Arsenic in Rice Reports, Should You Be Concerned?

We first started hearing about arsenic found in rice back in 2012.  Rice contains arsenic, Consumer Reports claimed in a disturbing 2012 study.  This left us with a lot of questions:SpoonsOfRice

  • Which types of rice have the highest levels of arsenic and which ones have the lowest? What about other rice products, such as rice milk and cereals and what about other grains too?
  • In the January 2015 issue of their magazine, Consumer Reports gave us the answers to each of these questions, and much more—including the recommendation that babies eat no more than one serving of infant rice cereal per day.
  • This is what you should know:
  • Almost all of the different types of rice tested contained measurable levels of arsenic, although levels varied depending on the type of rice.
  • Brown rice has more arsenic than white rice.  Consumer Reports found that  “80% more inorganic arsenic on average than white rice of the same type,” because “Arsenic accumulates in the grain’s outer layers, which are removed to make white rice.”
  • The level of arsenic in rice varies depending on where the rice is grown.  White basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan, and sushi rice from the United States have much lower arsenic levels than other types, and brown basmati rice from California, India, and Pakistan has about one third less arsenic than brown rice from other areas.
  • Rinsing and draining your rice before eating it will remove about 30 % of the arsenic on it.
  • Rice has higher arsenic levels than other grains because of the way the rice plant grows, since it absorbs more water than other plants.  Arsenic is released into the environment through fertilizers and pesticides, which are then absorbed as the plants grow.
  • Watch out for all forms of rice, including rice milk, puffed rice snacks, and gluten free flours and products.  The report ”found that rice cereal and rice pasta can have much more inorganic arsenic—a carcinogen—than our 2012 data showed.”
  • Arsenic consumption has been linked to a variety of health issues.  As the report states, “Regular exposure to small amounts of arsenic can increase the risk of bladder, lung, and skin cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Recent studies also suggest that arsenic exposure in utero may have effects on the baby’s immune system.”
  • Consumer Reports recommends reducing rice consumption.  Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, and manager of wellness nutrition services at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, agrees, telling Yahoo Health, “Arsenic has been found to be a toxic and carcinogenic substance.  The amount matters, but until we have more research, limiting rice intake may be an easy thing to do for the majority of the population.”
  • Children are at a greater risk than adults.  Arsenic takes a greater toll on their smaller bodies, and kids are more likely to eat rice snacks and drink rice milk than adults. Consumer Reports recommends that “babies eat no more than one serving of infant rice cereal per day, on average, and that their diets should include cereals made from other grains.”
  • Don’t rely on an “organic” label—rice grown organically was found to have the same arsenic levels as “conventionally” grown rice.  While organic rice may contain fewer pesticides, arsenic levels are still high.
  • You can cut your exposure by thoroughly rinsing rice before you cook it, and draining excess water after it’s cooked.  Consumer Reports recommends a 6-to-1 water-to-rice ratio, rather than the standard 2-to-1 ratio.  Although rinsing and draining rice might wash away some vitamins and minerals, but the rinse-and-drain technique will remove about 30% of the arsenic.
  • If you don’t  want to risk it, go for alternative grains like amaranth, buckwheat, or millet—all contain negligible amounts of arsenic, as do bulgur, barley, faro, and most types of quinoa.  While rice, pasta and bread have always dominated our dinner tables, this report may lead individuals to try out other grains that were not found to have high levels.”

(info taken from Yahoo.com/health news)

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Do You Have Candida (Intestinal Yeast)?

holding_stomachDo you have yeast overgrowth in your gut?  How do you know if you do or not?  That can be a complicated question because so many people have it and maybe don’t even know it!  The symptoms can be so varied, such as:

  • Candida  causes constipation: While signs and symptoms of constipation can be telltale of many conditions, it’s also very common in candida overgrowth sufferers.  This inability to  have a bowel movement may be a sign that you have too much fungus in your G.I. tract.
  • Heartburn or GERD, or acid reflux, is considered to be an uncomfortable effect of too much candida in your stomach.   It can also be that your stomach acid production is not enough to adequately break down and digest proteins, fats and sugars properly.
  • Bloating: Stomach bloating and pain are often associated with indigestion and overeating, but it might be caused by something other than food – candida in intestines!
  • Cravings for Candida: Your fungus growth gets hungry to be fed and makes you crave things/ and it loves sugary sweets.  Craving these way too much?  This can be an indicator that you are feeding the fungus in your gut!
  • Itching: This can be embarrassing, but do you find your rectum to be itchy?  If so, this is a sign of fungus.  As you go to the bathroom, it sends itchy feelings there.
  • Frequent Gas: Are you more gassy than you used to be as your usual quota would have been like?   Excessive amounts of it can indicate that you have this yeast in your small intestine.
  • Belly Bloat: Unless you are a frequent consumer of  beer, your belly being way bigger than you think it should be for how much you  are eating, is a likely characteristic. And if you are drinking beer as your  “drink of choice” you will find the yeast overgrowth to be much worse, since this feeds the fungus in your intestines.
  • Diarrhea Dilemma: Are you noticing more diarrhea?  Candida sufferers often find this to be a common occurrence.
  • High Triglycerides in your blood?: High cholesterol and high triglycerides can be symptoms of candida overgrowth in intestines, although should be closely evaluated and monitored by a health care professional. The good news is that this is often managed with diet, which can benefit an overgrowth of candida as well.
  • Below normal blood sugar: A reduction in blood sugar levels is thought by some to be attributable to candida overgrowth, but  this is a serious condition and requires medical intervention for proper treatment.Many digestive symptoms of candida overgrowth can mimic other conditions or vice versa, as in the case of symptoms of gluten sensitivity or celiac disease for instance.  This is why if you are exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms and they are unusual or debilitating, then you should seek medical care as soon as possible.  fat,The purpose of the Candida diet is to deprive the Candida yeast of its food sources. Candida thrives on sugar and carbohydrates. When it doesn’t have food, it can’t proliferate. But this is easier said than done because the candida makes you crave the foods that it wants. These cravings are usually very intense and can be completely overpowering.

It is very common for individuals following the Candida diet to cheat from time to time or even fall of the Candida wagon completely. This is just part of the process and requires that you be loving and forgiving of yourself when it occurs and start over again. You may find some of these tips to be helpful.

So, how should you eat to counter-act your Candida Overgrowth?

The worse thing you can give your body in regard to the Candida Diet and in regard to health in general is sugar. It weakens the immune system and gives yeast a great feast.

Sugar is Candida’s favorite food. If you remove nothing else from your diet, it must be sugar.

You may think that you don’t eat much sugar, but you eat sugar unknowingly many times a day, because sugar is added to almost every food on the market in the traditional store and is even common place in the health food stores. The health food stores usually carry items that contain organic sugar, but sugar is sugar when it comes to Candida and immune function.

IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU FOLLOW THESE DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR 4 WEEKS TO KILL OFF THE CANDIDA YEAST ALONG WITH TAKING ANTI-YEAST SUPPLEMENTS SUCH AS CAPRYLIC ACID.

To remove sugar from your diet, you must read labels very carefully.  All forms of sugar should be removed from the diet.

Forms of Sugar

-Beet Sugar
-Maple Sugar
-Date Sugar
-Organic Cane Syrup
-Organic Cane Juice
-Organic Cane Sugar
-Dextrose
-Maltose
-Lactose
-Maltodextrin
-Fructose
-High Fructose Corn Syrup
-Brown Sugar
-Powdered Sugar
-Honey
-Molasses
-Alcohol is the most refined form of sugar you can consume.

These Candida diet basics are essential to be successful in reducing or eliminating symptoms.

-No sugar
-No alcohol (alcohol is a sugar)
-No wheat
-No yeast
-No caffeine (Caffeine prompts the liver to dump large doses of sugar into the blood stream)
-No preservatives and additives
-No refined and processed foods
-No moldy foods
-No dairy (except yogurt and butter on occasion)
Cheese and milk contain lactose (milk sugar) which the yeast will feed on.
(some people can do small amounts of cottage cheese)
-Low in Carbohydrates

Foods to Eat

-Lean Meat and Fish
-Eggs
-High in Protein and Vegetables
-Low in Fruit and Nuts

The basic and most successful anti Candida diet should consist of nothing but lean meat, eggs, and low carbohydrate vegetables. A small amount of whole fruit, nuts and seeds may be acceptable if they don’t flare symptoms.

Meats to Include

-buffalo (is lower in fat and cholesterol than chicken or turkey)
-chicken
-beef
-turkey
-lamb
-ostrich
-pheasant
-venison
-fish.( be careful because fish is contaminated with mercury and other pollutants- buy Wild Alaskan fish.)
-No processed meats like lunch meat, spam, bacon, sausage etc.

Low Carb Vegetables to Include

-cabbage
-kale
-lettuce
-cucumbers
-zucchinis
-cauliflower
-green beans
-spinach
-any green leafy vegetable is low in carbohydrates
-onions
-garlic
-green peppers
-avocados (are excellent because they are also very good for stabilizing -blood sugar)
-tomatoes are low carb but high in acid and often aggravate yeast, you’ll need to monitor your symptoms to determine whether you should include them in your diet.

High Carb Foods to Avoid or Eat Sparingly

-potatoes
-carrots
-sweet potatoes
-yams
-corn
-beans
-winter squash

Grains

Grains should be avoided completely or reserved for special occasions on the Candida diet.

-rice
-wheat
-oats
-barley
-spelt
-rye
-corn

Alternate Grains
-Kamut
-Quinoa
-Amaranth

Dairy and Eggs

-Yogurt is okay on occasion because it contains healthy bacteria, but it does contain lactose, which is milk sugar, so be careful.
-Cheese or cottage cheese should be restricted for special occasions, but they also contain lactose, so must be restricted.
-Eggs are a good protein and contain no carbs.

Legumes or Beans

Legumes, also known as beans are very high in carbohydrates, so they should be eliminated or reduced for most people.  Like grains, they too are not processed properly by the human body.  When you do eat legumes, they should be sprouted when possible, as these are healthier for your GI tract.

-lima
-pinto
-navy
-split pea
-garbanzo -black, etc.

Nuts

Some people can include nuts, while others can’t.  Nuts are very good for you, so if you can include them in your diet, you should.  However in the beginning phase of the Candida diet they are best avoided or reduced.

Nuts are moldy.  Some of them are also high carbohydrate.

Macadamia, Almond, Walnut Hazelnut are lower in carbohydrates. Peanuts should be avoided, they are actually a legume, not a nut.

Fruits

Most people need to cut down on fruit intake drastically while following the Candida diet. This is because fruit is high in natural sugar. Some fruits are higher in sugar than others.

Some people can eat fruit freely and other people can’t eat it at all. On the other hand, some people can only eat fruit that is lower in sugar.
Fruit High in Sugar
-Oranges
-Bananas
-Dates
-Raisins

Fruit Medium level of sugar
-Apricots
-Pears
-Melons (also very moldy)
Fruit Low in sugar
-Strawberries
-Blueberries
-Raspberries
-Blackberries
-Peaches
-Grapefruit
-Apples (especially Granny Smith and Fuji)

Special Occasions and Treats

* Please keep in mind that sweets should be extremely limited.

I’ve found that it’s much easier to stay on the Candida diet if you allow yourself treats from time to time, so you don’t feel deprived. I allow myself to have something sweet, yet not too unhealthy a few times a month.

There may also be special occasions and holidays when you would like to indulge in something tasty and delicious.

More than likely you will experience cravings from time to time that are uncontrollable and you must have something sweet.

For any of these occurrences it’s best to indulge in healthier sweets that aren’t as damaging to the immune system and won’t make the Candida proliferate to the same extent as sugar.

Make your own dessert or buy some at the health food store that are sweetened with these sugar alternatives:

-fruit juice sweetened
-barley malt
-maple syrup
-brown rice syrup
-agave
-stevia
-xylitol

All of these alternatives are not quite as damaging as sugar, they will contain some nutritional value and will break down in the body a little slower than sugar. But, these should be consumed very infrequently.

Stevia is a natural and digestable herbal sweetener. It does not feed the Candida and it does not upset the blood sugar. However stevia can be difficult to use and takes a little getting used to.  You also can’t find anything in health food stores that uses stevia as its sweetener.

Agave is another better choice. It will feed Candida, but it is much less offensive. It also does not give you the spike in blood sugar that sugar and honey do.

Xylitol will not have any impact on yeast, blood sugar, or insulin either, so its a great choice too.

Be kind to yourself, don’t beat yourself up if you give in and cheat.   Forgive yourself and then start over.  If it feels too overwhelming, begin with baby steps and work your way up to bigger steps.

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High Blood Pressure Relief-Naturally!

First, I will say that if you have high blood pressure you must be under a physician’s care to monitor it and also, you should not stop your blood pressure medicine “cold turkey”.  The best way to get off of your medicine is to be weaned off slowly3254600173_be4748665e_m

High blood pressure is a symptom rather than a disease itself.  It’s like a “silent” signal that there is a problem which could be a signal for a big event like a heart attack.

Symptoms of high blood pressure:  As your blood pressure rises, you may get headaches in the back of the head which may feel worse in the morning when you get up from a laying down position. You may also experience dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue, nosebleeds or the urge to urinate at night.

What should you do? Definitely losing weight by exercising will help.  A healthier diet is a must too, and since hypertension is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke, your doctor will take quick action to prescribe medications to lower blood pressure such as:
ACE Inhibitors –  There are popular ones like Lisinopril, Benazepril and Enalapril.  These medications block your ACE enzyme. Natural foods and supplements that do the same thing in a gentler way include garlic, seaweed, pycnogenol, Omega 3 fatty acids, egg yolks, zinc and Hawthorn Berries.

Calcium Channel Blockers- Verapamil, Amlodipine and Nifedipine.  This category of medication will cause relaxation of the blood vessels. Natural options are: omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Hawthorn Berries, NAC and Alpha Lipoic Acid .   You should also eat celery.

Diuretics- High selling medicines like Furosemide and Hydrochlorothiazide are medications which cause you to urinate more and that reduces the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. When you reduce the squeeze in tiny cramped vessels, your pressure goes down. Natural, gentle “water pills” include: Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, Hawthorn Berry, taurine and CoQ10 and eating celery.

  • Certain foods and supplements are direct vasodilators, which means they open up the blood vessels, which relieves some pressure. These include: taurine, potassium, omega 3 fatty acids, and celery! Even 4 stalks a week could help, try eating more if you like it. You can juice the celery or dip it in hummus or almond butter, and if you can’t eat it, then consider taking supplements of “celery seed” extract. Compounds in celery like “3-n-butylphthalide” are known to reduce blood pressure.  In China, this compound (extracted from celery seed) is sold as a drug to reduce beta amylase-induced neuronal apoptosis, which confers protection for people with stroke, dementia and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • One more very helpful food to counteract high blood pressure is beets.  Strong, reliable  research shows that beets and beetroot juice can help with blood pressure and cholesterol. Try drinking about a cup a day.
  • Try getting a massage to control your cortisol level which is a gland controlling your “flight or fight” response.   When you produce too much cortisol from stress, poor diet or a hormone imbalance, it can also affect your blood pressure.  Yoga is another easy and non-medical way to reduce blood pressure and stress hormones.  Doing it makes you more flexible and strengthens your spine.  If you don’t like yoga, try quiet meditation for about 10 minutes twice a day with some active stretching exercises, also known to alleviate blood pressure levels that are too high.
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Green Tea and Protection for Cancer

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, evidence is growing which suggests that green tea may help prevent cancer. They are funding two researchers who are finding more valuable clues about how compounds in green tea actually work.

The natural substances in green tea are called polyphenols which seem to make it more difficult for a cancer cell to respond to their growth signals and this slows cancer growth.
One of the researchers is studying whether piperine (the substance that gives black pepper its heat) when taken with the green tea, will increase the amount of EGCG (a polyphenol) that gets into our blood and some tissues, compared to the polyphenol by itself. His findings indicated that it does.

Another researcher with the American Institute for Cancer Research is studying animal models and chronic liver disease to determine if EGCG hinders the development of liver cancer by inhibiting scarring which is called cirrhosis of the liver.
With this testing he tries to see if EGCG used alone and in combination with erlotinib (an experimental treatment for liver cancer) can slow tumor progression.

It is not yet known how much green tea a person would have to drink in order to be protected against cancer, but some studies indicate it would take 5-10 cups per day, while some epidemiological studies say you only need as few as 2 cups per day. There is still more data needed about that. One of these researchers are studying the need for 8-12 cups per day to see if that is the magic number. Either way, that is an awful lot of green tea to have to drink. This is why many supplement companies are offering a pill form of this important polyphenol in the type as EGCG or other polyphenol types as an antioxidant such as Resveratrol (found in red grape skin). Other forms of polyphenols are found in fruits, vegetables, tea, dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) and red wine.

Fruits are usually richer in polyphenols than vegetables, with citrus fruits and berries being the best fruit sources.

Certain polyphenols such as quercetin are found in all plant products, while others are only found in specific foods. Most foods contain quite a mix of different kinds of polyphenols.
It is hard to measure the exact polyphenol content of foods, and it is also likely that people will absorb them differently, and therefore two people might eat or drink the same amount but actually absorb different quantities. This is because the microbiota in your gut (which varies from person to person) is involved with the metabolism of polyphenols.

There are some interesting studies being done on animals using a combination of green tea and pharmaceutical medicines together to see if the outcome is best combined or alone. Definitely green tea is most likely to be promising when used with another treatment for early stage cancer or in post-chemotherapy treatment to prevent a recurrence.

2928398918_3c466b7b57_mAnother important fact in helping to prevent or even treat cancer is in the way of avoiding ALL kinds of sugar. Sugars feed cancer cells, so by avoiding them, it helps to “starve” rather than “feed” the cancer. In Europe, the “sugar feeds cancer” concept is so well accepted that oncologists, or cancer doctors, use the Systemic Cancer Multistep Therapy (SCMT) protocol. Conceived by Manfred von Ardenne in Germany in 1965, SCMT entails injecting patients with glucose to increase blood-glucose concentrations. This lowers pH values in cancer tissues via lactic acid formation. In turn, this intensifies the thermal sensitivity of the malignant tumors and also induces rapid growth of the cancer. Patients are then given whole-body hyperthermia (42 C core temperature) to further stress the cancer cells, followed by chemotherapy or radiation.19 SCMT was tested on 103 patients with metastasized cancer or recurrent primary tumors in a clinical phase-I study at the Von Ardenne Institute of Applied Medical Research in Dresden, Germany. Five-year survival rates in SCMT-treated patients increased by 25 to 50 percent, and the complete rate of tumor regression increased by 30 to 50 percent. The protocol induces rapid growth of the cancer, then treats the tumor with toxic therapies for a dramatic improvement in outcome.
The role of glucose in the growth and metastasis of cancer cells can enhance many therapies. Some of these include diets designed with the glycemic index in mind to regulate increases in blood glucose, therefore selectively starving the cancer cells; low-glucose TPN solutions; taking avocado extract to inhibit glucose uptake in cancer cells; hydrazine sulfate to inhibit gluconeogenesis in cancer cells; and SCMT.
(This info was found in the AICR Newsletter, Spring, 2014 Issue as well as Dr. Joseph Mercola)

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Cutting Carbs Without Sacrificing on Taste

3885272652_cd465b9de5_mA lot of the latest diet research is pointing us to the disappointing fact that cutting out a lot of carbs is really the best way to lose weight unless its carbs from vegetables and low sugar fruits. In addition we know that eating too many carbs can make you feel sluggish and leave you craving even more carbs.

Although a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates is good for us in moderation, they should only be eaten if they are un-refined whole grain carbs, i.e., steel cut oats, whole grain breads, cereals or crackers, brown rice and quinoa, nuts, seeds and air-popped popcorn. Of course vegetables and fruits (fruits such as apples, berries and grapefruit) can be eaten in large quantity. Below you will see some fun variations on your usual recipes to change the way you are eating if you are trying to achieve successful weight loss:

  • Instead of LASAGNA try ZUCCHINI or EGGPLANT

Zucchinni Lasagna – You won’t miss the noodles in this meaty, cheesy lasagna that’s full of fresh zucchini. Only three thinly sliced zucchinis are needed to replace normal lasagna noodles. Just make the lasagna the way you usually do, except where you would lay the noodles, just lay long strips of zucchini.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna –  
If you love eggplant, this recipe’s for you. It comes together quickly for a lasagna that’s got all the flavor of the familiar version without the carbs. It’s also pretty flexible to switch out: peel or don’t peel the eggplant and make the slices as thick (or thin) as you like. Use jarred pasta sauce to speed things up and try different flavor types of jarred sauces. Slice the eggplant to be thin or thick and brush with olive oil. Place in the oven for fifteen minutes before layering with your usually lasagna ingredients, except for the noodles of course.

  • Instead of SLICED BREAD try EGGPLANT
    Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes - 
This is an open faced sandwich like a bruschetta and this recipe skips the bread for eggplant, a healthier version of the Italian classic. While the eggplant roasts in the oven, mix the remaining handful of ingredients (onions, tomatoes, capers) to get them ready to be scooped onto the eggplant and you’re done!
  • Instead of Macaroni and Cheese – USE CAULIFLOWER:

Mac-and-Cheese-Style Cauliflower:  
A creamy, cheesy alternative to typical macaroni and cheese. Boil cauliflower, whisk up a cheese sauce, and throw it all in the oven. For another variation, use your favorite non-cheddar cheeses or a combo (mozzarella and pepper jack).

Mashed Cauliflower With Garlic and Chives: 
 Don’t bother with potatoes—there’s a new side dish idea. This mashed cauliflower takes on the consistency of potatoes after getting chopped up in a food processor or blender (or use a potato masher to get chunkier “potato” pieces), and get ready to enjoy a favorite comfort food minus lots of carbs. The garlic and chives add an extra dimension of flavor that’s sure to be a hit.

Instead of PIZZA CRUST try MUSHROOMS or CAULIFLOWER

Portabello Mushroom Pizzas Believe it or not—mushrooms make an incredibly tasty pizza crust. Lunch or dinner can be very easy with this recipe: drizzle mushroom caps with olive oil, load up on your favorite toppings like cheese or veggies, and bake. Sprinkle a little fresh basil on to bring it over the top.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust With Roasted Vegetables and Goat Cheese - Cauliflower can be so versatile… Don’t be put off by making your own “dough.” The taste is well worth it, and takes less time than traditional dough (no rising!). Roasted veggies and goat cheese are a tasty topping, but if you prefer a more conventional pizza, load it up with marinara and mozzarella.

  • Instead of PASTA try SPAGHETTI SQUASH or CABBAGE
    Spaghetti Squash or Cabbage instead of noodles – Using only four ingredients, this basic recipe is a great base to build a simple spaghetti dish. Adding vegetables like mushrooms or spinach boosts health, while throwing in some cooked chicken or shrimp will give it an extra protein boost. If you want to eat it as is, using squash instead of typical pasta will keep you guilt-free.
    Skinny Spaghetti Cabbage masked as spaghetti? The cabbage “noodles” lose their cabbage-y flavor, and become the perfect thing for this flavorful chili that uses staple ingredients like garlic and chopped tomatoes. Extra Bonus: Use the leftover chili in a burrito, taco, or even eat it on its own.
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It May Be Dangerous To Eat Grocery Store Mushrooms….Read This

6806266400_0016b46351_mSome experts suggest that even edible, everyday mushrooms should be cooked.   Here is some evidence:

  • Dr. Andrew Weil says that all mushrooms are essentially indigestible if eaten raw because of their tough cell walls, and that to release their nutrients, they must be cooked. More importantly, he says, certain mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, including a compound considered carcinogenic, which is destroyed through cooking because these compounds are not heat stable.
  • The compound in question, agaratine, is most commonly found in the mushrooms belonging to the genus Agaricus. This includes the common white or button mushroom—your everyday supermarket variety that is commonly found raw at restaurant salad bars:
  • • A study in the 1990s found that agaratine has a carcinogenic effect in the bladder of rats, while another study found cell mutation effects in mice that could lead to cancer.
  • • The information taken from this study, found the risk  to be quite low—a lifetime cumulative cancer risk of about two cases per 100,000 lives.
  • • Other rodent studies have found that agaratine in mushrooms had no carcinogenic effects at all.

Since agaratine is destroyed through cooking, the cautious consumer may wish to sauté, bake, or broil their mushrooms—the common white ones, in particular—just to be safe.

  • Do not, however, forgo mushrooms altogether!  As Dr. Mercola points out, about 100 species of mushrooms are currently being studied for their health-promoting benefits, with a half dozen of them notable for their ability to boost the immune system.
  • While more exotic species are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of important conditions, even white button mushrooms can help weight management, improve nutrition, and increase your vitamin D levels.

Cordyceps mushrooms (also called caterpillar fungus) increase ATP production, strength, and endurance, have anti-aging properties, protect liver and kidneys, and can even repair damage from stokes.  Shiitakes have anti-tumor properties, are both antiviral and antibacterial, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce atherosclerosis and cholesterol.  Reishi has similar properties but is also an anti-inflammatory, an antifungal, and reduces prostate-related urinary symptoms in men. So eat your mushrooms—but for maximum nutritional value (and to get rid of any toxicity), you might want to give them some light cooking first!  You don’t need to use too much heat.  Studies are showing that cooking at too high a temperature is causing health problems for us, in particular the creation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).   Cooking at under 300 degrees seems generally safe, and of course it depends on what you are cooking. Article information from Alliance For National Health’s Website

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12 Common Foods That Provide Unexpected Benefits

It shouldn’t surprise you that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but do you know exactly how they help your body? Fresh produce and other healthy foods that many people eat on a regular basis provide a number of benefits, some of which might surprise you.3512860257_c0041aab96_m

Apples
Eating just one apple per day gives you higher levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that reduce the amount of harmful low-density lipoprotein in your blood. This can help lower the risk of having hardened arteries.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can help you sleep better, since they contain high amounts of tryptophan. Your body turns this amino acid into a hormone called melatonin that helps you feel sleepy.

Raisins
A few servings of raisins per day can reduce your blood pressure, thanks to the fiber, potassium and phytonutrients they contain. Keeping your blood pressure under control helps lower your risk of developing heart problems.

Blueberries
Blueberries contain high amounts of antioxidants, which can lower your risk of heart disease and other health issues. When you eat them as a pre-workout and post-workout snack, they help you burn fat and absorb an even higher number of antioxidants. Antioxidants also help keep your cells healthy, including skin cells, so you don’t have to worry as much about premature aging or stretch marks.

Tomatoes
Pick up some organic tomatoes to increase your levels of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that decreases your risk of having a stroke.

Mushrooms
Mushrooms provide you with a boost of vitamin D, but some types give you even more than others. Check package labels for the amount of vitamin D they have, and look for ones with a higher amount.

Celery
Munching on a stalk of celery or putting it in a salad can help ease indigestion. When you eat it regularly, it can help keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Almonds
A serving of 40 almonds a day can help lower your cholesterol levels and keep you feeling full, which helps control your weight. Since almonds do contain a high amount of fat, it’s important not to eat too many of them.

Popcorn
Having one ounce of popcorn gives you a higher number of antioxidants than an ounce of fruits or vegetables. This is mainly due to the hulls in popcorn. This tasty snack is also high in fiber, but limit how much salt and butter you add to it or you’ll turn it into an unhealthy treat and MAKE SURE ITS NOT GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN.  Look for organic.

Cheese
Cheese provides several important benefits for your teeth. It helps prevent mineral loss and tooth decay and also helps you rebuild protective tooth enamel.

Cocoa
Cocoa helps blood flow to your brain better, which leads to improved cognitive ability. Have a cup of hot cocoa when you’re feeling sluggish, and you’ll be able to think more clearly throughout the day.
If you already drink wine, aim to have between two and seven glasses a week. Wine helps ward off depression and boosts heart health.

The author Sandy Getzky is an associate editor at ProveMyMeds, a public health and education startup focused on producing helpful resources concerning the treatment of common ailments.

 

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Wondering If You Still Need Supplements While Juicing?

4264676537_4975bf525e_mJuicing provides so many nutritional benefits, so do you wonder if you still need your usual supplements anyway?  There are a few important things to consider regarding your juice making/drinking daily.  First of all:

  • Did you make your own juice or know exactly where the ingredients came from if you bought it already made?
  • Are your ingredients all from organic sources?
  • What else are you eating throughout your day?

While it is true that  the juice retains most of the vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients that the whole food  offers, you’re likely missing out one some key nutrients, especially because juicing removes the healthy fiber and nutrients found in the skins of some fruits and veggies.  Fiber is important for digestive function and has a lot  of health benefits which you generally lose during the juicing process.  So eating the whole vegetable or fruit is generally best in that regard.  Of course you do get a higher concentration of everything else that makes up that fruit or veggie in your drink, other than the fiber.

  • If you’re getting the flavonoids and anthocyanins from fruit and veggie juice,  which means you’re protecting yourself from oxidative damage of free radicals, then do you need to take a supplement too?

You can also look at the fruits and vegetables themselves.  Many are picked before they are fully ripe, so they are not as nutrient-dense or flavorful as they would be if they had grown on the vine and got from farm to table within a day or two.  Also, much of the world’s soil has been leached of nutrients, so it provides less nutrients to the growing plants it should have or like it had 100 years ago.

  • One of the biggest health benefits of juicing is associated with cellular cleansing, enhancing your body’s overall health and improving systemic function from the inside out.
  • Another beneficial role of raw, fresh vegetables is that they can help prevent your body from becoming overly acidic, making sure that an alkaline balance is maintained in the blood.  To maintain a proper balance, try to include as many of the following veggies in your juicing regimen as possible:

• Spinach
• Cucumbers
• Celery
• Kale
• Fresh herbs
• Swiss chard
• Wheatgrass
• Watercress
• Cabbage
• Bok choy
• Broccoli
• Endive
• Onions
• Garlic
• Radishes
• Tomatoes

  • There are so many other important supplements that your body may need depending on your overall health issues personally.  There are also supplements that I believe every person needs anyway that cannot be received from juicing.  Such as:

Vitamin D3, Fish or Krill Oil, Probiotics, Calcium, Multi-B Vitamins, Iron (for menstruating women),  or others depending on your  body’s needs.  A natural health professional can help you know which ones those would be.

So, bottom line, juicing is fantastic and greatly enhances your health, but its not the only way to health.  That’s why the word, “Holistic” – meaning the whole body and using whatever nutrients that whole body needs- can take many different things or ways to help you achieve your optimal health.

Make your appointment with me in person or by Skype to  know which type of support your body needs to help you to feeling GREAT.

 

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Adrenal Glands 101- Are your’s working correctly?

pesky allergiesAdrenal Fatigue, also known as adrenal stress or burnout, is said to affect millions of people and yet, it is still not considered a conventional medical illness among traditional medical doctors.  Symptoms of adrenal fatigue cannot exactly be explained by general practitioners, since there is no scientific evidence supporting the concept.

Most people will experience some level of adrenal fatigue at least once in their lifetime – mainly due to an illness, a personal crisis which causes a lot of stress, or even from a toxic liver which in turn affects the hormones and adrenal glands as well.

What are the adrenal glands?
On top of each kidney there is an adrenal gland, about the size of a large grape. They produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, how our body uses food, blood-levels of minerals, such as potassium and sodium, functions involved in stress reactions, and heart beat.  Adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped endocrine glands located at the top of each kidney
Definition of adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands become tired and do not function properly – inadequate quantities of hormones are produced.

According to AdrenalFatigue.org, adrenal fatigue is a syndrome – a collection of signs and symptoms – which occurs when the adrenal glands do not work properly, they function below the necessary level.  In most cases, they say, it is linked to intense or long-term stress.  It can also occur during or after long-term infections, such as a severe virus or flu bug. Many patients with some signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue may seem apparently healthy, and will cope with everyday activities like they are fine.  However, they experience a general sense of exhaustion; a feeling of being worn out during the day, waking in the middle of the night feeling tired but wired and getting very tired by 3:00 p.m.  Other forms of adrenal dysfunction, such as Addison’s Disease or adrenal insufficiency are recognized though in the traditional medicine community and is more difficult to treat.

There is a large industry of dietary supplements aimed at people with adrenal fatigue.  You can contact me or a naturopathic practitioner to advise on what to use.

What are the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Below are some symptoms related to adrenal fatigue, they are documented in alternative medicine literature and health books:
• General overall tiredness.
• Salty and sweet cravings.
• Needing stimulants or high doses of caffeine in coffee or colas.
• Low blood pressure.
• Loss of body hair.
• Having difficulties in recuperating from illnesses.
• General body aches.
• Feeling with sever decreased energy late in the afternoons.
• Feeling like you did not sleep much when you wake up, even if you really did sleep through the night.
• Dizziness
• Dark skin (Addison’s disease only)
• Bluish-black discoloration around the nipples, mouth, rectum, scrotum, or vagina (Addison’s disease only)
• Weight loss
• Dehydration
• Lack of appetite
• Muscle aches
• Nausea
• Low blood pressure
• Low sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
• In women, irregular or absent menstrual periods
What are the treatment options?

  • • Alternative health practitioners say that in some cases the adrenal gland malfunction may become chronic, mainly because of prolonged stressful events, and poor health. They stress that with proper adrenal support and some lifestyle modifications, patients can be treated effectively.
  • • Lifestyle modifications include eating healthfully using no artificial sweeteners, colorings or preservatives; acquiring a regular sleep-wake cycle, getting at least 7 to 8 hours proper sleep each night, and avoiding stressful situations as much as possible.
  • • Using relaxing modalities to get your emotions under control is important too.  These would be things like deep relaxed breathing techniques and relaxing visualization techniques.
  • • There are also natural/herbal remedies to help put you in a deeper fuller sleep cycle which will help for that late afternoon fatigue feeling.
  • • Drinking alot of water is also helpful: l/2 of your body weight in water per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds-then that is 75 oz. divided by 8oz. glass=9 glasses minimum/daily.
  • • Taking supportive supplements which are found in the health food store listed as Adrenal Support.  I have some good adrenal support products that I recommend.
  • Changing the diet to include less carbs like bread, crackers, chips, potatoes and sugars.  Eating more vegetables, healthy fats like olive and coconut oil/avocados, low sugar fruits and lean protein will play less havoc on your hormones.  Also regulating the blood sugar levels by eating every 3-l/2- 4 hours will balance the insulin levels, which help give you a feeling of calmness to avoid the sugar highs and lows.  It will also prevent cravings of wanting more carbs and sugars.

In closing, you should get your hormones checked if you are a woman, once per year which would include: estrogen, progesterone, pregnolelone, testosterone and thyroid.  All these hormones if out of balance, can also upset the adrenals.

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Blood Sugar Balancing The Easy Way

4367564780_9b005dd845_mWhat Are the Best Ways to Balance Blood Sugar?  You probably hear a lot of conflicting advice, but now its more clear that highly refined and processed foods in the forms of carbs or sugars cause blood sugar fluctuations.

Everyone knows regulating your blood sugar is important for people with or who are at risk for diabetes, but it may also increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer!  Of course its important to also regulate your blood sugar levels to support appetite control, mood swings and even weight loss practices.

To balance blood sugar naturally, make smart nutrition and lifestyle choices that support normal metabolism function.  So how do you do that?

  • Eat every 3-l/2-4 hours.  Also how you eat these foods actually matters.  Anything that slows the absorption of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream helps.  The slower your body absorbs sugar, the less likely you are to experience unhealthy blood sugar highs and lows.  So…by eating a combination of eating three things together at the same you can keep better blood sugar balance.  This is whether you are eating a snack or a meal.
  • Eat Protein – Add a handful of dried raw, unsalted nuts or seeds, or a hard boiled egg, or l/2 cup of Greek Non-Fat Plain Yogurt, or a couple of slices of low salt turkey breast, or a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick to your snack.   If eating a meal, you would use the same combinations of foods as listed in this article but you eat only 1/4 of the portions at snack time.  Meal time should be eat breakfast like a “prince”, lunch like a “king” and dinner like a “pauper”.  So lunch should be your biggest meal of the day with the most amount of protein at that time and dinner should be the smallest meal of the day.  You can also choose other healthy proteins such as beans combined with brown rice, organic Tofu, Fish or Seafood or Chicken.
  • Fat – Thats right, healthy fats such as those found in almond butter, coconut oil, fatty fish and olives, avocado or olive oil are the good  fats that don’t act to raise cholesterol levels, but yet help to balance blood sugar when combined with protein or unrefined carbs.  Unrefined carbs are whole grains, vegetables and quinoa/rice.   Portions for fat should be: a handful of nuts to fit in your cupped hand, 1 tablespoon of nut butter or coconut oil, l/4 avocado, l/4 cup of olives sliced or 6-7 whole olives.  Hummus is also a healthy fat with protein in it but 2-3 measured tablespoons is the portion!
  • Fiber –  Eat whole, unprocessed, fiber-rich foods as your first choice, such as an apple or berries of any variety, fresh vegetables and air popped popcorn, steel cut oatmeal instead of  “Quaker Oats”,  lentils and beans instead of crackers or chips, or nuts/seeds.  So if you choose the nuts/seeds option that takes care of the fat portion too since there is natural fat in those.
  • Willpower? –  Can’t forget good, old fashioned will power.  There is always going to be many times of weakness in that area, but I have some ideas to help your sweet tooth when you just feel “I have to have something sweet or I’m going to die” feeling:
  • Try some natural jelly beans like the kind you would find at  Trader Joe’s near the check-out counter, or at Whole Foods in the bulk bin.  They are free of chemicals and colorings.  Jelly Beans are only 3 calories for each bean and if you eat them slowly you can have 10 jelly beans for 30 calories – not bad…
  • Try making your own natural fruit juice popsicle.  They sell popsicle making kits at Whole Foods.  Just fill them with sugar free Organic Tart Cherry Juice or Pomegranate Juice and for 45 calories you get a healthy popsicle.
  • Have l/2 cup of organic granola or Whole Grain Cereal.  Add some cinnamon to add flavor, eat the cereal dry.
  • Have some air popped pop corn, which should be organic to avoid GMO corn.  2-l/2 cups popped is only 70 calories.
  • Suck on an organic lollipop which they sell at TJ Maxx near the checkout stand.  2 of them are only 50 calories.
  • Suck on a couple of peppermint drops.  Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant.  You can get the ones they sell in the tin box at Trader Joe’s at the cash register too.  Plus you will get fresh breath!
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily.  This promotes appetite control and flushes the body of unwanted toxins through the day.

Using your muscles is one of the best ways to keep blood sugar in a good balance as well. The large muscle groups of the body – legs, back, and abdominals—use blood sugar for energy.  The more you work them, the more energy they use, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.  Sitting at the computer for hours on end is the worse thing you can do for blood sugar, so even if you can’t fit in exercise that day, set a reminder to stand up, stretch, and move around every half-hour.

Cut off your eating at least 3 hours before bedtime as well as your water drinking.  You don’t need the calories when your body will be shutting down to promote sleep instead of digesting food.

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