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functional food

100 articles in functional food

Sugar Conspiracy Still Rages

Uncovering the Sweet Truth About Sugar: How to Avoid the Health Hazards

Corrupt information about sugar from advertisers, multinational food corporations and mainstream media abounds. Meanwhile, an unsuspecting public often swallows what they’re told, hook line and sinker. For the sake of your health, you need to become ever more savvy about which products you can feel good about buying and which to avoid completely. Bear with me. I’ll lay out the bare bones of what you need to be aware of as you wend your way around the continually expanding selection of sugar-related products deceptively disguised as “good for you.” SWEET TRUTHS Sugar purveyors have got away with murder. Along with governments who have been supposed to guide us on what to eat to stay healthy, they have for decades wrongly told us that eating fats is dangerous for our health. Multinational food and drink manufacturers cunningly decided to replace fats in the convenience foods they sell with sugar to make their wares more palatable. The vast majority of shoppers, consciously attempting to follow “official” advice, wholeheartedly embraced all the sugar-filled packaged foods they were offered. Many shoppers are now waking up to how dangerous sugar is to their health and their life. But we have a long way to go. Sugar is the most damaging of all the carbohydrates. Ordinary table sugar consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. The glucose part gets digested in your stomach. Then it enters your bloodstream, where it makes your blood sugar rise. This triggers insulin release—a major cause of the development of insulin resistance. The other 50% component of table sugar—fructose—acts differently in your body. It does not affect your blood sugar, and we do not yet know for sure what part fructose may play in the release of insulin. So we are still being taught that eating and drinking fructose fine. This makes fructose healthy, right? Wrong! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW When you eat a piece of fruit—say, an apple—the fruit sugar it contains comes wrapped up in natural fiber including pectin, a soluble fiber which helps your body eliminate heavy metals from your system. It can take you 10 minutes or so to munch your way through an apple. It takes even more time for your body to break down the fiber and absorb it. This means that the fructose in the apple you eat is released relatively slowly. As a consequence, its fructose can be processed a little at a time by the liver, which is the organ that handles fructose. However, when you drink a nice big glass of apple juice or a soda (which contains 10 times more fructose than an apple) it can take as few as 10 seconds for you to swallow it all. Then your liver gets bombarded with a very dangerous form of fructose known as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An excellent article published in the prestigious journal Nature, “The Toxic Truth About Sugar,” points out that the consumption of the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup has increased one hundred fold since 1970. “We’re being poisoned to death,” says Robert Lustig, MD. “That’s a very strong statement, but I think we can back it up with very clear scientific evidence.” Lustig and his colleagues suggest that sugar be regulated in the same way alcohol is regulated. The human body, especially the liver, never evolved to handle the kind of fructose load that it is now getting. What does it do? It responds by turning much of the fructose you take in into fat deposits. It also makes you highly prone to cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, hypertension, dementia and type 2 diabetes. SUGAR INFESTATION In the 19th century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today, each of us consumes between 150 and 200 pounds of it a year—much of it hidden in convenience foods, fruit juices and sodas. Because sugar, added to so many processed foods, is everywhere, it is virtually unavoidable. Millions of poorly informed people continue to consume 500 calories or more every day in added sugar alone. What few people yet know is that sugar acts upon the same areas of your brain as alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes do, creating cravings, unnatural hunger and an addiction for yet more sugar. The excessive amount of “stealth” sugar in processed foods has become the backbone that supports the profitable disease care business worth billions. Chronic high blood sugar and insulin don’t just make you fat and predispose you to chronic diseases, they age you. Sugar also undermines the integrity of your skin. When you eat a diet full of non-vegetable carbohydrates—grains, cereals and sugars of any kind—your body gets busy fabricating wrinkles, sags, a puffy face and a lackluster complexion. And, as a result of the chronic high blood sugar and insulin resistance which develops over time, you can end up without the energy to do anything to change it. HEALTH DESTROYERS High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is something food and drink manufacturers have used in ever-increasing quantities since 1978. It was originally a worthless by-product of the corn industry. That is, until someone had the bright idea of turning it into syrup and pouring it into sodas, cakes, breads, cookies, ready meals, even smoked meats and fish—you name it. Nowadays you can find HFCS just about everywhere in packaged foods and drinks—juices, sodas and fruity yoghurts, luncheon meats, even in smoked fish. Foods that most people still believe to be “healthy” are now riddled with this cheap, dangerous stuff. Not surprisingly, HFCS is ultra-sweet—55% fructose and 45% glucose. Because nothing raises blood sugar levels and triggers insulin release more quickly than sugar in its many forms, eating anything full of sugar gives you an immediate ‘high’. Then, it can just as quickly bring you down, leaving you craving something else sweet to keep going. Want to do one thing which can dramatically improve your health, your weight and your good looks? Just stop eating sugar, including fructose, in any form, as well as any foods or drinks that contain it. Beware of what you buy because it is often not even listed as an ingredient on labels. HOW TO CUT YOUR SUGAR INTAKE It’s easy. Change your way of eating from a diet of packaged convenience foods to pesticide-free, whole organic foods that are unprocessed. Never use canned fruits in recipes that need sweetening. Instead go for fresh, low glycemic fruits or top quality stevias. Use organic seasonings to create great flavors for your dishes. Most often, the sugar content of a food has been deliberately hidden by food manufacturers by giving it a name that shoppers will not recognize. Given the dangers implicit in using sweeteners, it’s equally important to be cautious when looking for alternatives to sugar itself. These fall into three main categories: Artificial sweeteners—which you want to avoid like the plague. Sugar alcohols. Natural sweeteners. All artificial sweeteners are harmful, each in its own way. These include aspartame—the worst of the lot. You’ll find it in Equal and NutriSweet; sucralose, which you’ll find in in Splenda; saccharine, which you’ll find in Sweet and Low, as well as many other artificial sweeteners by different names. There is much evidence to back up how dangerous these are. Avoid all of them if you care about your health. Sugar Alcohols with “ol” in their name such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol and lactitol can spike blood sugar but beware. Just because some product label says “sugar-free” this is not necessarily the truth, nor can you be sure it is calorie-free or low-sugar. Probably safest of them is xylitol, but only if you use it occasionally and very sparingly. (By the way, it is deadly for cats and dogs.) “Natural Sweetener” does not necessarily mean natural. Agave Syrup and Agave Nectar can be even worse than HFCS. It’s a misnomer to refer to them as “natural”, despite the advertising hype that has most of the world still believing they are. Higher than any other sweetener on the market, Agave has virtually no nutritional value. As for honey, which has become seriously distorted as a result of the hideous damage being done to bee colonies, it too is to be avoided unless you happen to gather it from your own hives. The Safest Choices: Stevia is an exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America. This plant has been used to sweeten herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. It’s a godsend for enhancing health and reducing your sugar intake. It’s great for sweetening drinks and baking dishes. But make sure you use only the best. All sorts of so-called stevias such as Truvia and Purevia continue to be promoted by multinational corporations. They call themselves “all-natural sweeteners”. In reality, they have been manufactured only from “certain active ingredients” in the stevia plant, not from the whole plant. As a result, they are distortions of the real thing. Don’t use them. Another good natural sweetener is Lo Han Guo, which comes from a Chinese fruit. It too is good, but more expensive than stevia. Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb

Phytochemicals

Unlock Youthful Beauty: Discover Phytochemicals That De-Age You!

Phytochemicals have an important part to play in rejuvenating the body and continuing to de-age it afterwards. A diet for de-aging the body needs to be high-raw and rich in green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans and seeds. When you eat this way you get the very best complement of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals for free radical protection and enzymes. And when it comes to de-aging the body enzymes move center stage. Here are a few of the most important recently discovered phytochemicals and some of their life-enhancing, antioxidant and anti-aging actions: Allicin Where Is It Found: onions, garlic, leeks, spring onions Benefits: lowers LDL (the negative) blood cholesterol, detoxifies by enhancing production of glutathione S-transferase, helps protect against breast cancer and heart disease as well as colon cancer and stomach cancer, enhances immunity Alpha Carotene Where Is It Found: seaweeds and carrots Benefits: heightens immunity, slows growth of cancer cells in animals, may help prevent cardiovascular disease and inflammation Anthocyanins Where Is It Found: cranberry juice Benefits: helps prevent and cure urinary tract infections Beta Carotene Where Is It Found: dark green vegetables, red & yellow vegetables such as carrot and marrow, peaches and apricots Benefits: decreases risk of many cancers including skin, colon, and female cancers. Also improves immune function Catechins Where Is It Found: green tea Benefits: together with polyphenol and theaflavin it lowers cholesterol, boosts fat metabolism and may boost immune functions as well as help prevent some cancers and much aging   Indoles Where Is It Found: cabbages, dark green vegetables Benefits: helps detoxify the body, protects against excessive oestrogen buildup, slows cancer growth in animals, enhances immune functions Limones Where Is It Found: citrus fruits Benefits: protects against breast cancer in animals, heightens production of enzymes involved in detoxifying the body, helps lower blood cholesterol and reduce plaque in arteries Lycopene Where Is It Found: red grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon, apricots Benefits: protects against age-related cell damage and oxidation to proteins and fats Saponins Where Is It Found: chickpeas, lentils and other beans Benefits: help slow the rate of tumor growth in animals Sulphoraphane Where Is It Found: cauliflower, kale, turnip greens, Brussels sprouts Benefits: helps cancer fighting and age fighting enzymes detoxify cells, inhibits the development of breast cancer in animals Triterpenoids & Glycyrrhizin Where Is It Found: licorice root Benefits: enhances immune functions, has anti-tumour properties, fights gum disease and tooth decay, improves liver function by enhancing liver enzymes that help protect against excess oestrogens

Stevia: What is it?

Discover the Benefits of Natural Stevia: No Calories, No Toxins & Low Prices at iHerb.com

An exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America, stevia is replete with non caloric sugary molecules. This is the reason for its sweet flavor. Stevia has sweetened herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. Its properties were first recorded by a botanist named Antonio Bertoni in 1887, who wrote about ways the natives of Paraguay used it. Others have discovered stevia in the past fifty years and made good use of it. Japan and the United States have done extensive research and safety testing on the plant. Their research shows that this marvelous sweet herb is non-toxic, safe for diabetics and beneficial for weightloss as well as daily use for yourself and family. More good news: Stevia is not a source of nutrition for bacteria in the mouth nor for yeasts and fungi such as Candida Albicans in the body. A few years ago, following some rather bogus animal research promoted by Monsanto — who produce much of the artificial sweeteners in the world — the European Parliament banned the sale of stevia in Britain and Europe. There is much pressure at the moment to lift that ban. In the meantime, if you live in the EU, you can, without difficulty, order stevia online from herbal shops, either in your own country or another European country, including the UK. It is widely available in shops and stores in the United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand and most other countries of the world. Stevia is great for all sorts of reasons on Cura Romana Spoonable Stevia By Stevita: Spoonable Stevia by Stevita uses only stevia extract with at least 95% pure glycosides (extremely sweet tasting ingredients of the Stevia herb leaves), and a little erythritol, a crystal granulated naturally produced filler found in fruits, vegetables and grains. It is best for baking and sprinkling. Order Spoonable Stevia By Stevita from iherb ENGLISH TOFFEE STEVIA: Wisdom Natural, SweetLeaf, Liquid Stevia, English Toffee Sweet Leaf liquid stevia with all natural flavors is convenient and easy to use. As a supplement, add this nutritious stevia to water, tea, coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many different flavors including lemon but English Toffee flavor is the best by far. Order English Toffee Stevia from iherb ORDERING FROM IHERB.COM: If you decide to order any products from Iherb.com, you will automatically receive $5 or $10 off your first order. Their products are the cheapest and best in the world…I use them for everything no matter where I am. Get it sent to you via DHL. It will be with you in three to four working days… iHerb.com ship all over the world very cheaply. IMPORTANT - Do not be fooled by the artificially made Stevia products such as Truvia and Purevia. These products are not the natural Stevia plant. To learn more read my post here called beware of Truvia.

Help From Nature

Banish Cellulite: DIY Lotion + Aloe Vera + Silica!

There are many other powerful helpers readily available to give a hand with banishing cellulite. Some of my favorites are: The Cactus Connection Another powerful adjunct to breaking down cellulite and keeping your system clean is drinking the biogenic—life generating—juice of the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera is a beautiful cactus. Used externally, you will find nothing better than pure aloe vera juice as a base for your own anti-cellulite treatment (see below). Used internally, it appears to help detoxify the body in general, enhance digestion so that wastes do not build up in the system, and improve the quality of micro-organisms in the large intestine, which help protect immunity and keep the body clean. But it is useful against cellulite in other ways as well, thanks to its being rich in proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes appear to help with the breakdown of necrotic, hardened, protein-based connective tissue that is essential to eliminating cellulite, although that remains to be proven. It has, though, been recently discovered that aloe vera juice enhances the development of capillaries and circulation in general, reduces water retention and inflammation, and speeds up cellular reproduction in skin. In order to make use of aloe vera’s healing properties, you either have to use the juice fresh from the cut leaves of a cactus which is at least four years old, or it has to be carefully processed at extremely low temperatures to preserve its biogenic properties. Find the best aloe vera juice you can, keep it refrigerated and use it within a month. While beating cellulite, take a small glass of pure low-heat processed aloe vera juice on rising, between breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner, as well as just before you go to bed. Silica Silica plays an essential role in the development and maintenance of cellulite-free flesh. When there is an adequate supply in your body, this brings a high level of support to the metabolic pathways responsible for the production of strong new collagen, elastin and ground substance in skin. A woman’s daily requirement of silica is rather high, at 20-30mg. Organic matter in the soils should, by rights, break down readily available inorganic silica in the ground and render it available to us through the foods we eat. Unfortunately, high-tech farming methods have destroyed much organic matter in our foods, so that our fruits and vegetables are now depleted of silica. Modern food processing then tends to remove even the little that is left. As you get older, the amount of silica present in your body decreases year by year. There is only one, extremely rich source of organic silica known to man: horsetail. Never take powdered horsetail, as it is extremely irritating to the intestines and very little of it will be absorbed by your body. Find a good natural organic silica supplement instead. Most women notice a difference to their hair and nails within 3 to 6 weeks of beginning to take between 2 and 6 tablets of organic silica a day. The benefits on the inside to connective tissue will be happening at the same rate. Plants from the Depths Another source of plant complexes particularly useful in banishing cellulite and re-establishing good body ecology is the sea. All seaweeds—from kelp to dulse, to nori and kombu—are rich in the minerals which your body’s metabolic processes require to function properly. A good supplement of sea plants which have been collected from unpolluted waters and then ‘atomized’, or broken into very fine particles, can offer another source of important metabolic support on any anti-cellulite regimen. Seaweeds tend to have very hard cells walls, and unless these plants are extracted or their cell walls are exploded, much of the metabolic treasure they contain remain unavailable to the body. They are also, of course, delicious to eat. Buy them dried and crumble them onto soups and salads. DIY Cellulite Lotion The active ingredients in the best of the cellulite creams, lotions and oils include a number of potent herbal extracts to help enhance circulation, encourage fat burning, restore integrity to damaged capillaries, decrease water-logging and improve firmness. They include things like silica derivatives, free-form amino acids, herbal extracts from butcher’s broom to horsetail, and even caffeine, which, when applied in the right form to the surface of the skin, has been shown to stimulate fat burning. All of these products need to work with a whole body program, and most of them are expensive. You can make one of your own at a fraction of the cost. It is true it won’t have a sweet cosmetic smell like the others and, because it contains herbal extracts which are brown in color, you will need to be careful not to stain the white bathroom rug when applying it. But it works a treat. Here’s how Take 1 small bottle of aloe vera liquid (350ml). Add to it 25ml of liquid extract of fucus vesculosus and 25ml of kola liquid extract. Shake well. Keep refrigerated. Apply twice a day to cellulite-prone areas of the body after a bath or shower, then, using one of the special anti-cellulite gloves, mits or rollers available in most pharmacies, gently go over those areas of your body.

Quinoa - Powerhouse For Health

Unlock the Fabulous Powers of Quinoa: Discover 4000 Year Old Superfood Benefits

In our world where grains of every kind—gluten-free or not—turn to sugar when you eat them, quinoa is a fabulous superfood you should make part of your diet. With its high fiber content and good quality protein, plus a wide variety of powerful health-giving compounds—from polyphenols, saponins and phytosterols to free radical scavengers—it’s not only yummy, but a great meat-free food to grace your table. It has very little carb content compared to all those stodgy grains and is far lower on the dangerous glycemic index. SUPER NUTRIENTS Although it’s spelled “kwin-OH-a” you pronounce quinoa’s name as “KEEN-wa”. It has been a staple of South American diets for an amazing 4000 years. But not until 50 years ago did curious scientists start to investigate the nature of this food and discover that it comes as close as any other in the plant kingdom to supplying a vast array of the essential nutrients we humans need to thrive. This seed is high in magnesium to calm the body and reduce blood pressure. It brings you an abundance of good quality fiber when you eat it. Quinoa also contains a lot of anti-inflammatory compounds. It is safe to eat even if you have delicate digestion, inflammatory bowel trouble, celiac disease or gluten intolerance. And it’s brimming with important minerals and vitamins from magnesium, zinc and phosphorous to vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folate. This makes quinoa an excellent choice for people savvy enough to go for foods that are low on the glycemic index, low-carb dieters, vegans, and all of us who need to increase our fiber intake. THE NEW FUNCTIONAL FOOD Studies continue to report that eating quinoa brings us all sorts of health-promoting effects. It can help reduce high blood pressure, alleviate cardiovascular troubles, promote cellular energy production and act as a pre-biotic. Thanks to its high level of bio-active compounds, many also believe this unique natural food has the potential to help lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart conditions. At the University of Milan, researchers discovered it also satisfies your appetite far better than, say, wheat or rice. It promotes a sense of fullness, helping to alleviate your desire for more food and helping to halt weight gain. The seeds of quinoa can also help reduce most of the negative effects that come from fructose on your lipid profile and glucose level. To discover what this wonderful non-grain can do for you, you need to know how to prepare and use it in your life. After all, the proof of any pudding is in the eating. And there is an art to preparing it. HERE’S HOW Make sure the quinoa you buy is fresh and organic. Most of the stuff in supermarkets is neither, so shop in good, reliable organic food stores. Read labels carefully to check for both before you buy. Stale quinoa is dusty and can taste “dead” since it has lost so much of its goodness through food processing or just sitting on shelves for too long. Rinse it well Do not be tempted to skip this direction. You must wash away the thin coating on these tiny seeds, otherwise they will taste bitter. You will need a very fine-meshed strainer so that the little seeds don’t slip through it in the process. Hold it under streaming water for two minutes while swirling around its contents. Time to Cook To 1 cup of your rinsed seeds add two cups of water, a pinch or two of sea salt or Himalayan salt, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat as much as possible and let it simmer until it becomes tender. This usually takes about 15 minutes. You’ll be able to tell when it is cooked because the tiny grains will have become translucent and the germ of each seed will show up as a little spiral on its surface. You do not want to overcook it as this will make it mushy. Drain it Remove from heat and drain it using the same fine-mesh strainer. Then put the drained quinoa back in the pot, cover it and let it sit without any heat for another 15 minutes. This helps dry it a bit so it does not become clumpy. Time to serve Aerate it with a fork. It should look light and feel fluffy, and you should begin to see the way the germ is separating from the seed itself. Its texture is very much like that of rice or couscous. Serve immediately You can eat it as a porridge with a handsome glob of butter on top, add it to a casserole, a curry, or the way you might serve rice on a plate with other vegetables. MORE FABULOUS FAUX GRAINS Quinoa is but one of the amazing “false” grains which have none of the negative effects of grains and cereals. You can make all sorts of wonderful things using them, from muffins and pancakes to loaves and pilaf. Learn more about all of these by clicking here, and enjoy! Do let me know how you get on, and if you discover any of your own wonderful recipes using this gem of a faux grain, so we can share them with other people in the future.

Eat Color

Discover How Delicious Vegetables Can Be: Uncover Flavorful Recipes & Health Benefits!

I never met a vegetable I didn’t like. But it took me a while to realize this. For—like a lot of people—I grew up with the mushy Brussels sprouts, canned spinach, revolting beetroot salads, and other nameless horrors served in school meals. It was only when I began to make vegetable juices and exuberant salads, and to cook my own, that I discovered just how delicious vegetables can be in their many incarnations. For a long time, cooked vegetables had a bad rap. Some of this, I suspect, is the result of our not being able to buy good quality organic vegetables in the last 20 or 30 years. So people have come to think of vegetables as rather flavorless things that everyone knows you’re supposed to eat because they’re good for you, but that nobody can be bothered with. RAW OR COOKED When vegetables are cooked properly they have a marvelous flavor of their own. There is nothing quite as comforting as the crunchy pleasure of a baked potato stuffed with a well-dressed living salad, or the light, crisp taste of stir-fried mange touts spiked with almond slivers. And there is little more beautiful to serve with a fish, meat or tofu dish than brightly-colored vegetable purées of carrot, beetroot or spinach. Steam them, stir-fry them, bake them, purée them, eat them raw—however you go, vegetables are not only some of the most important foods in relation to health, they are also some of the most delicious. From the humble turnip to the light-filled leaves of radicchio, vegetables are also sources of light energy from the sun—the same light energy that 15 billion light years ago created the universe; the same energy from which the living body is made. Their beauty is the beauty of the life force itself. When they are grown organically in healthy soils, and eaten either raw or with as little cooking as possible, this energy—which cannot be measured in chemical terms, and whose potential for enhancing health probably goes far beyond even that of the newly discovered phytonutrients—becomes our energy. BEYOND ANTI-OXIDANTS Low in both calories and fat and riddled with fiber, fresh vegetables are rich sources of antioxidants—from vitamins C and E, and the carotenoids—to help protect against the free-radical damage that underlies degeneration and early aging. Not long ago, at Tufts University in the United States, scientists developed a method of measuring the antioxidant power of specific fruits and vegetables by measuring their ability to quench free radicals in a laboratory test tube. They can now test a food’s oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Using the ORAC test, these researchers have begun to categorize a fruit or vegetable according to its overall antioxidant power. They list fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries at the top, along with vegetables like kale and spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. The antioxidant capacities of a specific vegetable go way beyond its vitamin and mineral content. Much depends on the phytochemicals, which give vegetables their distinctive colors and flavors. Already, scientists have discovered hundreds of health-enhancing phytochemicals that inhibit blood clotting, lower cholesterol, detoxify the body of wastes and poisons, reduce inflammation and allergies—even slow the growth of cancer cells. These amazing nutraceuticals, most of which were completely unknown ten years ago, work synergistically. This means that the wider the variety of fruits and vegetables you eat, the greater will be the protective health-enhancing benefits for you. THE EYES HAVE IT Eat more spinach and leafy greens such as silverbeet, kale or collards, and you tap into a rich supply of the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein to protect the eyes—and probably the brain too—from degeneration. In one study of 356 older people, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research found that eating good quantities of these leafy green vegetables—the equivalent of a large spinach salad each day—reduced the risk of macular degeneration by 43 percent. This is the age-related retinal disease that has you holding a menu 1 m (3 ft) away from you in order to read it. Another study from the Journal of Neuroscience reported that eating a good portion of spinach each day delayed the onset of age-related memory loss as well. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, rich in sulforaphane and indoles, protect DNA from damage. Tomatoes, like many colorful fruits and vegetables, help protect against premature aging. Scientists estimate that each of the 60 trillion cells in the human body suffers 10,000 free-radical ‘hits’ each day. And this is on the increase, as a result of increasing chemicals in our environment. Phytonutrients help protect us from oxidation damage. Eating vegetables helps counter damage. Make friends with the colorful vegetable kingdom. Build your daily meals around them by eating salads, drinking juices, and cooking them in ways that preserve as much of their innate life-enhancing abilities as possible. Below are a few of the fruits and vegetables now being widely studied and praised for their powers. There are many more discoveries yet to come. Phytonutrient-rich plants PLANT: garlic and onions phytonutrients: allyl sulfide (allicin) benefits You will find potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties in these vegetables. Allicin decreases the risk of stomach cancer and colon cancer, lowers LDL cholesterol, encourages the production of glutathione S-transferase—an enzyme that helps eliminate cancer-causing toxins from the body. These foods also offer many more useful anti-aging and health promoting tasks. PLANT: green leafy vegetables: spinach, turnip,beet tops, collard greens, kale; also in yellow marrows or squashes phytonutrients: lutein benefits A big-league carotene antioxidant that resides in the fatty pigments of plants, lutein keeps carcinogens from binding to DNA, and in doing so protects against degenerative diseases including eye diseases. It is the primary carotenoid present in the macula of the human retina. It also protects cells all over the body, including the skin, from premature aging. PLANT: crucifers: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, other leafy green vegetables phytonutrients: indoles, sulforaphanes benefits Indoles prevent cancer-causing hormones from attaching to cells by increasing the body’s supply of the enzymes that weaken cancer-producing xeno-oestrogens. They also eliminate toxins and enhance immunity. Sulforaphanes remove carcinogens from cells and, in animal studies, even slow cancer growth. PLANT: tomatoes phytonutrients: lycopene, P-coumaric acid, coumarins benefits A carotenoid, of the same family as beta-carotene, lycopene is one of the most potent antioxidants of all. It has great antioxidant power. Where it is high in the diet, colon and bladder cancers are low. It also helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. P-coumaric acid (which you find in strawberries and peppers as well) inhibits the production of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the body. Coumarins reduce inflammation. PLANT: citrus fruits: oranges, tangerines, grapefruits phytonutrients: limonene, glucarase benefits Limonene increases the body’s production of anti-cancer enzymes and enhances immunity. Glucarase inactivates cancer-causing degenerative chemicals that get into the body and eliminates them. PLANT: citrus fruits: orange vegetables and fruits: mangoes, pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash marrows phytonutrients: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene benefits These vegetables get their color from carotenes—antioxidants with a major capacity to boost general immunity and decrease the risk of many kinds of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases and premature ageing. (Other carotenoids in foods such as lycopene, luetin, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin may be equally important or even more valuable.) PLANT: berries, red grapes, red wine, artichokes, yams phytonutrients: polyphenols benefits Polyphenols lower the risk of heart disease and flush out cancer-causing chemicals. This group of phytochemicals includes the flavonoids that fight cell damage from oxidation, strengthen blood vessels, decrease the permeability of capillaries, protect the integrity of skin and improve the health of eyes. PLANT: flaxseed or linseed phytonutrients: lignan precursors benefits Lignans are polyphenol antioxidants. Linseed (or flaxseed) is chock-full of lignan precursors—chemicals in the body that turn into lignans through metabolic processes. They help prevent cancers, including breast cancer, by binding to oestrogen receptor sites inhibiting oestrogen’s cancer-producing activities. Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids important for the production of hormones. SPICY PUMPKIN SOUP Sweet and slightly bitter, pumpkin has a cooling quality. In Oriental medicine, it is used to clear ‘damp’ conditions—from edema and eczema to dysentery. Pumpkin certainly helps regulate blood sugar in the body and strengthens the pancreas. That is why it is often used in natural medicine to help clear hypoglycemia and to improve diabetes. This recipe for pumpkin soup has been in my family for so long that I can’t even remember who created it. I suspect it was my daughter Susannah. It is deliciously spicy and goes beautifully with a simple salad of fresh sprouts and some rich black bread. Instead of pumpkin, you can use marrow or squash if you wish, but you won’t get the same beautiful colour. WHAT YOU NEED 2 medium Spanish onions, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 450 g (16 oz/2 cups) fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes 250 g (9 oz) mushrooms, sliced 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 720 ml (11/4 pints) vegetable or chicken stock, boiling 1 tsp ground cumin small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped 1 tsp ground cinnamon 4 cm (11/2 in) piece of fresh ginger, finely shredded 1 tsp dry mustard 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder pinch of Cajun seasoning juice of 2 fresh lemons zest of 1 lemon, finely shredded HERE’S HOW Sauté the onions, garlic, pumpkin and mushrooms in a little olive oil until soft. Add the boiling stock and cook for 30 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lemon juice and zest, and cook for another 5 minutes. Place in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve sprinkled with lemon zest.

Blueberry Magic

Tiny Blueberry: Could it Offer Powerful Protection & Healing?

Could something as insignificant as the tiny blueberry offer powerful protection and healing for your body? It can—and probably in ways that you’ve never dreamed possible. Rich in manganese, phytonutrients, fiber and vitamin C, blueberries are one of the most powerful antioxidants in the plant kingdom. They offer extraordinary anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They may even help combat diabetes. This was first discovered way back in 1927, when it was found that taking a specific extract of blueberry can significantly slash blood sugar levels. These findings were largely ignored by mainstream medicine. The editorial board on the Journal of the American Medical Association—America’s most revered medical journal—argued that this had to be impossible. They claimed that such extracts could never be standardized. Now, thanks to investigations by independent Life Extension scientists, you can buy an inexpensive, specific blueberry extract, further enhanced with pomegranate, which works wonders. Blueberries are not bilberries. It’s important that you know the difference. Both berries belong to the Heath family of plants, which include rhododendron, American laurel, and broom. The difference between them comes in the size of their seeds, and their skin. Bilberries have been grown all over northern Europe since the 16th century. Unlike blueberries, bilberries are acidic in flavor. These dark blueish-purple berries have long been popular in Sweden. Blueberries (their botanical name is Vaccinium corymbosum or Vaccinium angustifolium) tend to be hybrids of three native American species. They are up to four times larger than bilberries, and they’re pleasingly sweet. Most commercially cultivated blueberries are grown in North America and New Zealand, as well as to some degree in parts of Western Europe. When researchers analyzed vegetables and fruits to determine their antioxidant capacities, blueberries came high on the list. They can destroy free radicals, combat oxidative stress, help maintain healthy blood flow, healthy LDL and blood pressure levels. Blueberry extract, when combined with other natural berry components, may even help prevent and clear bladder infections by blocking bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. In 2005, researchers discovered that the polyphenols which a specific blueberry extract contains can reverse both motor defects and cognitive defects which can develop as your body ages. Polyphenols are natural plant molecules with potent antioxidant capabilities. According to the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, it is the multi-leveled range of polyphenols that brings blueberries their anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The two most active constituents found in blueberries are anthocyanins and pterostilbene. Blueberry anthocyanins are considered one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. It’s pterostilbene, the other blueberry constituent, that helps maintain healthy lipid and glucose levels within healthy ranges. Through its unique biological effects and antioxidative potential, pterostilbene also helps maintain your healthy DNA structure. Blueberry extract also triggers neurogenesis—by stimulating nerve supply and adaptability in the part of the brain primarily affected by Alzheimer’s disease—the hippocampus. People who take in a lot of natural polyphenol molecules from plants have significantly lower rates of neurodegenerative disorders. Blueberry polyphenol molecules are able to cross the blood brain barrier. They’ve even been shown to enhance the release of essential neurotransmitters from aged brain cells. Meanwhile in 2008, animal-based research carried out at University of Florida discovered blueberry extract can prevent the final steps in the formation of destructive amyloid-beta proteins—a major trigger for loss of memory and good brain functions. Other recent studies show that blueberry extract may prevent DNA damage and encourage fast, accurate DNA repair. A recent animal study showed that blueberry compounds increased mean lifespan by 28%. Translate that into human terms and you’re looking at 22 years. Finally, and most fascinating to me, is the way natural compounds in blueberries can act as nootropics. These are often known as smart drugs, neuro enhancers, or cognitive enhancers, which improve aspects of mental functions. I not only have a love of organic blueberries and eat a lot of them when they’re in season. I have been so impressed with the new Life Extension Blueberry Extract with Pomegranate that I take it daily. Do see if you benefit from it as much as I have—and let me know, won’t you? Life Extension, Blueberry Extract with Pomegranate The two most active constituents found in blueberries are anthocyanins and pterostilbene. Blueberry anthocyanins are considered one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. Pterostilbene is the other blueberry constituent that helps maintain healthy lipid and glucose levels that are already within healthy ranges.258-260 Through its unique biological effects and antioxidative potential, pterostilbene helps maintain healthy DNA structure. Order Blueberry Extract with Pomegranate from iherb

Marvelous Motherwort

Unlock the Power of Motherwort: Calm the Nerves, Minimize Hot Flushes, Improve Sleep & More

Motherwort—Leonurus cardiaca—is also called Lion's Tail or Yi Mu Cao in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. It grows in waste places. Motherwort is the most comforting herb I have ever come across. It brings a sense of inner security and calm strength that is unequalled by anything, except perhaps for a love affair of the deepest order—maybe not even that. This wonderful herb has gained its name from the ancient practice of using it to reduce anxiety during pregnancy. The plant has good sedative properties which have been well validated by scientific experiments. It is able to calm the nervous system while at the same time acting as a tonic to the body as a whole. Culpepper, who believed that motherwort belonged to the goddess Venus and to the astrological sign of Leo, wrote "There is no better herb to drive melancholy vapors from the heart, to strengthen it and make the mind cheerful, blithe and merry." I think this sums up the virtues of motherwort superbly. SUCH BLESSINGS Its leaves are full of mind-altering natural chemicals, which studies in China have shown to decrease the levels of blood lipids and exert a regulating action on muscles such as the womb and the heart, bringing calm in its wake. This is one of the reasons why, in addition to being used by women to ease hot flushes, banish insomnia, and even restore elasticity to the walls of the vagina, it is an excellent herb for the treatment of many heart conditions in men. It is the most physically and psychologically comforting plant I know. Motherwort is rich in alkaloids and bitter as an infusion. It is easier to take as a tincture or made into a herbal vinegar. Take 10 to 25 drops of the tincture made from the fresh plant every 2 to 6 hours, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herb vinegar as desired. WHAT IT CAN DO Calm The Nerves There is something so calming and balancing about motherwort that it is hard to describe to someone who has never used it; used frequently it can relieve anxiety, nourish the nervous system, and relax tensions, while at the same time act as a tonic for energy; it is wonderful used just before confronting stressors of any kind. Minimize Hot Flushes This herb can reduce the intensity, length and frequency of hot flushes, even helping to calm the dizziness or faintness that can accompany them, thanks to its ability to oxygenate the blood in men and women, tonify thyroid, liver, heart and womb, and invigorate circulation all round. For best results use it regularly for 12 weeks or longer. Sometimes 10 to 15 drops or so of the tincture in a little spring water can ease a hot flush while it’s happening. Promote Undisturbed Sleep It’s a great help when you awaken in the night with sweats and have trouble dropping off again. Take 10 to 20 drops of the tincture (kept at the side of your bed with a glass of spring water) and swallow some each time you wake up. It even helps banish anxiety and bad dreams. Eliminate Water Retention Taking a little motherwort every few hours and it acts as a natural diuretic, reducing water retention; this is useful after a flight when legs and feet can become swollen. Tone and elasticize womb and vagina Improving circulation and thickening tissues which have lost their elasticity and tone, the herb can rejuvenate the tissues of the bladder, womb and vagina when you take it a couple of times a day for 2 to 4 weeks. Relieve cramps Simply the best for clearing up menstrual and uterine cramps, when the menstrual flow is absent or light to moderate. Use 5 to 10 drops of the tincture in a little water every few minutes until they have gone and repeat as necessary. Prolonged use strengthens the muscles of the womb, and makes it resistant to cramping in the future. Strengthen Self Esteem My favorite plant for calming emotional ups and downs is motherwort. 10 to 20 drops of tincture of motherwort works wonders when you are feeling unsettled. Alternatively you can take 5 to 15 drops of the tincture every day for a month or two to stabilize emotions long-term. It is also strengthening to the heart and tends to enhance courage and self-esteem. IMPORTANT CAUTION: Motherwort is not a herb to use when a woman is experiencing menstrual flooding since it can aggravate this tendency.

Sensuous Foods That Heal

Discover the Healing Powers of Delicious Plant Foods!

Time to eat more! More what? More foods that heal. Organically grown plant foods, together with good quality fats and proteins. At last, the focus of nutritional healing is beginning to shift from an obsession with food groups, vitamin pills and much-hyped superfoods—from chia seeds to acai—for which we have been paying through the nose. Who needs them when so many delicious, readily available plants bring us natural healing phytochemical compounds. Their powerful, health-giving actions are well backed up by medical research. Get to know the health benefits of these easily obtainable foods. Make use of them and thrive. CRANBERRIES FOR CLEARING Cranberries are one of those wonderful red/orange/yellow fruits rich in flavonoid antioxidants and high in flavor. Native Americans have used them for centuries as both food and medicine. They have anti-fungal properties. They are anti-viral too. Cranberries, fresh or dried, also help prevent as well as treat many urinary infections such as cystitis. They knock out the Escherichia coli bacteria that glue themselves to the walls of the intestine and the bladder. An as-yet-unidentified phytochemical in cranberries prevents them from sticking. Cranberries also boast a natural antibiotic—hippuric acid. Eating them carries this little gem into the bladder and kidneys. MANGOS FOR DEPRESSION Mangoes have long been known as “food for the gods”. It was Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote in his autobiography, Autobiography of a Yogi, “It is impossible for the Hindu to conceive of heaven without mangoes.” He probably knew nothing about the biochemistry of this sensuous fruit, but he certainly got right its uplifting qualities. Mangoes are rich in anacardic acid— phytochemicals that bear a strong resemblance to drugs used to treat depression. This makes them a great way to start the day— especially if you can get them tree-ripened and organic. ASPARAGUS TREATMENTS Asparagus has long been used in ayurvedic medicine as a remedy against indigestion. Not long ago, researchers compared the therapeutic effect of asparagus with a commonly-used drug in the prevention of nausea and hiatus hernia, heartburn and gastric acid reflux. They found that asparagus was just as effective as the common drug remedy, yet it had no side effects. Asparagus also boasts excellent diuretic properties, too. It stimulates the digestion and is used to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis. A member of the lily family, asparagus was used by the ancient Greeks to treat kidney and liver troubles. It is one of the best natural remedies for PMS-related bloating and is a top source of folic acid, the antioxidant glutathione, and vitamin C. All three are associated with a reduced risk of cancer and a myriad of age-related degenerative conditions. FENNEL FOR PMS As well as containing potassium, fennel (bulb fennel) is full of phytoestrogens. These are the natural plant hormones which help protect from the onslaught of dangerous estrogens in the environment and from the negative effects of estrogen-based drugs, which continue to be doled out far too often to women. As a result, fennel is useful not only in helping to regulate menstruation, but also in calming PMS. It even stimulates the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers. When you buy fennel, look for the fattest stems—they have more flavor and contain more phytohormones. PEPPERS FOR ANTI-AGING Peppers go back at least 7000 years in their many forms: bell peppers, pimentos, cherry peppers, paprika, piquin, Anaheim, jalapeno, chili, cayenne and aji, to name a few. They became part of European fare when Columbus returned from the New World and introduced them to the court. By the mid-seventeenth century they were widely cultivated in Spain and Portugal. All peppers are rich in vitamins C and E and the carotenoids to help protect against degeneration and the damaging effects of toxic chemicals in the environment. The hotter peppers are rich in an alkaloid called capsaicin, which is known to decrease pain, enhance digestion, detoxify the body and protect it from ‘flu and colds. Eat peppers raw as crudités, bake them and add them to stews and soups. Their magnificent color and health-enhancing capacities are a wonder to behold. BASIL FOR SOOTHING Basil has remarkable healing properties. It calms the stomach and brings a calming quality to the whole body. Basil is rich in monoterpenes. These are phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. It also contains lots more plant chemicals, which soothe stomach cramps and quiet upset stomachs, including eugenol—known for its ability to ease muscle spasms. Finally, basil is both antiseptic and mildly sedative. CHILIES FOR PAIN Most people think of chilies think in terms of herbs and spices, not of health. But chilies are a great addition to any health-enhancing diet, even in the smallest doses. One small chili boasts one hundred percent of the daily recommended dose of the antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as nearly two hundred percent of vitamin C. These nutrients help fight free radicals and therefore help protect against heart disease, cancer and early aging. They also strengthen immunity. In addition, chilies contain a plant chemical called capsaicin, which helps prevent cholesterol issues. Throughout history, chilies have been used to relieve pain. Recent research shows capsaicin can temporarily block chemically transmitted pain signals in the body. That’s why you find it in natural ointments useful for relieving arthritis and nerve pain. You’ll even find it in nose sprays for clearing headaches. There is good evidence that capsaicin may also soothe pains of the mind and soul, since it triggers the release of mood enhancing endorphins by the brain. GINGER FOR PMS The spicy, sweet ginger root is one of the greatest of all the natural health supports from the vegetable kingdom. It’s well known for its ability to calm an upset stomach and banish travel sickness. It is also brilliant at alleviating the symptoms of colds and flu by increasing circulation and calming fevers. It even eases PMS and headaches and has heart-protecting properties thanks to its ability to discourage the clumping of blood cells. To prevent or clear nausea you can use half a teaspoon of dried ginger or a tiny piece of fresh ginger. It relives indigestion and flatulence. Ginger stimulates circulation, and is used in natural medicine to counter rheumatism. In a study done in Denmark in 1992, researchers confirmed what ayurvedic practitioners have long known—that ginger relieves the pain of arthritis and rheumatism without side effects. Many scientists studying this amazing root believe that ginger works its wonders in no small part thanks to an ability to block inflammatory tendencies in the body. ROSEMARY FOR SORE MUSCLES Rosemary has a natural ability to soften the skin. When used in a carrier cream and rubbed on the body, its essential oils are a great help in relieving muscular soreness. But what I like best about rosemary is the way it revitalizes the senses through its pungent odor and taste. GREEN LIPS FOR INFLAMMATION With their beautiful blue-green shells, these sea gems—when harvested from unpolluted water—are not only a highly nutritious form of protein. They are rich in vitamins and trace minerals. In addition, green-lipped mussels are a great source of mucopolysaccharides and the free radical scavenging enzyme superoxide dismutase. Extracts of green-lipped muscle have been used successfully to treat inflammatory diseases from rheumatoid arthritis to osteoarthritis to eczema and emphysema. But eating them is even better than using extracts. Recently, they have even taken their place in the growing arsenal of natural cancer treatments. Always eat them cooked. MEET GOOD MEAT The problem with domestic meats is that, in many countries, most of them are laden with hormones, toxins and antibiotics. When you routinely eat non-organic meat, you can end up not only with a high level of uric acid in your body, but a tendency to form a lot of mucus and to build up toxic chemicals in the body, including hormones and antibiotics. This is why I buy only certified organic meat. The difference in flavor is remarkable, and I know that the animals I am eating have been carefully raised and are free of both excess fat and the toxicity that most domestic farm animals carry these days. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY I was a vegetarian for twenty years. I believe that a vegetarian diet is ideal for many people. I discovered in my mid-thirties, however, that vegetarianism was not ideal for me—probably because my ancestors, being Nordic, spent most of their lives living on fish, salted meat and whatever vegetables they could dig up from the frozen tundra. Our genetic make-up determines to a great extent what works for us and what doesn’t. When I added fish and game to my meals, my energy levels soared and I looked and felt better. Each one of us is unique. This not only determines what kind of foods we thrive on, it also determines what kinds of foods are best for us at any particular time of our life. For instance, many women at menopause find they do better by cutting meat out of their diet. Others discover just the opposite—that they need more protein. It’s a question of ‘suck it and see’. Don’t hesitate to shift from eating more vegetables at one time of your life to more fruit at another, and more fish at another. The human body is always changing, as are our needs for various foods. The magnificent variety of organically-grown, healing and health-enhancing foods to choose from makes the process of finding which foods serve you best a sensuous delight.

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 20,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 16 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 12th of April 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.56 lb
for women
-1.32 lb
for men
-0.56 lb
for women
-1.32 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 12th of April 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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