Amazon.com caught lying about Confederate flag censorship while supporting terror groups
(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Internet retailers have scrambled to remove the Confederate flag from their online stores. Amazon also participated in this misguided gesture of political correctness. Yet instead...
Society gone mad: Three new Counterthink posters reveal the absurd contradictions of the delusional mob now defacing America
(NaturalNews) As we enter the final chapter of America -- characterized by obscene delusions and widespread insanity at every level -- sometimes you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.That's what I do with Counterthink cartoons, which have traditionally poked fun at Big...
Wake up and smell the collapse: Greece shutters banks for 6 days... no more withdrawals... panic grips the Eurozone... total meltdown approaches
(NaturalNews) The bank holidays have begun in Greece as the banks are now shuttered for the entire coming week. As Sky News reports, "The drastic move comes after people rushed to withdraw their cash amid panic ahead of the referendum on bailout terms."Greek citizens are now ...
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
(NaturalNews) The legal argument of gay marriage proponents is that because gay marriage is legal in a majority of states, that "right" cannot be infringed by the remaining states which opposed gay marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court, in granting this new, nationwide right to gay marriage...
Greece's government to seize all private bank accounts?
(NaturalNews) The central bank of the cash-strapped Greek government has signaled that the country is liable to default on bailout loans issued by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank by the end of June, thereby crashing out of the euro and perhaps seizing...
Knowledge about alternative medicine connected to education, income
Individuals with lower education and income levels are less likely to know about yoga, acupuncture and other complementary treatments, new research shows. Lack of knowledge as a reason for non-use was strongly associated with lower education levels and income. Those who attended college were 58 percent less likely to indicate lack of knowledge as a reason for non-use, and individuals with higher incomes were 37 percent less likely.
Non-invasive accupoint stimulation may be a new bioelectronics approach to Crohn?s Disease
Researchers have begun a controlled clinical trial in Crohn's disease using surface electrodes daily to stimulate an acupuncture point on the stomach meridian that was shown to reduce vagal imbalance in preclinical studies. Restoring vagal balance is known to reduce intestinal inflammation.
The importance of nutrition for maintaining mental health has been highlighted by recent research. The human brain needs an adequate intake of key nutrients, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, essential amino acids, B-group vitamins (B12 and folate), vitamin D and minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron. A balanced and high-quality diet, such as the Mediterranean, provides all of these, the researchers note.
Studies on Hydration Suggest Dehydrated Drivers May Pose Hazard on the Road, and Majority of Children Don?t Drink Enough Water
By Dr. Mercola
Drinking pure water every day is a key component of optimal health. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of forgoing water for other types of fluids, most of which have added ingredients that will not do your health any favors.
Kids are particularly prone to drinking sweet drinks like soda and fruit juice instead of plain water, and many teens tend to reach for sports and energy drinks instead.
According to a recent Harvard study,1,2,3 more than half of American children are dehydrated, which can have repercussions for their health and academic performance.
About one-quarter of children in the US do not drink water on a daily basis. Overall, boys were more than 75 percent more likely to be inadequately hydrated than girls.
This dovetails with previous studies4 showing that boys drink more sugary beverages than girls. According to one 2011 analysis, about 70 percent of boys aged 2-19 drink sugary beverages daily. As noted by lead author Erica Kenney:5
?These findings are significant because they highlight a potential health issue that has not been given a whole lot of attention in the past.
Even though for most of these kids this is not an immediate, dramatic health threat, this is an issue that could really be reducing quality of life and well-being for many, many children and youth.?
Your Body Needs Water for Proper Functioning
Your body is comprised of about 65 percent water, which is needed for a number of physiological processes and biochemical reactions, including but not limited to:
Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty. Using thirst as a guide to how much water you need to drink is one obvious way to ensure your individual needs are met, day-by-day.
However, by the time your thirst mechanism actually kicks in, you?re already in the early stages of dehydration, so you don?t want to ignore the initial sensations of thirst.
Moreover, the thirst mechanism tends to be underdeveloped in children, making them more vulnerable to dehydration. The elderly are also at heightened risk.
Hunger?sugar cravings in particular?can also be a sign that your body is crying for water, so as noted in the featured video, when you feel hungry, drink a glass of water first.
So, in addition to thirst, which is an obvious signal, other signals indicating you need to drink more water include:6,7
Severe dehydration can be life threatening, but even mild dehydration can cause problems ranging from headaches and irritability to impaired cognition. It can also affect your sports performance, as noted in a recent CNN report:8
?Even being slightly dehydrated affects your ability to put effort into your workout. ?A two percent dehydration level in your body causes a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance,? says [sports dietitian Amy] Goodson.
"?And the more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.? Measured by ?perceived exertion,? how hard you feel you're exercising, you might be working at a 6 but you feel like you are working at an 8, says Goodson.?
The Color of Your Urine Is an Important Hydration Marker
The oft-repeated guideline is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but considering the fact that your water needs can vary significantly from day to day depending on factors such as your activity level and weather conditions, this suggestion may be inadequate.
In reality, it?s virtually impossible to determine a general guideline that will apply to everyone, all the time. As noted in the video above, the Institute of Medicine recommends a much higher average water intake, suggesting women drink 2.7 liters or 91 ounces of water per day, and men 3.7 liters, or 125 ounces.
The featured study9 used urine concentration to evaluate hydration status, and looking at the color of your urine is perhaps one of the best ways to track your individual hydration status from day to day.
Concentrated, dark-colored urine is a sign that your kidneys are retaining fluids to maintain your bodily functions, and is a good indication that you need more water. Ideally, you?ll want to drink enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow.
Also please realize that riboflavin (vitamin B2; also found in most multi-vitamins) will turn your urine a bright, almost fluorescent yellow. So if you?re taking supplements containing B2, it may be more difficult to judge your water needs by the color of your urine.
Frequency of urination can also be used to judge your water intake. A healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day. If your urine is scant or if you haven?t urinated in several hours, that too is an indication that you?re not drinking enough.
Being Dehydrated May Be as Dangerous as Being Drunk When Driving
When you?re dehydrated, you?re more prone to irritability and fatigue. Your cognitive functions, including your ability to concentrate also take a hit, and this can have serious ramifications if you?re behind the wheel. According to a recent study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior,10 dehydrated drivers made twice the amount of errors during a two-hour drive compared to hydrated drivers. Remarkably, this is similar to driving drunk!
As reported by CNN:11?Since often people purposely avoid drinking prior to a long road trip to prevent bathroom stops, dehydration could increase the risk of traffic accidents.? For these tests, hydrated drivers drank 200ml every hour, compared to dehydrated drivers who received only 25ml of water an hour. As reported by The Daily Mail:12
?During the normal hydration test, there were 47 driving errors. That number rose to 101 when the men were dehydrated - the same mistake rate as that when drivers were either sleep deprived or at the drink-drive limit. The researchers...think dehydration leads to reduced brain activity as well as a drop in alertness and short-term memory...The researchers wrote...'Body water losses have been shown to impair performance in a variety of tests of both physical and mental performance... 'The level of dehydration induced in the present study was mild and could easily be reproduced by individuals with limited access to fluid over the course of a busy working day.'?
Replacing All Other Beverages with Pure Water Is a Major Step Toward Health
It?s important to recognize that your body loses water throughout each day, even when you?re not sweating, and that you need to constantly replenish this fluid loss. While soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other beverages typically contain a fair amount of water, they are poor substitutes for pure water, and generally do not count toward this requirement.
Soda and energy drinks, for example, are high in caffeine, which acts as a diuretic that will actually dehydrate you, so they?re a terrible choice for quenching your thirst. In fact, have you noticed that you tend to get thirstier the more soda you drink? The sugar is addictive, which contributes to this phenomenon, but dehydration also plays a role.
Worse yet, sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages typically contain processed fructose, which is a primary driver of obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Just one can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year.
One soda per day also increases your risk of diabetes by 85 percent, and frequent soda drinkers have higher cancer risk. So to stay hydrated, drinking pure water is key. This is true when exercising as well. Many still believe that sports drinks are the best alternative to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes when working up a sweat, but that?s simply not true.
Why Sports Drinks Are Best Avoided
The majority of people believe that sports drinks like Gatorade are far better to drink than water when you?re dehydrated because of electrolyte replacement. Avoid this common mistake, as nothing could be further from the truth. More important than the electrolytes are sugar, and most sports drinks contain two-thirds or even more sugar than sodas, typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Many also contain artificial flavors and food coloring, none of which contribute to optimal health. Fructose is primarily metabolized by your liver, because that is the only organ that has the transporter for it and is the main cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In your liver, fructose is metabolized much like alcohol, causing mitochondrial and metabolic dysfunction in the same way as ethanol and other toxins. And just like alcohol, your body turnsfructose directly intofat?hardly what you need after a good workout.
If your sports drink is low-calorie and sugar-free, it likely contains artificial sweeteners, which may be even worse for you than fructose. In addition to that, consuming sugar after exercise will negatively affect your insulin sensitivity?and your human growth hormone (HGH) production if you?re doing high intensity exercise. Most sports drinks also contain high amounts of sodium (processed salt), which is meant to replenish the electrolytes you lose while sweating.
It is very easy and inexpensive to address the electrolyte replacement issue simply by adding a small amount of natural, unprocessed salt, such as Himalayan salt, to your water. Contrary to processed salt, this natural salt contains 84 different minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for optimal function. Another excellent option when you?re sweating profusely is coconut water.
It?s one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man. Some remote areas of the world even use coconut juice intravenously, short-term, to help hydrate critically ill patients and in emergency situations. Also, fresh fruits are full of potassium and other important minerals that help address the missing electrolytes one looses in sweat. Just remember to eat the whole fruit, not fruit juices.
Both Soda and Fruit Juice Promote Poor Health
While many have become savvy about the health hazards of soda, many are still under the mistaken belief that fruit juice is a healthy beverage. This is a dangerous misconception fueling rising rates of weight gain, obesity, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes in the United States and other developed nations?especially among children. In fact, you are doing your body no favor whatsoever by swapping soda for fruit juice, and as a concise infographic posted by Discovery pointed out, fruit drinks can sometimes be worse for your health than soda.
One eight-ounce glass of orange juice has about eight full teaspoons of sugar, and at least 50 percent of that sugar is fructose. That's almost as much as a can of soda, which contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar. Fruit drinks, on the other hand, will likely contain high-fructose corn syrup, just as soda does. In fact, soda giants like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper are actually the parent companies to most sugary drinks on the market, and that includes fruit juices.
If you and your family drink soft drinks and/or fruit juice regularly, one of the best things you can do for your overall health is to switch to clean fresh water. Fortunately, stopping soda is one of the easiest health habits to make for most people. But, if for any reason you are having difficulty stopping, please consider using Turbo Tapping to stop your sugar addiction and improve your health.
Opt for Structured Spring Water or Filtered Tap Water Over Bottled Water
While drinking water will help to optimally hydrate you, it is wise to drink toxin-free water, and the more unfiltered water you drink, the more pollutants you?re adding back in. Most tap water contains an array of harmful contaminants, including not only chlorine, but also disinfection byproducts, heavy metals, and pharmaceutical drugs. Federal scientists have reported13 finding traces of 18 unregulated contaminants in one-third of the water samples collected from 25 municipal utilities across the US, including perfluorinated compounds like PFOA. So besides making sure you?re drinking enough, another very important consideration is the type of water you drink.
Bottled water may be convenient, but has a number of significant drawbacks. First of all, drinking from plastic water bottles can pose health risks from industrial chemicals like bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S (BPA/BPS) and phthalates, which leach from the plastic. Bottled water also costs about 1,900 times the price of regular tap water, and 40 percent of bottled water is simply tap water that may not have received any additional filtering treatment whatsoever...
Moreover, the likelihood of bottled water being contaminated is far higher than with your tap water. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires large public water supplies to test for contaminants several times a day, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires private bottlers to test for contaminants only once a week, once a year, or once every four years, depending on the contaminant.
One independent test14 performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2011 revealed 38 low-level contaminants in bottled water. Each of the 10 tested brands contained an average of eight chemicals. Disinfection byproducts (DBPs), caffeine, Tylenol, nitrate, industrial chemicals, arsenic, and bacteria were all detected. Last but not least, plastic bottles also cause enormous environmental problems because of the sheer volume of plastic waste they create.
The answer to all these health and environmental issues is to minimize or eliminate your use of plastic water bottles. The most economical and environmentally sound choice you can make is to purchase and install a water filter for your home. And, in lieu of plastic bottles, use reusable glass water bottles instead, which have a much smaller ecological footprint.
The very best water, however, comes from a natural gravity-fed spring. FindaSpring.com15 is an excellent resource for finding one nearby your home. Not only does it tend to be naturally filtered and pH balanced, it?s also ?alive? or ?structured,? which is believed to have certain health benefits beyond mere hydration. I?ve previously interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack on this subject. His book, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, clearly explains the theory of the fourth phase of water, which is truly ground-breaking.
The fourth phase of water is living water. It?s referred to as EZ water?EZ standing for ?exclusion zone??which has a negative charge. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too. This is the kind of water your cells contain; even your extracellular tissues are filled with EZ water, which is why he believes it?s so important to drink structured water for optimal health. I drink vortexed water nearly exclusively as I became a big fan of Viktor Schauberger, who did much pioneering work on vortexing about a century ago. Dr. Pollack confirms that by creating a vortex in a glass of water, you?re putting more energy into it, thereby increasing EZ.
For Optimal Health, You Need to Drink Pure Water Every Day
There?s no doubt that you need pure water for optimal health. Simply swapping out all the sweetened, bottled beverages for pure water can go a long way toward improving your health, as virtually all of the biochemical processes in your body need water. The amount, however, is something you need to fine tune based on your individual circumstances.
Remember to listen to your body. Thirst is an obvious signal that it?s time to replenish your fluids. Fatigue and moodiness can also indicate you need to drink more water. Probably the best way to gauge your water needs however, is to observe the color of your urine, and how frequently you urinate. On average, a healthy number of bathroom visits is around seven or eight per day, and you want the color of your urine to be a light, pale yellow.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), yin and yang refer to opposite elements or forces in nature, which, when balanced, promote harmony. Qi is a type of universal energy, and both yin and yang are manifestations of Qi, each with its own attributes.
Where yin tends to manifest cold, moist, cooling, and dark qualities, yang manifests as hot, dry, warming, and bright. The summer months, with their hot temperatures and bright sun, is decidedly yang.
Specifically, TCM describes summer as the season of fire, which is a symbol of the greatest yang. In order to keep harmony, it?s important to balance the strong yang energies with those of yin ? and this is possible to do via your diet.
The summertime is a perfect opportunity to focus your diet on yin foods, which are by nature cooling or cold. When you eat yin foods in the summer, it helps you avoid ?summerheat,? which is a condition linked to an overabundance of yang that causes a queasy, fatigued, and ?blah? feeling when it?s hot outside.1
Top ?Yin? Summer Foods to Enjoy
Cooling foods tend to be in-season with abundance during the summer months. Most ?green? foods, including vegetables and fruits, qualify, although some are better than others. To give your body a refreshing break from summer?s yang, focus on eating these cooling ?yin? foods.
Sprouts may be small, but they are packed with nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that help protect against free radical damage.
They?re an inherently cooling food and are perfect for adding to salads, either in addition to or in lieu of salad greens, and sandwiches and are especially tasty in combination with fresh avocado. You can also add them to your vegetable juice or smoothies.
Better still, growing your own sprouts is quite easy, and you don't need a whole lot of space either; they can even be grown indoors. Two of my personal favorites are sunflower seed and pea shoots?both of which are typically about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables.
They're also among the highest in protein. In addition, sunflower seeds contain healthy fats, essential fatty acids, and fiber?all of which are important for optimal health.
Mung beans are another common sprout popular to TCM; they?re a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
I used Ball jars when I first started sprouting seeds about 25 years ago, but I've since switched over to growing them in potting soil. With Ball jars you need to rinse them several times a day to prevent mold growth and it is a hassle to have them draining in the sink, taking up space.
Moreover, you need dozens of jars to produce the same amount of sprouts as just one flat tray. I didn't have the time or patience for that, and you may not either. The choice is yours, though. You can easily grow sprouts and shoots with or without soil.
My Sprout Doctor Starter Kit comes with what I consider to be three of the best sprouts to grow ? sunflower shoots, broccoli sprouts, and pea shoots. When grown in soil, you can harvest your sprouts in about a week, and a pound of seeds will probably produce over 10 pounds of sprouts.
Sunflower shoots will give you the most volume for your effort and, in my opinion, have the best taste. In one 10x10? tray, you can harvest between one and two pounds of sunflower sprouts, which will last you about three days.
You can store them in the fridge for about a week. Broccoli sprouts look and taste similar to alfalfa sprouts, which most people like. I've partnered with a company in a small town in Vermont that develops, breeds, and grows their own seeds, and are industry leaders in seed safety for sprouts and shoots.
All of my seeds are non-GMO, certified organic, and packed with nutrition. My starter kit makes it easy to grow your own sprouts in the comfort of your home, whenever you want. It provides everything you need, so all you have to do is grow and enjoy your sprouts.
2. Watermelon (and Other Melons)
Watermelon is more than 91 percent water.2 This means that eating watermelon on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. Watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene, with upwards of 6,500 micrograms in less than half a cup.
Lycopene's antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. In one study, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, such as older age and diabetes, they found that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.3
Watermelon also contains citrulline, which in your body is converted into L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide may help your vessels stay relaxed and open for blood flow, which is one reason why it may help lower blood pressure.
What else is watermelon good for? It?s rich in anti-inflammatory substances. For instance, watermelon contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid.
This blocks the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase ? the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitors, which include most NSAID drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.
While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup) watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many Americans are lacking, including:
It?s not only watermelon that?s beneficial to consume in the summer ? other melons, like cantaloupe, muskmelon, and honeydew, are also beneficial.
Cantaloupes, for instance, provide an excellent source of antioxidants, like vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). They also contain important nutrients like potassium, folate, copper, B vitamins, vitamin K, magnesium, and fiber.
If you eat the seeds (yes, they're edible), you'll also get beneficial plant-based omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. With relatively few calories (about 54 per cup) and low fructose (2.8 grams in one-eighth of a medium melon), this is one fruit you can feel good about eating.
Like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of mostly (95 percent) water, making them an ideal hydrating and cooling food. Cucumbers may also help to ?cool? the inflammatory response in your body, according to raw-food advocate David Wolfe.
Animal studies also suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2).4
Cucumbers also contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol,5 which provide additional benefits.
For instance, quercetin is an antioxidant that many believe prevents histamine release?making quercetin-rich foods ?natural antihistamines.? Kaempferol, meanwhile, may help fight cancer and lower your risk of chronic diseases including heart disease.
Cucumbers also contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress.
There?s good reason to regularly include tomatoes, another cooling food, in your diet, as they are rich in flavonoids and other phytochemicals that have anti-carcinogenic and other healthy properties.
They?re also an excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C (which is most concentrated in the jelly-like substance that surrounds the seeds) as well as vitamins A, E and B-complex vitamins, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. Other lesser-known phytonutrients found in tomatoes include:
Flavonols: rutin, kaempferol, and quercetin
Flavonones: naringenin and chalconaringenin
Hydroxycinnamic acids: caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and coumaric acid
Tomatoes are also a particularly concentrated source of lycopene. In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, lycopene from tomatoes (including unsweetened organic tomato sauce) has also been shown to be helpful in treating prostate cancer. If you eat tomatoes, choose organic varieties. One study found growing tomatoes according to organic standards results in dramatically elevated phenols content compared to tomatoes grown conventionally, using agricultural chemicals.
The organic tomatoes were found to contain 55 percent more vitamin C and 139 percent more total phenolic content at the stage of commercial maturity compared to the conventionally grown tomatoes.6
Rhubarb is high in fiber, which is why it?s long been used in TCM for soothing stomach ailments and relieving constipation. A one-cup serving of rhubarb provides high levels of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium, along with folate, riboflavin, niacin, B vitamins, and pantothenic acid. Rhubarb also provides important minerals, including manganese, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.
Due to its sour flavor, rhubarb is often found in recipes alongside sugar and other sweeteners. But a healthier (and far more cooling) way to consume it is by juicing raw right into your fresh vegetable juice. Remember, only the stalks can be eaten; rhubarb leaves are poisonous due to high levels of oxalic acid.
6. Dandelion Leaves
Dandelion leaves contain vitamins A, C, and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium. They also have antioxidant properties and contain bitter crystalline compounds called taraxacin and taracerin, along with inulin and levulin, compounds thought to explain some of its therapeutic properties. Dandelion leaves can be used in salads, soups, juiced, cooked the same way as spinach, or dried (with flowers) to make dandelion tea (try it iced in the summer!). Dandelions offer you a wealth of nutrition; they contain:
One of the richest sources ofbeta carotene of all herbs (10,161 IUs per 100g, which is 338 percent of the RDA)
Numerous flavonoids, including FOUR times thebeta caroteneof broccoli; also lutein, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin
One of the HIGHEST herbal sources of vitamin K1, providing 650 percent of the RDA
Vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyroxidine, niacin, and vitamins E and C
Great source of minerals, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and iron
Leaves rich in dietary fiber, as well as a good laxative
7. Citrus Fruits
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are all beneficial to add to your summer diet. They?re rich in fiber and vitamin C and also contain additional antioxidants known as flavonoids that may play a beneficial role in fighting heart disease, cancer, and inflammation. As noted in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry:7
?The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Citrus flavonoids can play a key role in their activity against several degenerative diseases and particularly brain diseases.?
Citrus fruits are simple to add to your diet; they can be incorporated into vegetable juice, used in salad dressings, squeezed over veggies, or used to make lemon/lime water, for starters. You can, of course, also peel and eat them (oranges and grapefruits), in moderation.
Bananas contain dopamine, a natural reward chemical that boosts your mood. They're also rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B6, which help soothe your nervous system, and magnesium, another nutrient associated with positive mood. In addition, bananas are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They also contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are a type of prebiotics that help nourish beneficial bacteria in your body while enhancing your ability to absorb calcium. Nutritionist Laura Flores told Live Science:8
"Bananas are high in antioxidants, which can provide protection from free radicals, which we come into contact with every day? Bananas are known to reduce swelling, protect against developing type-2 diabetes, aid in weight loss, strengthen the nervous system and help with production of white blood cells, all due to the high level of vitamin B6 that bananas contain."
Last but not least, watercress is another cooling vegetable that?s perfect for a hot summer day. It may actually be the most nutrient-dense vegetable out there, scoring higher on nutrient density scores than both broccoli and sunflower sprouts. Based on 17 nutrients? including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K? watercress scored a perfect 100 in a study titled, "Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach."9
Watercress, which is a close cousin to mustard greens cabbage and arugula, can be eaten as a salad green, steamed as a vegetable, added to soups and sandwiches, or, my favorite, sprouted. This plant has such a strong history of healing prowess that Hippocrates is said to have located the first hospital on the island of Kos close to a stream so that fresh watercress could be harvested for patients (watercress grows in water). Greek soldiers also reportedly ate it as a health tonic prior to going into battle.10
In a more recent study, people who ate about 1.5 cups of fresh watercress daily for eight weeks had a 10 percent reduction in triglyceride levels and a significant increase in lutein and beta-carotene, by 100 percent and 33 percent, respectively.11 Further, the watercress diet lead to significant reductions in DNA damage to blood cells, with researchers concluding ?consumption of watercress can be linked to a reduced risk of cancer via decreased damage to DNA and possible modulation of antioxidant status by increasing carotenoid concentrations.?
Melons Should Be Eaten Alone and Other Tips for Fruit Consumption
While melons are a beneficial cooling fruit for summer, they?re best off eaten alone. In 2013, I interviewed Dr. Wayne Pickering, a naturopathic physician, on the principles of food combining, and this is one important tip he taught me. Improper food combining is one of the primary factors that cause gas, flatulence, heartburn, and upset stomach. What's worse, poor digestion can also contribute to malnutrition, even if you think you're eating a decent diet. You can learn the details in our interview, but one of the most basic rules to remember is as follows: "Eat melon alone, or leave it alone, or your stomach will moan."
In short, melon does not digest well with other foods and will frequently cause problems unless you eat it alone. So feel free to enjoy melon, but this is best done on an empty stomach (and resist the urge to combine your cantaloupe with yogurt or prosciutto). In addition, I recommend you consume melon and the other fruits on this list in moderation due to their fructose content. While some of these, like cantaloupe, are relatively low-fructose fruits (less than three grams in one-eighth of a melon), your grams can quickly add up if you consume fructose from other sources as well.
Bananas should certainly be eaten only in moderation, as one banana contains about 7.5 grams of fructose. I recommend keeping your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you're in good health and below 15 grams a day if you're overweight or have high blood pressure or diabetes. Finally, remember that variety is key. There are many more beneficial summer foods that are not listed here. If none on the list strike your fancy, other cooling foods often recommended by TCM for the summer months include:12
Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Personally, I eat one almost every day. If you're an avocado fan, which 60 percent of Americans claim to be,1 you're probably aware that they're an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamins and antioxidants.
What you may not know, however, is that these super fruits also have cancer-fighting properties. In one of the latest studies, avocatin B, a type of fat found in avocados, was found to combat acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is a particularly rare and deadly form of cancer.
Avocado Fat May Kill Cancer Stem Cells
The study, published in Cancer Research, revealed that avocatin B targets leukemia stem cells, which are responsible for causing most cases of AML recurrence.2
In those over 65, the disease is often deadly within five years, and there are few effective treatment options.3 The avocado fat was able to wipe out the leukemia stem cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
The researchers are working on developing a leukemia drug derived from avocatin B, however you can also get cancer-fighting agents just by eating avocados ? especially if you peel them properly.
Avocados are rich in cancer-fighting carotenoids, which are most plentiful in the dark-green portion of the flesh that's closest to the skin. In 2010, the California Avocado Commission issued guidelines for getting the most out of your avocado by peeling it the right way.4
"California-grown avocados contain 11 carotenoids. According to USDA's Agricultural Research Service, avocados contain a complex package of phytonutrients, including carotenoids that may provide numerous health benefits.
Carotenoids appear to protect humans against certain cancers, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration. The UCLA research showed that in California avocados, the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado closest to the peel."
To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you basically want to peel the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:
First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed
Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed
Remove the seed
Cut each half, lengthwise
Next, using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece
An Avocado a Day May Keep Bad Cholesterol Away
Eating healthy fats, including those in avocado, is important for protecting your heart health and optimizing your cholesterol levels.
Among overweight and obese Americans, those who consumed a moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day had lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels (by 13.5 mg/dL) compared to those eating an average American diet.5
Small dense LDL cholesterol was "especially" lowered, which is an important distinction. Large LDL particles are not harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.
The fact that eating an avocado a day helps lower this subset of potentially dangerous cholesterol particles is good reason to add it to your diet? In addition, past research has shown avocados might help improve lipid profiles, both in healthy individuals and in those with mild hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels).
Healthy individuals saw a 16 percent decrease in total cholesterol level following a one-week-long diet high in monounsaturated fat from avocados.
In those with elevated cholesterol levels, the avocado diet resulted in a 17 percent decrease of serum total cholesterol, and a 22 percent decrease of both LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, along with an 11 percent increase of the so-called "good" HDL cholesterol.6
One study even found that eating one-half of a medium avocado with a hamburger significantly inhibited the production of the inflammatory compound Interleukin-6 (IL-6), compared to eating a burger without fresh avocado.7 According to lead author David Heber, MD, PhD, the findings offer "promising clues" about avocado's ability to benefit vascular function and heart health.
Avocados Might Help You Lose Weight and Absorb Nutrients
If the cancer-preventive and heart-healthy properties of avocado haven't convinced you that this is one superfood worth eating, maybe this will: according to research published in the Nutrition Journal, eating just one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satiate you if you're overweight, which will help prevent unnecessary snacking later.8
Those who ate half an avocado with their standard lunch reported being 40 percent less hungry three hours after their meal and 28 percent less hungry at the five-hour mark compared to those who did not eat avocado for lunch. The study also found that avocados appear helpful for regulating blood sugar
The monounsaturated fat in avocados is a type your body can easily burn for energy, and because they are so rich in healthy fats, avocados help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients from other foods.
One study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming a whole fresh avocado with either an orange-colored tomato sauce or raw carrots significantly enhanced absorption of the carotenoids and conversion of them into an active form of vitamin A.9
A 2005 study similarly found that adding avocado to salad allowed the volunteers to absorb three to five times more carotenoid antioxidant molecules, which help protect your body against free radical damage.10
Avocados Contain Nutrients Many Americans Are Lacking
Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. Despite the fact that potassium is available in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, only 2 percent of US adults get the recommended daily amount.11
It plays an important role in heart function, skeletal health, digestion, and muscular function, and is essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in your body.12
Further, consuming enough potassium-rich food is important because this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. Imbalance in your sodium-potassium ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) but may also contribute to a number of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
About 2.5 avocados provide the daily-recommended amount of about 4,700 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day. Not to mention, an average avocado contains about 40 mg of magnesium, which is about 10 percent of the recommended daily value.
Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.
Better still, avocados are one of few foods that contain significant levels of both vitamins C and E.13 One study also found that a combination of vitamin C and E helped to slow plaque build-up, which could help prevent a heart attack or stroke.14
Avocados are even high in fiber, with about 4.6 grams in half an avocado. Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and more, so when you eat avocados you're really providing your body with a comprehensive package of nutrition.
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Avocado Super Smoothie Recipe ? Delicious!
You've surely tried guacamole and probably avocado on salads and sandwiches? but there are many more ways to enjoy avocados. One of my favorite ways is to blend one-third of an avocado into 12 ounces of water with my Vegan or Pure Power Protein and shredded coconut, along with my organic greens mix and my organic psyllium. You can also try avocado:
As a fat replacement in baking. Simply replace the fat called for (such as oil, butter, or shortening) with an equal amount of avocado
As a first food for babies, in lieu of processed baby food
Baked with a soft-boiled egg in the middle for breakfast
You might also want to try this avocado super smoothie recipe, which is adapted from one posted at the Little Epicurean.15 Try it for breakfast or as a light lunch or snack that will stick to your ribs and give you lasting energy.
Avocado Super Smoothie
1 whole avocado
1 cup of torn kale leaves, no stem
1/2 cup organic blueberries
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1 cup of organic baby spinach
1/2 sliced cucumber
1 cup unsweetened coconut water
Pour coconut water into blender. Add the avocado, kale, blueberries, pineapple, spinach and cucumber. Cover with lid and blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
Do You Wish You Could Grow Your Own Avocado Tree?
The seed from an avocado can be used to grow your own tree, although it's not as simple as just planting it in the ground. To get an avocado seed to grow, its "pointy" end needs to face the sun while the flat end needs to be kept wet at all times.
One way to accomplish this is by placing three or four toothpicks into the outer layer of the seed. Use the toothpicks as support structures to 'float' the seed on the top of a glass of water. If done properly, roots should begin to sprout within one or two months.
A Kickstarter campaign has also been launched for a device called the AvoSeedo. It keeps the seed properly immersed in water, and automatically adjusts as the water level in your container goes down. This makes the germination process much easier and more foolproof, because if your seed dries out, the germination process might stop permanently. If you're interested in growing your own avocado tree, you may want to check it out.
Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health
By Dr. Mercola
Most everyone, including many conventional physicians, have begun to appreciate the importance and value of vitamin D. Few, however, recognize the importance of vitamin K2, which is nearly as important as vitamin D.
Dr. Dennis Goodman,1 who was born in South Africa and trained at the University of Cape Town, has multiple board certifications in cardiology (and several subspecialties) and holistic integrative medicine.
After his internship at the Grootte Schuur Hospital?where Dr. Christian Barnard did the first heart transplant in 1967?he came to the US, where he did his cardiology fellowship at the at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where Dr. Michael DeBakey performed the first bypass surgery.
"I was really very lucky to be in a situation where I had these two cardiac giants as mentors and teachers," he says.
?For 20 years I was putting stents in; running around day and night at the hospital. When I got called to the emergency room for someone having a heart attack, I was like a fireman putting out a fire in a house.
Sometimes, you were very lucky and could save the house from burning down, and sometimes not.
What I started to realize is that prevention is really the key for us to making the maximum impact. I?ve always been interested in the idea that everything we need to be healthy is provided by the Lord above ?namely what?s out there for us to eat.
80 percent of these chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, and obesity are preventable. So I got into the whole idea of learning integrative medicine,? he says.
He was the chief of cardiology at Scripps Memorial, and went on to Scripps Clinic for Integrative Medicine for many years.
?Obviously, when you understand holistic medicine, you understand that so much of what we?re doing, unfortunately, in traditional medicine is procedures, testing, and prescribing drugs, because that?s what we?re taught?and making diagnoses instead of taking care of people who basically may not have a disease, but are not healthy and well.?
As a cardiologist, it's quite appropriate to delve into vitamin K2, as it has two crucial functions: one is in cardiovascular health and the other is in bone restoration.
It performs many other functions as well, but by helping remove calcium from the lining of the blood vessels, vitamin K2 helps prevent occlusions from atherosclerosis.
Vitamin K Basics
Vitamins K1 and K2 are part of a family, but they are very different in their activity and function. Vitamin K1, found in green leafy vegetables, is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in the production of coagulation factors, which are critical for stopping bleeding.
This is why when someone's on a blood thinner such as warfarin, they need to be careful not to take too much vitamin K1, as it will antagonize the effect of drug. Vitamin K2 is very different. There's a complex biochemistry that occurs with K2 involving two enzymes:
Matrix Gla-protein (MGP)
?Gla? is short for glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is imported into the cells in the wall of your arteries, where it binds to calcium and removes it from the lining of your blood vessels.
Once removed from your blood vessel lining, vitamin K2 then facilitates the intergration of that calcium into your bone matrix by handing it over to osteocalcin,. The osteocalcin then helps cement the calcium in place.
Vitamin K2 activates these two proteins. Without it, this transfer process of calcium from your arteries to your bone cannot occur, which raises your risk of arterial calcification.
"Vitamin K2 is like a light switch?it switches on MGP and osteocalcin, which takes calcium out of the arterial wall and keeps it in the bone.
There's so much information showing this relationship between osteoporosis (not having enough calcium in your bones) and having an increased incidence of heart disease. What's actually happening, I think, a lot of patients are vitamin K2-deficient," Dr. Goodman says.
?So now, I tell all patients ? especially when they have risk factors for calcification ? ?You?ve got to get vitamin K2 when you take your vitamin D, and your calcium, and magnesium.? Because we need to make sure that the calcium is going where it?s supposed to go.?
Statins May Increase Arterial Calcification by Depleting Vitamin K2
Besides a vitamin K2-poor diet, certain drugs may affect your vitamin K2 status. Dr. Goodman cites a recent article2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which suggests statin drugs may increase calcification in the arteries.
Interestingly enough, another recent study3 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology shows that statins deplete vitamin K2.
?For me, that is so huge because if that?s true, everybody that is put on a statin, you want to make sure they?re also taking vitamin K2,? Dr. Goodman says.
This is an important observation, considering one in four adults in the US over the age of 40 is on a statin drug. Not only do all of these people need to take a ubiquinol or coenzyme Q10, which is also depleted by the drug, it's quite likely they also need vitamin K2 to avoid cardiovascular harm.
Sources of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is produced by certain bacteria, so the primary food source of vitamin K2 is fermented foods such as natto, a fermented soy product typically sold in Asian grocery stores. Fermented vegetables can be a great source of vitamin K if you ferment your own using a specially-designed starter culture. My Kinetic Culture is high in strains that make vitamin K2. If you would like to learn more about making your own fermented vegetables with a starter culture, you can watch the video and read more on this page.
Please note that not every strain of bacteria makes K2, so not all fermented foods will contain it. For example, most yogurts have almost no vitamin K2. Certain types of cheeses, such as Gouda, Brie, and Edam, are high in K2, while others are not. It really depends on the specific bacteria. Still, it's quite difficult to get enough vitamin K2 from your diet?especially if you do not eat K2-rich fermented foods?so taking a supplement may be a wise move for most people.
How Can You Tell if You're Deficient in Vitamin K2?
The major problem we face when it comes to optimizing vitamin K2 is that, unlike vitamin D, there?s no easy way to screen or test for vitamin K2 sufficiency. Vitamin K2 cannot at present be measured directly, so it?s measured through an indirect assessment of undercarboxylated osteocalcin. This test is still not commercially available, however. ?That?s our problem. If that was available, we could start testing and showing people that their levels are low,? Dr. Goodman says.
Without testing, we?re left with looking at various lifestyle factors that predispose you to deficiency. As a general rule, if you have any of the following health conditions, you're likely deficient in vitamin K2:
That said, it's believed that the vast majority of people are in fact deficient these days and would benefit from more K2. One reason for this is very few (Americans in particular) eat enough vitamin K2-rich foods. So, if you do not have any of the health conditions listed, but do NOT regularly eat high amounts of the following foods, then your likelihood of being vitamin K2 deficient is still very high:
Certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria
Certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (these two are particularly high in K2, containing about 75 mcg per ounce)
The vitamin K puzzle is even more complex than differentiating between K1 and K2. There are also several different forms of vitamin K2. The two primary ones?and the only ones available in supplement form?are menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). MK-4 has a very short biological half-life?about one hour?making it a poor candidate as a dietary supplement. MK-7 stays in your body longer; its half-life is three days, meaning you have a much better chance of building up a consistent blood level, compared to MK-4.
In supplement form, the MK-4 products are actually synthetic. They are not derived from natural food products containing MK-4. The MK-7? long-chain, natural bacterial-derived vitamin K2? on the other hand comes from a fermentation process, which offers a number of health advantages.
Research4 has shown MK-7 also helps prevent inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory markers produced by white blood cells called monocytes. MK-7 is extracted from the Japanese fermented soy product natto, and since it's longer lasting, you only need to take it once a day. With an MK-4 supplement, you need to take it three times a day. The duration of action is also much longer with MK-7.
As for a clinically useful dosage, some studies have shown as little as 45 micrograms per day is sufficient. Dr. Goodman recommends taking 180 micrograms per day, making sure the K2 is in the form of MK-7. If you're eating natto, all you need is about one teaspoon.
That said, vitamin K2 is non-toxic, so you don't need to worry about overdosing if you get more. Do keep in mind that vitamin K2 may not necessarily make you "feel better" per se. Its internal workings are such that you're not likely to feel the difference physically. Compliance can therefore be a problem, as people are more likely to take something that has a noticeable effect. This may not happen with vitamin K2, but that certainly does not mean it's not doing anything! Last but not least, remember to always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat-soluble and won't be absorbed without it.
Another important nutrient is magnesium, which Dr. Goodman addressed in an earlier book called Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Heart & More. There are at least 350 enzyme systems in your body that require magnesium for proper function. Perhaps even more importantly, the quartet of calcium, vitamin D, K2, and magnesium all work together synergistically. "They're all in the symphony. You should take them all," Dr. Goodman says. I couldn't agree more, and have discussed this in previous articles.
If you can find a supplement that contains vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K2 in combination, that might be ideal, and then add calcium according to your individual needs. One way to get calcium from your diet that doesn't cost you anything extra is to pulverize the eggshell from an organic, pastured egg. I use a coffee grinder to do this. I then add the powdered eggshell to my smoothie. Do be sure the eggs you use are organically raised on pasture though. You do not want to use eggs from chickens raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Getting back to magnesium, the only people who really need to be concerned about taking too much are those with renal failure. ?If your creatinine?s high, or you got renal failure, you can get into trouble with magnesium,? he says. ?But everybody else, the only thing that can happen is some loose stools.?
As for the type of magnesium, Dr. Goodman recommends taking magnesium that ends in ?ate?: threonate, glycinate, citrate, and dimalate ?the latter of which has a slow-release technology (JIGSAW). ?I cannot tell you how many people have written to me, e-mailed me, and thanked me because of magnesium supplementation ? no more headaches, they?re sleeping at night, no more leg cramps or palpitations. In some patients it actually helped them lose weight. It?s huge,? he says.
In closing, Dr. Goodman notes, ?I really hope that people get the message that we both are trying to send: to be healthy, you?ve actually got to do something about it. You?ve got to get up, think about nutrition, and think about exercise, stress management, and sleep.? In fact, in addition to vitamin K2, we discuss a number of side issues essential to optimal health in this interview, so for additional pointers please listen to the full interview, linked below the condensed video above, or read through the transcript.
I have cautioned against consuming most seafood due to the potential of having widespread contamination. Many varieties of fish today come from polluted waters and are tainted with mercury, PCBs, and other potentially toxic heavy metals that can do serious damage to your health.
However, I believe that shrimp, due to their small size, are one of the safer kinds of seafood that you can consume ? as long as it is obtained from fresh, clean, and trustworthy sources,.
If you can find a safe source of shrimp, I recommend whipping up this simple but truly flavorful sautéed shrimp recipe: Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp.
2 fresh red chilies, seeds removed and thinly sliced
16 large shrimp (16 ounces), peeled and deveined
1-2 lemons, to taste
½ cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add coconut oil, ginger, garlic, chili, and shrimp. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Turn the heat to low and add the juice of 1 lemon. Stir in parsley. Remove from heat.
Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
This recipe makes 4 servings.
(From Dr. Mercola?s Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)
Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp Cooking Tips
If obtained from fresh, clean sources, shrimp is an excellent and nutritious food that can be served in various ways ? whether as an hors d? oeuvre, main dish, or even added to soups and salads. The key is finding wild shrimp harvested from the cleanest cold water sources.
When buying seafood, especially shrimp, look for products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch can also guide you in the direction of more sustainable seafood choices.
Seafood Watch has rated various seafood sources according to their sustainability and other parameters. Although some of their ?Best Choice? shrimp include farmed shrimp (which I absolutely do not recommend), some of the wild-caught shrimp varieties on their good-to-best list that you can consider buying are:1
Spot prawns from British Columbia (Canadian Pacific)
Coonstripe, northern and sidestripe shrimp, and spot prawns caught off Alaska
When purchasing fresh shrimp, look for those that are shiny and do not have any black spots. They shouldn?t be slimy and should have no ammonia-like odor, which are signs that the shrimp are going bad.2
Before deveining and shelling the shrimp, make sure you rinse them thoroughly. To devein, simply peel the shell using a paring knife and make a shallow slit along the back, from the head to the tail. Look for the black sand vein running along the center of the back. Using the tip of the knife, carefully remove and discard the vein. Rinse again under cold water.
Shrimp cooks very quickly, usually taking two to four minutes (depending on their size). Once they have started to curl up and turned a nice pink or light orange color, they?re ready to eat.
Why Is Chili Garlic Ginger Shrimp Good for You?
Fresh, wild-caught shrimp is an excellent health food that contains various nutrients like:
Selenium (Research shows that the selenium in shrimp can be well-absorbed by the human body)
High-quality protein (WHFoods3 actually ranks it as the eighth best food source of protein)
The shrimp in this recipe is made even more healthful by the herbs and spices used to flavor it, such as:
Not only is ginger a wonderful (and fragrant) addition to your cooking, but it also has a wide array of medicinal properties that can fill several books. That?s why it?s one spice that I recommend having in your kitchen at all times. Ginger is a rich source of antioxidants such as zingerones, gingerols, and shogaols. It also has broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic properties.
If unpeeled, ginger can stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to three weeks, or in your freezer for six months or longer.
Fresh garlic, despite its slightly pungent odor, is a potent herb with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties although its therapeutic effects may go much further than that. The benefits of garlic come from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Oligosaccharides, selenium, arginine-rich proteins, and flavonoids also give it its health-promoting qualities.
If stored properly, garlic will stay fresh for about a month. Keep it in an uncovered container away from heat and sunlight, to prevent it from sprouting.
The spicy flavor of chilies comes from capsaicin, an odorless and colorless compound that is produced to protect the peppers from fungal attack. When you eat it, it tricks your brain into perceiving heat where it touches your body.
Capsaicin is found to help alleviate pain by depleting your body?s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that is necessary for transmitting pain signals to your brain. This compound also de-sensitizes your skin?s sensory receptors.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin may also have some benefits against cancer. For example, it was found that capsaicin suppresses the growth of human prostate cancer cells, but leaves normal cells unharmed. For more about the benefits of eating chilies, read my article ?How Chilies Can Be Used to Treat Pain.?
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