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functional food

100 articles in functional food

Become Ageless

Discover Agelessness: Become a Dreamer of the Day & Transform Your Life!

I learned the secret of agelessness when, many years ago, I came upon a quotation from someone I much admire. Let me share it with you: “All men dream; but not equally.” he said. “Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” The quotation comes from T.E. Lawrence. I adore it. It transformed my own vision of aging. It reminded me of the imaginative power each of us has to create our unique path. It taught me that there is no need to fear growing older. Each one of us can live a rich and fulfilling life at any age. Yet too few of us make use of our powerful abilities to envision, then bring into being, what we long for. If, like me, you’d prefer to die young late in life, there are two things for you to do: First, get savvy about how to care for yourself naturally. Second, start to practice Lawrence of Arabia’s dictate. Decide to become a “dreamer of the day”. Then “act with open eyes to make it possible.” The growing understanding of natural medicine, together with reputable research into high-tech biochemistry, has made this transformation possible. Once little more than a pipe-dream, agelessness is becoming a reality. Savvy gerontologists have challenged the assumed maximum lifespans of human beings. They show us that people in the know can make intelligent use of antioxidant nutrients, electromagnetic treatments, and a myriad of other safe, natural anti-aging tools—including an organic, high-raw diet—to prevent physical degeneration and restore a healthy balance to their bodies and their lives. It is never too late to begin. Instead of prescribing dangerous drugs, this new wave of visionary scientists and practitioners show that the foods we eat exert powerful effects on control centers in the brain. These powerful loci direct metabolic processes on which your health depends—from hormonal behavior, weight and appetite, to emotional and mental states—even, believe it or not, the way we perceive the nature of reality. What few people yet know—and what I have been studying and teaching for decades—is that these control centers in the brain are also filters through which we experience profound spiritual growth. Choose to live on a diet of convenience foods, sugars, and carbohydrates, as more than 90% of people now do, and your brain’s control centers become crippled. You begin to age rapidly. Then, should you be urged to buy into relying on pharmaceutical drugs, eventually your body becomes poisoned by them. Become aware of this. Fresh foods grown on healthy soils foods and top quality nutrients do not poison the body’s crucial enzymes, nor do they block vital cell receptors, on which your health depends. Taking drugs long-term does both, bringing about not only ill-health and rapid aging, but unbalanced emotions, mental fog, and a strong sense that—in ways you cannot even articulate—you have lost trust and connections with yourself, although you may have no idea how this has happened. Changing the way you eat and care for your body can begin, within a few weeks, not only to transform your health. It can expand your consciousness and help you change your life for the better on virtually every level. Forget your chronological age. It’s a very limited indication of your biological and functional age. These are the measurements that really matter. Older people are capable of far more than society would have us believe. At any age, people can learn how to live by the principles of natural wellbeing and become highly resistant to the ravages of degeneration and chronic illness. They come to know their bodies. They face each morning in fresh anticipation about what the day can bring. They’ve learned to dismiss the negative brainwashing continually bombarding us from mainstream media, the medical profession and government directives. They know, for instance that, as George M. Mann MD says, “The diet-heart hypothesis which suggests that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease has been repeatedly shown to be wrong. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.” Those in the know refuse to allow themselves to be deceived any longer. Savvy, independent people have every right to boast of their increased longevity and high resistance to degeneration. They’ve earned it. These people seek truths and continue to uncover them. They choose to shun unnecessary drugs, to banish convenience foods, to make at least 50 to 75% of the foods they eat organic. They reject negative beliefs about growing older. They become not old, but ageless. Agelessness makes available to you a steadily maturing wisdom which is one of the greatest blessings as years go by. You become someone whose experience and awareness has not been distorted by an ill-functioning mind or waning vitality. Our sense of time expands and helps us come alive to the present moment. In a powerful, real, and positive way, this draws it towards the future. And when we are able to project ourselves into the future, that future becomes not an abstract consideration, but an experience of great rewards. The future of the planet is our future. We are responsible for it. If we wish, we can start to see ourselves as caretakers of our earth instead of tenants in a rented property. At last, the freedom from mental and physical degeneration which agelessness brings is no longer an empty dream. It is happening to many who are awakening. Who cares if, at the age of 85, you are still capable of running a marathon, or if you look 20 years older or younger than you are chronologically? Such things matter little by themselves. But high-level health, mental clarity and well-being which are the rewards of agelessness—no matter how old one is chronologically—are of urgent concern to all of us as residents of the earth. They form the foundation on which we human beings can build if we are to make use of our creative potentials. In the full use of such creativity lies the future of ourselves, our children and our planet. Have I become one of Lawrence’s “dreamers of the day”? I certainly have. It’s dreams that create the true mythologies by which we live our lives. I believe each and every one of us urgently needs solid dreams to give our lives direction—dreams which, tempered by the wisdom of age, are large enough and rich enough to carry us forward. Such dreams not only have power. They can help us bring forth exciting new realities.

How To Create A Magic Kitchen

Create A Restaurant-Level Kitchen: Bring Raw Food Magic Home

Your kitchen—big or small—should be treated like an artist’s atelier. It needs to be a place where you can lose yourself in creative play. The kitchen has always been the center of a home. In the past it was the place of fire, of inspiration, warmth and imagination. I remember as a child sitting in front of an old Stanley stove gazing into the flames—filled with delightful visions—while my grandmother canned pears, peaches and green beans for winter. My own kitchen, out of which my High Raw food style developed, is more like a sculptor’s studio than a food preparation station. It is a place where Aaron and I can get together with friends, workmates and family to laugh and talk about serious and trivial stuff while we prepare meals together. GREAT FUN Your kitchen should have the atmosphere of freedom in it. Hang quirky things from the ceiling if that inspires you. Put a potted plant where you wouldn’t expect one. Paint cupboard doors in wild colors. Your kitchen should reflect things that delight and amuse you. Ten years ago I bought a gigantic soup ladle, which has hung above my gas hob ever since. It is so big that it would be ideal for a Salvation Army soup kitchen. But it makes me laugh. I like its beautiful shape and am continually amused by the absurdity of its size. With a well-organized, well equipped kitchen, high raw meals are a pleasure to prepare. But there is nothing more annoying than setting out to make a meal in someone else’s kitchen and spending ages looking for a brush to scrub vegetables only to find that the one you used was the floor brush! Let’s look at some of the tools which are most useful for a raw food gourmet. MANDOLIN MAGIC The one piece of equipment I would never be without is a mandolin. I prefer the simple plastic ones that sell for a fifth of the price of the expensive stainless steel variety. They have a v-shaped blade into which plastic inserts fit, each of which has different size knives so you can julienne, make chip-size chunks, slice thin or thick. Unlike the conventional grater, which mashes vegetables and fruits when you use it, a mandolin slices them clean and sharp. Be sure to use the hand-protecting device that comes with either model. If you don’t, and I know from experience, what you will end up with is shredded fingers—yours—instead of shredded cabbage. POWER TOOLS Although it is nice to return to nature wherever possible, you have to draw the line somewhere. Using electric equipment takes the tediousness out of chopping vegetables, gives you a greater choice of textures, allows you to make splendid desserts, nut loaves, sauces, soups and whips, and cuts down enormously on preparation time. I find a few simple machines give full rein to my imagination. These are the raw chef’s equivalent of the oven or the microwave. For those who like an “all manual” kitchen I suggest alternatives, but they really are second best. Apart from a mandolin, the three machines I consider useful are a food processor, a juicer and a blender—in that order. You can get by without a blender because a food processor does many of the same things, but it is useful nonetheless. You can buy appliances which combine the functions of all three, but keeping them separate lets you work on several recipes at the same time and encourages helpers. Choose good strong machines that will stand up to heavy use. If you have a large family, it can be worth investing in catering or industrial models which are sturdier and can cope with larger quantities. SMOOTH PROCESSING A good food processor is a blessing to the raw food chef. There are so many remarkable attachments to choose from—a blade, several coarse to fine graters, various slicers and shredders. The blade attachment is excellent for grinding nuts and seeds, wheat and other sprouts, homogenizing vegetables for soups and loaves, and making dressings, dips and desserts such as ice cream. You can do most of these things with a blender, but if your ingredients are gooey they tend to stick around the blade and you spend ages scraping with very little to show for it. The blade in a food processor is removable and easy to scrape, so you lose very little. The grater, slicer and shredder attachments are terrific for making salads. With their help, you can prepare a splendid Whole Meal Salad for four people and have it on the table in ten minutes. Do experiment with all these attachments because, believe it or not, vegetables actually taste different depending on how they are cut up. YOUR JUICE EXTRACTOR The most important considerations when buying a juicer are power, capacity and ease of cleaning. The fewer fiddly parts to wash up, the better. Some have a removable strip of plastic gauze in the pulp basket which is helpful in cleaning. There are basically three types of juicer: the hydraulic press type, the rotating blade type, and the centrifugal type. Some hydraulic presses are hand-operated and therefore less convenient than the electric kind, but some doctors who prescribe raw juices prefer them on the grounds that they reduce the amount of oxidation that takes place when juices are exposed to air. I have all three myself. Centrifugal juicers are best to start with and come in two types: either they are separators, which operate without needing to be constantly cleaned out, or they are batch operators, which have to be cleaned out after every 2lb (roughly a kilo) of material has been juiced. That gives the separator kind the edge when it comes to convenience; they expel leftover pulp rather than fill up with it. But they tend not to extract juice as efficiently as the batch operator kind. If you decide on a batch juicer, look for a large capacity model which does not require emptying too often. It can be infuriating working with a machine that insists on being cleaned out after juicing only two glasses when you are juicing for six people. One other thing to check before buying a juicer is the size of the hole through which you feed your vegetables and fruits. Some are really too small and it can be a real drag to have to cut carrots and beetroots lengthwise. A POWER BLENDER There is not much to choose between blenders except their power. You will need one of at least 400 watts (anything less will be unable to cope). My favorite has attachments for grating, chopping, kneading etc. which are very useful. Glass models are preferable to plastic, as plastic tends to stain and look tatty very quickly. Look for one that has a removable blade (the base unscrews) for ease of cleaning. I own three and they are all Vita Mix because they go on and on, and will do just about everything with ease. OTHER GADGETS Two other devices I find useful are an electric citrus fruit juicer and a lettuce spin-drier. The citrus juicer has a central rotating cone onto which you press your halved grapefruits, oranges and lemons. Very quick and easy. There is nothing to stop you juicing citrus fruits in a centrifuge juicer, but you need to peel them first. The lettuce spin-drier is a great invention. There are several types, but my favorite is a basket which fits into a container with holes in the bottom and has a lid with a spinning cord. You put the whole contraption in the sink, put your lettuce or greens into the basket, put the lid on, run water slowly through the hole in the lid and pull the spinning cord. This spins the basket and expels the water, in theory cleaning and drying the greens. In practice they need to be rinsed before you put them in the basket, but by spinning you get beautifully crisp non-watery leaves very quickly. BACK TO BASICS A few other gadgets can be helpful if you cannot afford or have basic objections to electrical equipment. But you will be more limited in the number of textures and recipes you can prepare. A sturdy grater—the box type with a fine, medium and coarse face, and a face for grating nutmeg and ginger. Hand coffee grinder—for rendering down nuts, seeds and spices. Meat mincer—the sort you screw to the table, with coarse and fine cutters; good for grinding grains, seeds, nuts and sprouts. A strong stainless steel sieve—for rubbing soft fruits through or extracting the juice from finely grated vegetables. Hand hydraulic juicer A stainless steel “mouli” rotary grinder—with coarse and fine grater inserts; quite effective for juicing finely grated fruit or vegetables. Pestle and mortar—for grinding herbs, spices, flowers, etc. A lemon squeezer Wire salad basket—the sort you swing maniacally round your head in the garden. RAZOR SHARP Of primary importance to raw food preparation are good knives and a good chopping board. At least two knives are essential, a large one for tackling spinach leaves, onions, carrot sticks and so on, and a smaller one for more delicate jobs. The best knives are made from carbon steel. Some enthusiasts disapprove of carbon steel because, unlike stainless steel, it encourages oxidation of cut surfaces, but I prefer them, for although stainless steel knives look nice they do not keep their edges as well and a sharp edge is important for creating beautiful salads. If none of your knives will cut a tomato without squashing it, then they need sharpening! A good sharpener is worth investing in. CHOPPING BLOCK Good chopping boards are hard to find. Either they lose their pretty patterns with repeated chopping, or they warp when they get wet, or they are not large enough to slice an orange on without most of the juice running over the edge. Find a decent sized wooden chopping board if you can, with runnels around the edge. Look in a professional chef’s shop for the biggest you can find. Here is my solution to the problem. When I had a new kitchen installed I kept some big leftover pieces of Formica covered board. You can prepare a salad—or leave the chopped vegetables—on one end, and the peelings on the other. If it’s big enough, it can fit over the sink so you can drop the peelings into a waste bowl underneath. EARTHY VESSELS All told, the high-raw chef uses very few utensils—there are no enormous pots and pans to go in and out of the oven or to wash up. Choose dishes and platters made of inert or natural substances—glass, earthenware and wood rather than plastic and metal. Avoid all things made of aluminum. Aluminum is highly active. When it comes into contact with the acids in some raw foods, such as tomatoes, it can be bleached out and end up in the food producing heavy metal poisoning over time. Here are some of the other things you find in my own kitchen. A special “vegetables only” scrubbing brush A large colander, with feet so that it can stand in the sink to drain Bread pans (preferably glass) for making vegetable loaves Flat boards or trays for making sweet treats Ice cube trays A garlic chopper—achieves much better and quicker results than a pestle and mortar or a garlic press Scissors for cutting up fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, mint and so on Salad bowls of different shapes and sizes Soup plates, fairly wide and deep, for individual “dish salads” Salad platters—you can create attractive banquet-like effects by serving crudités arranged on a large platter, perhaps one with several compartments for dips Several pairs of salad servers A large pitcher for drinks, and a strainer PRESERVING LIFE It is important to store living foods carefully so they stay alive. I keep my seeds, pulses and grains in sealed polythene bags or airtight glass jars. Empty sweet jars make useful storage containers, as do the plastic tubs. But glass is always best. Always cover salads as soon as you have prepared them, even if it is only for ten minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal, to protect from wilting.

Nature's Helpers

Uncovering Health Benefits: Antioxidants, Cell Therapy, and Adaptogens

Amidst the growing awareness of what high-tech biochemistry boasts in the form of the antioxidant nutrients against degeneration and what expensive treatments such as cell therapy can do to improve your appearance, to slow down the rate at which you are aging and to revitalize your system, we often give little thought to what simple natural substances have to offer. Take herbs and roots and animal tonics for instance - some with a history going back several thousand years. Amongst them all, the most exciting, the finest and most effective belong to a group called `the adaptogens'. The adaptogens, which include a number of very different natural substances - from Panax ginseng and eleutherococcus (sometimes called `Siberian ginseng') to an exotic-sounding preparation made from the horn of a deer - have been widely investigated in recent years by Soviet scientists and, in centuries past, mostly by the Orientals. Most of the adaptogens belong to long traditions of folk medicines and most have been held in high esteem for thousands of years in the pharmacopoeia of the world's medicine. What is so special about these natural products and why they are grouped together under the name is that they are all substances which, in carefully conducted laboratory and clinical studies, have been shown to enhance an organism's `nonspecific resistance' to aging, illness and fatigue. In practical terms they enhance your body's ability to adapt itself to all forms of stress - from the stress of fatigue, of illness, of exertion and of aging to emotional hardship - while at the same time helping to normalize biochemical activities. Taken as `medicines for well people' they can be remarkably helpful in keeping your body young and full of vitality. So remarkable are the positive effects that adaptogens have been shown to have on a living organism that it is a constant source of wonder to me that they have not been more widely investigated and used in Europe and in America. Meanwhile Soviet and Oriental scientists have spent the last forty years working with certain natural products which, when taken in a form unadulterated by heat or heavy processing, have a remarkable ability to improve health. They appear to be high in structural information. structural information for high-level health As Soviet scientists I.I. Brekhman and others have shown, not only are the chemicals and nutrients which can be extracted from natural plant or animal substances in the laboratory - vitamins, minerals, protein, organic acids, oils, etc - important for health, so is the complexity of the way they and other as yet unidentified factors are synergistically combined. In Brekhman's terms certain natural products (many of them folk remedies) are rich in `structural information' a high-quality health-supporting energy which cannot be measured in chemical terms alone. He was particularly interested in certain natural pharmacological substances such as ginseng which appear to supply a high degree of structural information to an organism and thereby support a high level of health and energy. There is something quite special in the way the constituents of such natural products seem to work together and have a natural affinity for the body. They have been shown to increase physical stamina and endurance, stimulate protein repair on a cellular level, protect from radiation damage, increase antibody production, detoxify your body and improve your stamina and vitality. In a way the adaptogens could be considered the `elixirs of life'. They are perfect natural tools for ageless aging stress without distress It was Soviet scientists who first developed the notion of an adaptogen, from the work of Hans Selye, Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal, whose work on stress has become universally accepted. His `general adaptation syndrome' describes the way in which when your body is stressed by whatever agent - from cold to fatigue to emotional upset to overwork to chemicals in your air or foods - its homeostasis, that is its natural balance, is threatened. Immediately it draws upon its resources to resist the threat and to maintain well-being. And indeed, provided you are young and strong and well it can go on resisting any damage from stress for a long time. But, alas, eventually it enters the final stage of the GAS in which exhaustion takes over. Then your body's weakest system starts to break down and chronic illness, fatigue and (if the stress is great enough) even death can follow. What in effect has happened is that your body's adaptive energy - its ability to cope - has finally become exhausted. Selye pointed out that the aging process itself can be viewed as the GAS on a wider scale. He emphasized that the capacity to adapt virtually disappears in old age and that this loss, equivalent to a loss of vitality, is characteristic of senescence. Selye was always fascinated by the notion that it might be possible to discover or to develop `medicines for well people' which could enhance the body's own adaptation mechanisms - substances which could prolong your body's ability to resist age degeneration and exhaustion. They would be different from usual medicines in that, unlike drugs, they would not be aimed at a specific effect such as lowering blood pressure or eliminating pain. Nor would they be intended for the treatment of illness. Instead they would belong to a new category of medicines for health for they would improve the body's nonspecific resistance to illness, aging and fatigue. That's where the adaptogens come in - substances which can increase your general capacity to overcome external stresses through adaptation. Their use has an important part to play in protecting skin from aging, in maintaining a high level of health and vitality and even in enhancing mental abilities. Russian researcher I.I. Brekhman, at the Far-East Scientific Center of the Academy of Science, Vladivostok, did more than any other single scientist to explore adaptogens and to test their effects. In fact it was Brekhman's teacher, the Russian expert in pharmacology N.V. Lazarev, who first coined the word in order to describe these substances with the remarkable ability of strengthening and rebalancing the whole system. One of the first natural substances which Brekhman and his coworkers investigated and which they found had this ability was Panax ginseng - the root that was first used for medicinal purposes more than 4000 years ago `to restore the five internal organs, tranquilize the spirit, calm agitation of the mind, allay excitement, and ward off harmful influences. The continual use of ginseng makes for long life with light weight of the body.' It is probably the most well known and highly respected natural medicine in the world. useless in perfect harmony Traditionally ginseng has been prescribed only in states of imbalance. It is used to treat toxicity in the body, sluggishness, anemia, weakness and fatigue. But like most of the nutritional and natural tools for health, in a perfectly healthy and balanced person it is supposed to have no effect whatever. Because, as your body ages, its ability to withstand stress and to maintain homeostasis declines, ginseng has become a prime anti-ageing remedy. For generations in the West the value of ginseng has largely been dismissed as an old wives' tale. In part this is because the very notion of a medicine for health finds no place in the thinking behind Western orthodox medicine. But in part too it is probably because some of the few studies which have been carried out to test claims made for it have been done on inferior crops or on ginseng which had been heat-treated and heat-treating destroys many of the beneficial effects of most of the adaptogens. A number of well-conducted studies, both on animals and humans, carried out by Brekhman and others in the Soviet Union and by European researchers in Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Britain show quite conclusively that ginseng has extraordinary adaptogenic properties. It improves the body's ability to use oxygen - important in staving off aging as well as increasing mental and physical stamina and in enhancing athletic performance, all of which it has been shown to do. It helps lower blood pressure that is too high, but doesn't affect normal readings. It offers protection against radiation-caused damage - also important in slowing down the rate at which your body ages. It increases your resistance to illness and against harmful effects of chemicals in the environment. It heightens mental faculties and is a natural stimulant to the central nervous system, improving reflexes, long term and short term memory, and making learning easier. But unlike coffee and most other stimulants, it does not produce a sudden rise in body activity followed by an unpleasant dip in energy, or depression. Nor is there any danger of becoming dependent on it. Like all of the adaptogens, ginseng has a gradual buildup effect on the body when you take regular doses of it over about three weeks. staving off exhaustion If, like me, you like to work long hours but still be reasonably fresh and responsive afterwards, you can use ginseng as a means of staving off exhaustion, while improving mental and physical functioning and maintaining a sense of mental and physical balance. At the Maudsley Hospital in London, Stephen Fuller gave ginseng to nurses involved in stressful and exhausting shifts and an identical placebo to others. He found that although performance in psychological as well as physical tests, and overall mood, vitality and competence, were undermined by the stressful conditions in which they worked, ginseng improved many of these parameters in those who took it. In the Soviet Union ginseng was given to fifty soldiers on a 3km race while to another fifty a placebo was given. Those who had taken the ginseng finished an average of 53 seconds sooner than the rest. At the University of Minnesota researchers tested the exam taking abilities of students giving some ginseng and some a placebo. The exam results from the ginseng group were significantly better than the placebo-takers. In repeated trials Brekhman and others have found that ginseng acts as a stimulant without causing insomnia and that not only does it help stave off fatigue and strengthen the organism's ability to cope with stressors of all sorts, the beneficial effects of taking ginseng appear to multiply and build up over the period in which it is taken. Also, ginseng's benefits last long after you stop taking it. As Brekhman said: After a series of experiments on men it was established that daily doses of ginseng preparations during 15-45 days increase physical endurance and mental capacity for work. The increase was noted not only during the treatment itself, but also for a period of time (a month to a month and a half) after the treatment had been over. The increase in work capacity was attended by a number of favorable somatic effects and a general improvement of health and spirits (appetite, sleep, absence of moodiness, etc). siberian ginseng Another adaptogen which has now been widely investigated, particularly in the Soviet Union, is eleutherococcus or Siberian ginseng. Unlike ginseng, eleutherococcus has not been used for generations for health. Indeed its therapeutic properties have only been discovered in the past fifty-odd years. Siberian ginseng is a prickly plant known as `devil's shrub' with leaves similar to ginseng and beautiful yellow and purple flowers. It is the plant's hot and spicy roots which are used medicinally. Like ginseng it has an ability to strengthen the body's ability to resist illness, degeneration and fatigue while never upsetting your body's natural physiological functions. It is a mild stimulant. Take it now and this stimulant action will last between six and eight hours. Its tonic effects are accumulative - they come gradually over a few weeks. They include increased stamina, better sleep patterns, better memory, clearer thinking and improved athletic performance. Eleutherococcus has particular relevance to any anti-ageing program because it is a natural protector against the kind of free radical oxidation which leads to cross-linking of proteins and, among other things, skin sagging and wrinkling. It also appears to have potent anticancer properties. Brekhman and many Russian researchers believe that eleutherococcus is a better adaptogen than ginseng. It has been shown both to increase the work capacity of people in factories and also to reduce the incidence of absence from work because of illness. And it is considered by Russian physicians to be a treatment of choice for both high and low blood pressure thanks to its ability to harmonize bodily functions. It is also used widely to treat anemia and to treat arteriosclerosis in the Soviet Union. Like ginseng and all of the adaptogens it is best taken regularly over a period of several weeks. It can however be taken year round without any loss in beneficial effects. stringent demands for adaptogens Ginseng and eleutherococcus are the two adaptogens most widely available in Britain and America (not, alas, always in active forms however - you have to be careful what you buy). But there are others too: pantocrine (an extract of deer horn); Schizandra Chinensis (the red berries of a Chinese plant which are widely used as a tonic); and many more, including the Scandinavian Arctic Root, and Kvann - a Norwegian variety of Angelica - still under rigorous investigation. Schizandra Chinensis has protective properties for the liver, increases the ability to use oxygen at a cellular level and stimulates brain function. Acantha Root or Acanthopanax Senticocus is used to build physical strength, regulate blood pressure that is too high or too low, improve adrenal action and heighten cerebral function. Each has its unique properties but they have a great deal in common both in the way they act on the body and in their safety even when used regularly over long periods of time. The most exciting herb I have come across for a long time is suma (Pfaffia paniculata). Locally known as Para Todo - `for everything' - suma has been used by Brazilian Indians for centuries as an aphrodisiac and general tonic. Recent research shows that, like good ginseng, the wild root of the suma plant also has strong adaptogenic properties. Amongst its other constituents, suma is rich in the saponins, some of which show anti-tumour activity, and in a plant hormone called ecdysone. At the University of São Paulo, Dr Milton Brazzach, Chairman of Pharmacology, has treated thousands of patients with serious ailments, including both diabetes and cancer, and verified the plant's potent healing and preventative powers. Researchers have found that a major source of the plant's energy-enhancing and stress-protective properties lies in its ability to detoxify connective tissue of what are called homotoxins. These are wastes which can interfere with the active transport of nutrients to the cells and in the production of cellular energy, and lead long-term to changes in the DNA associated with premature aging and the development of degenerative diseases. What all of this means to the active man or woman is that suma is well worth looking at as a nutritional support to raise your energy levels, enhance your ability to be very active both mentally and physically without fatigue or damage, and to detoxify your cells as a prevention against premature aging and degeneration. Russian scientists are very careful about the requirements that need to be fulfilled if a natural medicine is to qualify as an adaptogen. In Brekhman's own words: 1.The substance must be absolutely safe to the body. It must also have a wide range of therapeutic and protective properties while only bringing about minimal alteration to bodily functions. 2.Its action must be nonspecific. That is it must increase resistance to a wide variety of harmful chemical and biological influences. 3.It must have a normalizing action regardless of the direction of pathological changes it may meet with in the person's body. In other words in a person with blood pressure which is too high it should help lower it while it should have just the opposite effect on an organism in which blood pressure is too low. When you think just how remarkable these requirements are you begin to realize why the Chinese have traditionally believed many of the adaptogens to be worth their weight in gold. It is also easy to understand why the Western mind has such difficulty grasping the idea of an adaptogen at all. After all, we are used to a totally different approach: mostly this is because of our strong emphasis on symptomatic medicine. Our science has investigated a number of pharmacological preparations designed to do specific things, such as improve circulation or increase oxygen uptake by cells during surgical operations. However most of these drugs, such as the derivatives of phenothiazine and ganglio-blocking agents, bring about side effects which make them inappropriate for any healthy person to use as part of a program for increasing vitality, promoting high-level health and encouraging ageless-ageing. We take substances such as the phenylalkylamines, like amphetamines and their analogues, as a means of suppressing an overactive appetite, or we drink coffee with its caffeine or other purine derivatives to pep us up, and we can turn to the bromides and sedatives such as the herb valerian to calm us down, but we find it hard to conceive of something that could do both or either depending upon our specific mental and physical state when we take it. As a result little investigation of possible new adaptogenic substances is going on. Good candidates would be bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly and even honey itself. bee power `Use thou honey,' commanded Solomon, `for it is good.' Just as ginseng has a long history of being used to increase vitality and protect from aging, so folklore is filled with advice about the medicinal use of honey and other bee products such as pollen, propolis and royal jelly, which have been employed throughout history to increase stamina, heal sickness, beautify skin and retard aging. A natural antiseptic with a proven ability to kill bacteria, honey and all its `by-products' - pollen, propolis and royal jelly - have antibiotic properties. And although honey has been scientifically analyzed for the last fifty years, there appear to be a number of its constituents which remain unidentified. Scientists who have attempted to break it down into its parts and then to put it together again have failed. Although honey is made up of 75 per cent natural sugars and 17 per cent water it is also a good source of many of the B group of vitamins, vitamin C, carotene and organic acids, and of many important minerals including potassium, magnesium, iron, sodium, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus and lime. This sweet golden substance has a reputation for prolonging life. While researching longevity another famed Russian scientist, biologist and experimental botanist DR Nicolai Tsitsin, discovered that of the 200 people in Russia whom he surveyed claiming to be over 100, a large number were beekeepers. All of them claimed their principal food was honey. Natural unprocessed honey has been shown to increase calcium retention and to raise hemoglobin count - it is traditionally used to treat anemia. It also appears to speed the healing process in a great many conditions from arthritis and poor circulation to liver and kidney disorders, poor skin and insomnia. Some researchers even believe that, thanks to its high aspartic-acid content - an amino acid important in the proper functioning of sex glands - it has rejuvenating properties. But just in case you're tempted to rush to your local supermarket and buy the first jar of golden stuff you come across you should know that it is not the honey itself which appears to be the most potent source of health-promoting qualities but the pollen-rich waste matter which lies at the bottom of honey containers. Tsitsin found that beekeepers tended to sell the `good' honey and to eat the `dirty residue' themselves. The dirty residue - which is a constituent of natural unfiltered and unprocessed honey and appears to have such exceptional properties for health - is too often filtered off from commercial honeys. Most have also been heated, which further limits the structural information they carry and therefore depletes their health promoting value. Honey, by the way, keeps indefinitely thanks to its anti-microbial properties so you need never worry about it spoiling. royal bee power Even more interesting than honey are the other bee-based products - propolis, royal jelly and pollen. Propolis is a sticky resin made out of the substance bees gather from the leaves and bark of trees. It is secreted via their pharmageal glands. They use it as a binding material when making hives. It has strong antibiotic properties and is much used in Sweden and Denmark to combat minor infections. Royal jelly is a white jelly-like substance produced by glands in the heads of very young worker bees. It contains almost every life-supporting element known. The queen bee, who lays over 2000 eggs a day, lives on the stuff and it appears to have remarkable benefits for beauty both when it is taken internally and when it is used in beauty products. The problem is most Royal Jelly on the market is pretty worthless. To be active it needs to be fresh, not processed into pills and potions, and it must be properly extracted from the hive and kept under refrigeration at all times - including while it is being transported. Royal jelly contains virtually all the life-supporting elements plus an unidentified 3 per cent which scientists have been unable to break down. In the south of France royal jelly is a common sight for sale by the roadside. People take a `cure' of it for a month or so twice a year. It is also said to be beneficial for anyone suffering from stress or exhaustion or for people recovering from an illness. Bulgaria is often called `the country of royal jelly' because beekeeping and all its products have formed an important part of the economy since feudal times. The Bulgarians have also done a great deal of research to establish the health benefits from royal jelly, pollen, honey and propolis. They have found for instance that royal jelly has an ability to protect against radiation, that it increases fecundity in animals, that it improves the body's use of oxygen, lowers blood pressure, speeds regeneration of damaged tissue, lowers cholesterol and, like the official adaptogens, increases tolerance to stress. It even stimulates and encourages better functioning of the immune system. priceless pollen Pollen is the male germ seed of flowering plants. A fine powder that plants need to make seeds, it is gathered by bees in the process of collecting nectar for honey and harvested by pollen collectors as the bees fly back into the hive. Not only does it contain all the water-soluble vitamins including the elusive B12, it is a good source of carotene, and vitamins E and K, and it offers a rich supply of minerals, trace elements and enzymes as well as hormonal substances beneficial to human beings. As such it is probably the perfect `skin food'. Pollen is a rich natural source of rutin as well - one of the bioflavonoids which, together with vitamin C and zinc, is particularly important in the formation of collagen (the structural protein which gives skin its contours and much of its strength). A thrice daily dose of raw pollen can do wonders for ailing skin whether the problem is acne, excessive dryness or hypersensitivity. It can also improve the look and feel of normal healthy skin. But pollen's health promoting properties don't stop there. It has been a favorite of Olympic athletes since ancient times and still is. Those who use it claim it increases strength and endurance, improves performance and helps prevent minor infections. cure for allergies? One of pollen's more curious attributes - particularly important in springtime - is its ability to render many hay fever sufferers free of symptoms, provided oral doses of the stuff are taken regularly for several weeks before the season begins - another example of one of those folk remedies which is supported by the experience of a number of physicians who still use it successfully every year. One more interesting attribute of pollen of interest to anyone concerned about preventing premature aging is its ability to protect the body from some of the damaging effects of radiation. It has been tested on irradiated animals and given to cancer patients subjected to radiation doses with excellent results. Finally, and most important, pollen taken in this way, like many of the natural substances which are high in structural information, seems to possess an ability to restore balance to a body. It is said to be particularly helpful in weight regulation - whether the person taking it is underweight or too fat. Bee products - all of them - are best taken unheated in small quantities daily. In the case of pollen and propolis, which usually come in tablets, the recommended dose is usually two to three tablets a day on an empty stomach. Royal jelly is best bought raw, kept refrigerated and taken in amounts of between 250 and 500mg a day under the tongue where it is absorbed by the mucosa in the mouth and bypasses the digestive system. It can also be bought in less biologically active forms as capsules and suspended in tonic solutions. proof of the pudding Using any adaptogen as a tool for increasing vitality, protecting health and resisting aging is simple. It is taken every day, usually on an empty stomach, and an average long term restorative dose is usually 1-2g a day in the case of ginseng and Siberian ginseng. Benefits tend to accrue over the time one is taking it and the best results come from taking it regularly over a period of a month to six weeks at least. Often people take it twice a year as a `cure'. What is not so simple is making sure that the product you are taking has been properly grown, harvested and processed in order to preserve its biological activity. For instance there are dozens of ginseng preparations on the market which are virtually empty of ginsenosides - the active ingredients in ginseng. And if eleutherococcus has been heated too much in its processing its effectiveness is either reduced or completely destroyed. Panax ginseng comes from Korea or China and the best quality are the big red roots which are six years old. Second are the white roots and third are the red grown in Japan, so look for country of origin when buying them and also for the Korean `Office of Monopoly' seal on the pack. The whole roots are the best, with root pieces and extracts following in that order. Ginseng tablets and powders often contain `fillers' and are much less potent. American ginseng - Panax quinquefolium - is usually less effective than Panax ginseng unless you can get large old roots, and they are hard to come by. The best form of eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng) comes in extract direct from the Soviet Union. It has been carefully low-heat processed to preserve its biological activity. This form of extract is used in some of the German Siberian ginseng preparations. Most experts in adaptogens insist that Panax ginseng is primarily a man's preparation, although it can be useful for women past menopause, and that eleutherococcus is excellent for both men and women. People with very high blood pressure are usually given eleutherococcus instead of ginseng. It is best to steer clear of coffee while on a course of ginseng or you may have trouble sleeping, and to follow a light diet without too much meat. Certain herbs and plants such as astragalus and echinacea now also appear to offer excellent immune support. Known as Purple Coneflower, echinacea is a member of the Compositae (daisy) family with potent antibiotic and anti-viral effects. The roots of two species, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia, have long been used against infection and in detoxifying the body by native people including the American Plains Indians, who also used it for poisonous snake and spider bites, abscesses, diphtheria, measles, chicken pox, septic wounds and many other infectious or immune-compromising conditions. In recent years the herb has been heavily researched in Germany where numerous scientific studies now verify its health-promoting abilities. In Germany there are now more than 200 prescription products based on echinacea or its derivatives. The herb can inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria that cause colds and 'flu, increase the number of valuable B-cells in the body and enhance the protective functions of macrophages - white blood cells - which are the guardians of the immune system. In short, echinacea is able to amplify the activity of the immune system not only by helping an ailing body recover swiftly, but by helping protect from infections such as colds and 'flu during the long winter months. I find particularly interesting some recent research in the treatment of vaginal thrush where the herb was used. All the women in the study were treated with conventional anti-fungal drug agents. Some were also given echinacea - the equivalent of 100-200mg a day. As any woman who has ever suffered from it knows only too well, one of the major problems with thrush is although you can knock it out, it tends to recur, especially when you are under stress. Researchers discovered that amongst the echinacea-supplemented group there was a significantly lower recurrence of infection than amongst the rest. And the protection went far beyond thrush. They also found a heightened immune response to tetanus, diphtheria, streptococci and tuberculin. What is exciting about their findings is that they concluded that, unlike antibiotic drugs, echinacea does not attack germs directly. Instead it strengthens your body's own ability to resist them and heightens your defenses. I find it a welcome friend taken daily as a preventative during `the 'flu season' as well as a great boon to recovery.

Artificial Sweeteners Are Dangerous

Don't be tricked: Artificial Sweeteners are Not the Answer - Learn Why!

All artificial sweeteners increase your insulin resistance, impair your memory and disrupt your neurological functioning. Do not use them! It is hard to believe the extent to which they have taken over the world. The artificial sweetener market worldwide is measured in many billions, and keeps growing. Here is a breakdown: aspartame is responsible for 27.9% of the market, sucralose, claims another 27.9%, while cyclamate holds a 13.1% share, acesulfame-K gets 5.2% and neotame 1.4%. I continue to be flummoxed by it all. How can billions of people be persuaded into putting this kind of junk into their bodies, adding these products to their coffee and their foods, as well as swallowing sodas and other drinks that are riddled with them? If you value your body, your mind and your health, please STOP USING THEM! THE STUDIES One study, carried out over 14 years, showed that eating and drinking sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened drinks makes you prone to a higher risk of type II diabetes. Another, lasting over seven years, found that drinking artificially-sweetened drinks is associated with an almost 50% greater change in BMI. Researchers reported that a likely reason for this is that artificial sweeteners increase food intake, as well as a greater desire for sweetness, so you eat more food. Obese subjects given the artificial sweetener sucralose showed increased insulin levels and insulin resistance. In both human and animal studies, the artificial sweeteners sucralose, saccharine, and aspartame also exerted a substantial negative effect on gut bacteria which increases glucose intolerance. In relation to aspartame, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public interest (CSPI) Michael F Jacobson states, "Aspartame has been found to cause cancer—leukaemia, lymphoma and other tumors—in laboratory animals. It shouldn't be in the food supply.” PROTECT YOUR BRAIN Dana Small, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, has been doing excellent work examining the effects that artificial sweeteners exert on behavior and brain in humans and animals. She discovered that appetite comes from the hippocampus as well as the hypothalamus. When mice were fed on the artificial sweetener acesulfame-K, they developed impaired memory as a result of neurological dysfunctions in the hippocampus. A learned association takes place between the flavor of a food you eat and the ability of a food to alter your blood glucose. Your body is smart. You cannot feed it on rubbish like artificial sweeteners. When you do, it hunts for real food to satisfy its needs. By now, we have a huge volume of evidence showing that artificial sweeteners foster weight gain. PLEASE HEAR THIS Artificial sweeteners of any kind can be much worse for you than sugar. There is a lot of evidence to back this up. Even natural sweeteners such as honey and agave, which most people look upon as “healthy choices”, are not great. Agave is highly processed, even when it says “organic” on the label. It has a higher fructose content than any other commercial sweetener. In truth, it is little more than an over-hyped, laboratory generated, highly-condensed fruit syrup without nutritional value. In small quantities and in its raw form, honey has much to offer, provided it is real, pure, raw honey. But most honey these days is of very poor quality and adulterated. Even real raw honey, which is almost impossible to come by, consists of 53% fructose—which you don’t want to take in very much of. What about the sugar alcohols? These are easy to spot as their names end in “ol” like xylitol, malitol, glycerol, lacitiol, mannitol, sorbitol, glucitol. They are less sweet than sugar, but they are by no means calorie-free. You see, these sugar alcohols are not absorbed completely in your body. Eating them can create diarrhoea as well as abdominal gas. Some of them used regularly can even spike blood sugar as much as a baked potato or dinner roll can. Xylitol is probably the best if you are going to use any of them, but it must be used only in small quantities and not regularly. And you must read labels carefully. Personally, I choose to leave all of them alone. SAFE ALTERNATIVES Stevia is far and away the best natural sweetener in the world. But make sure you buy a good quality whole plant stevia (see my recommendations below.) Stay away from Truvia, Purevia and one or two other so-called stevia products which have extracted the sweetest component of the stevia plant—Rebaudioside A—out of the plant, grossly distorting the integrity of the plant as a whole. It’s the synergistic effect of all the natural ingredients in the plant that produce its overall health-giving qualities, which include "built-in protection" against potentially damaging effects. Working with people on our Cura programs, I find that artificial sweeteners disagree with many. Stay away from them. For my money, the two best stevias, which you can purchase from iHerb.com as well as from Amazon.co.uk, are these: Natural Wisdom Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia Natural Wisdom Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia, which comes in a dropper bottle with all natural flavors and is convenient and easy to use. Add it to coffee, milk, sparkling water, protein shakes, plain yogurt or anything else you can imagine. It comes in many delicious flavors but English Toffee is the best by far. Take a look at it here: Order Natural Wisdom Sweet Leaf Liquid Stevia from iherb Spoonable Stevia by Stevita Spoonable Stevia by Stevita, which 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. This brand of stevia is best for baking and sprinkling on yogurt and anything else you are making. Take a look at it here: Order Spoonable Stevia by Stevita from iherb I use stevia a lot and love it. You will too. It should be your number one choice for your own wellbeing and that of your family. Go for it and leave the junk behind.

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 27th of February 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.51 lb
for women
-0.91 lb
for men
-0.51 lb
for women
-0.91 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 27th of February 2024 (updated every 12 hours)

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