the natural product. The second way is to produce a completely counterfeit product, which could have the same molecular formula, but a different arrangement of atoms. Some companies will stop at nothing to make a buck off uninformed consumers.

With the algae-based astaxanthin, you get a naturally-occurring blend of mixed carotenoids from the algae – with lutein, beta-carotene and canthaxanthin combined with astaxanthin – just the way nature intended it. This is the only kind of astaxanthin for human consumption.

Are you eating toxic salmon?

Almost 90% of the salmon sold – in supermarkets – come from farmed raised salmon. What’s the big deal? That pink color – in farm raised salmon – is created when the fish consume lots of adulterated (toxic) astaxanthin.

Farmed salmon are raised on a wholly unnatural diet – which leaves the fish with an unappetizing grayish color. To compensate, for its sickly look, they feed synthetic astaxanthin – made from petrochemicals or genetically modified yeast. I know – it’s crazy.

Since we are getting a daily ration of coal tar from artificially colored foods, there is no in-depth analysis of the amount each individual consumes. This means that astaxanthin – considered by many health experts (in its natural state) to be one of the healthiest substances on Earth – could add to our toxic burden, if we’re not careful in our purchasing decisions.

Astaxanthin, from genetically mutated yeast – known as Phaffia, has not established sufficient safety standards and is not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration to be consumed by humans above 2mg per day; not recommended for long-term use or for children. These restrictions show some serious safety concerns.

Synthetic astaxanthin, from petrochemicals, dominate the market. Phaffia, is a distant second, and natural astaxanthin from microalgae or krill together has about 1% of the market.

Why should I consider eating natural astaxanthin?

This remarkable extract, used in nutritional supplements, can dramatically improve the health of your joints and tendons, skin and eyes plus enhance brain power.

A 2007 study analyzed several popular antioxidants and their antioxidant power. This study found astaxanthin was 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.

Astaxanthin corrects DNA-related aging damage in the body. It has been shown to prevent damage to the fatty outside layer of cells called the cell membrane – which is particularly vulnerable to damage from free radicals. Of course, we all know that free radicals threaten the health of our cells and organs. Simply put, to prevent, even reverse disease – eat lots of antioxidants.

The only form of astaxanthin that has hundreds of medical research experiments showing health benefits as well as extensive safety trials and fifteen years of safe use in humans is Hawaiian astaxanthin.

Editor’s note: I, personally, use BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin – produced by Nutrex-Hawaii. Click here to save 25% off your order.

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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://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/news/astaxanthin-adulteration-us-market
https://www.buyalgae.com/short-posts/the-growing-problem-of-synthetic-astaxanthin/
http://newhope360.com/botanicals/mislabeled-synthetic-astaxanthin-sale
http://phys.org/news183110037.html

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Eliminate ulcers by eating hot peppers

Cayenne Pepper Remedy for Digestive Problems(NaturalHealth365) Do you suffer from recurring heartburn, chronic indigestion or ulcers? For years, conventional ‘wisdom’ has been to avoid spicy foods – if experiencing an upset stomach. In fact, for gastrointestinal disorders, conventionally-trained healthcare providers firmly believe that any kind of hot peppers (or spicy food) should be avoided – at all costs.

But what if our family doctor has it all wrong? Medical researchers are now finding that capsaicin – the pungent phenolic compound that gives ‘heat’ to cayenne, chili and jalapeno peppers – is harmless to the digestive tract. Hot peppers do not, in fact, cause or even aggravate ulcers.

And that’s not all. In addition to not harming the gastrointestinal system, capsaicin may actually have therapeutic effects.

How does capsaicin help to heal the gut?

Not only can capsaicin-rich peppers dramatically reduce symptoms of heartburn and indigestion after a few weeks of use – they also have a strong protective effect on stomach tissues. New York University Langone Medical Center now credits capsaicin, in peppers, with helping to prevent damage from such known stomach irritants as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and alcohol.

How do hot peppers work to reduce pain?

When your body’s tissues are exposed to capsaicin, the initial response is to release substance P, a neurotransmitter that carries pain messages to the brain. This is the reason that eating hot peppers can make you feel as if your mouth – and your stomach – is on fire. But the discomfort, while real, doesn’t reflect any tissue damage. It merely mimics the sensation of having tissue damage inflicted, while causing no actual harm.

The benefit comes with repeated exposure to capsaicin, through frequent and regular consumption of hot peppers. When capsaicin regularly contacts a specific site on the body, levels of substance P actually become depleted at the nerve terminals in that location. The result – significant reductions in pain.

Science raves about capsaicin for digestive disorders

Numerous studies, both animal and clinical, support the ability of capsaicin to relieve uncomfortable digestive symptoms when used over time. In a clinical double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2002 in Alimentary Pharmacolology and Therapeutics, researchers set out to see if capsaicin could impair visceral nociceptive C-type fibers – which have a role in generating pain.

Subjects diagnosed with dyspepsia – the medical name for heartburn — received 2.5 grams of red pepper powder a day for five weeks. Three weeks into the study, the subjects receiving the red pepper powder began to report reductions of up to 60 percent in pain, fullness and nausea. The team concluded that red pepper did indeed significantly decrease symptoms, and noted its potential as a treatment for dyspepsia.

Capsaicin’s preventive effects on gastric mucosa have also been well documented in both animal and human studies. In one well-designed study published in Digestive Diseases and Science, healthy volunteers consumed 20 grams of capsaicin-rich chili, followed by 600 mg of aspirin, a known stomach irritant. Endoscopies showed that those who had eaten the chili suffered significantly less gastric injury than subjects in the control group.

Big pharma would like us to ignore the facts

In addition to beneficial capsaicin, hot peppers also contain important micronutrients. Their bright orange-red color is a testament to their high levels of beneficial flavonoids, particularly carotene – an antioxidant pigment that gives color to carrots.

Rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C, cayenne peppers also contain lutein and zeaxanthin — which may help prevent age-related macular degeneration – and are a good source of manganese, a mineral the body needs to manufacture the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Finally, hot peppers are fiber-rich and cholesterol-free.

How to promote digestive healing with spicy food

Hot peppers, also known as cayenne peppers and chili peppers, can be enjoyed as spicy delicacies either cooked or raw. They are recognized as generally safe; however, moderation is the best course – avoid eating quantities that are larger than normal dietary amounts. NYU Langone Medical Center reports that cayenne peppers may be taken to relieve dyspepsia, or indigestion, at a dosage of .5 to 1.0 grams – three times a day before meals.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that capsaicin from hot peppers is available in capsule form, and notes that the usual dosage is between 30 and 120 mg. – up to three times a day. Hot peppers can interact with prescription medications; naturally you should consult your doctor before using them. Don’t attempt to treat gastric ulcers with peppers unless supervised by a trusted, healthcare provider.

Although hot peppers may not work for everyone, many have found safe, drug-free relief from heartburn pain with the help of this natural remedy. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, hot peppers could be just the ticket for easing painful heartburn. As they say, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

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References:
http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21645
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12030948
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7895549
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/cayenne

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Fenugreek lowers blood sugar and cholesterol

January 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Food News

Fenugreek Promotes Healing(NaturalHealth365) The spice fenugreek, may not be a common ingredient but compelling research reveals that if used regularly it protects your heart, liver and pancreas. Fenugreek is commonly used for a number of reasons including – digestion repair, better metabolism and gynecological health.

The natural compounds in fenugreek and its medicinal value have been used in Ayurveda to treat a variety of conditions. Past and ongoing research reveal its ability to maintain healthy blood parameters. Fenugreek is a resourceful ingredient and a fantastic alternative to help manage high blood sugar and cholesterol. Best of all, it appears to be free of nasty side effects – unlike its counterpart found within the pharmaceutical industry.

How can spices help to defeat diabetes?

Fenugreek seeds contain an abundant amount of aminoacid 4-hydroxy isoleucine. According to research, aminoacid exerts a protective effect on the liver and stimulates the production of insulin. A 2009 study showed that 4-hydroxy isoleucine improved the blood sugar levels and insulin action in diabetic rats – demonstrating a significant liver protect factor.

A human clinical study on patients with newly diagnosed type-2 diabetes showed positive results using fenugreek. The patients were randomly grouped into two, one group received an extract of fenugreek (1 gram per day) and the other group received a placebo. Both the groups were given the regular diabetes care – diet and exercise.

After two months, the fenugreek supplemented group showed better blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity compared to the other. Researchers also observed a significant reduction in the serum triglyceride levels and increase in the good cholesterol levels.

The glucose-lowering effect of fenugreek seeds is largely due to the presence of soluble fiber. According to a 2007 study, the soluble fiber fraction delayed carbohydrate digestion and absorption, while increasing the action of insulin. These studies indicate that regular fenugreek consumption can be beneficial during diabetes therapy.

How does fenugreek lower cholesterol – without side effects?

Many studies have underscored fenugreek’s cholesterol-lowering effect – as it is a great source of soluble (21.7%) and insoluble fiber ( 26.8%). Researchers say that the high fiber content actually blocks cholesterol absorption. The presence of soluble fiber, in particular, increases the viscosity of the digested food and inhibits the uptake of cholesterol and bile acids.

Another strong reason behind fenugreek’s cholesterol-lowering effect is the fact the fiber acts as a food for the beneficial gut bacteria (pre-biotic). The volatile fatty acids released by these gut bacteria enter the bloodstream and suppress the cholesterol production by the liver. Based on previous studies, researchers suggest a total quantity of 20 – 25g per day – in three divided doses which yield maximum benefit in terms of cholesterol control.

The best ways to add fenugreek to my diet

Fenugreek seeds are naturally high in minerals like, calcium, potassium, selenium, manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is a good source of B vitamins, vitamin A and C.

In addition, these tiny seeds also contain polysaccharides – saponins, tannins, pectins, hemicellulose, and mucilage that account for their soluble and insoluble fiber content. Fenugreek also contains choline – which helps to protect the nerves in your brain and slow down premature mental decline..

Fenugreek is safe to consume on a daily basis and can be incorporated into many recipes as a spice (seeds), herb (dried or fresh leaves) or a vegetable (sprouts/microgreens). The tender leaves can be added to salad – to boost the mineral intake.

You may also like to lightly toast the seeds or make a powder for marinades, soups, and sauces. The most popular use of the powder form is in curry recipes for a special flavor. Powdered fenugreek can also be used in pancake mixes, lentil (dal) and rice recipes.

Keep in mind, fenugreek seeds have a strong bitter taste – so be careful on quantity. To remove the bitterness – you may want to soak the seeds overnight. On the other hand, fenugreek leaves are less bitter and can be used in large quantities and work well in dishes like, lentil curry.

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References:
1. Sowmya P, Rajyalakshmi P. Hypocholesterolemic effect of germinated fenugreek seeds in human subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1999;53(4):359-65.
2. Gupta A, Gupta R, Lal B. Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycaemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a double blind placebo controlled study. J Assoc Physicians India. 2001 Nov;49:1057-61.
3. Haeri MR, Izaddoost M, Ardekani MR, Nobar MR, White KN. The effect of fenugreek 4- hydroxyisoleucine on liver function biomarkers and glucose in diabetic and fructose-fed rats. Phytother Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):61-4.
4. Hannan JM, Ali L, Rokeya B, et.al; Soluble dietary fibre fraction of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seed improves glucose homeostasis in animal models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes by delaying carbohydrate digestion and absorption, and enhancing insulin action. Br J Nutr. 2007 Mar;97(3):514-21..

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