Posted: April 15, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: anxiety, chronic fatigue, depression, IBS, Mental health, microbiome, Probiotic, psychobiotics
Every functional medicine psychiatrist has case stories of the ‘probiotic cure’ – of a patient with debilitating symptoms, often obsessive compulsive range, whose symptoms remitted completely with dietary change and probiotic supplementation. Is this voodoo or is it based on a growing understanding of the role of the microbiome in mental health and behavior? For two decades now, pioneering researchers have been substantiating inflammatory models of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Research has focused on markers that indicate immune distress in an important subset of patients, many of whom are labeled “treatment resistant.” Through this body of literature, we have identified that depression can be induced, in animals and in humans through inflammatory agents, that it is correlated with blood levels of inflammatory markers, in a linear way (more markers = worse depression), and that symptoms can be reversed through pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.
Inflammatory Models of Mental Illness:
The Role for the Gut
Working with this premise, where is the best place to begin when we consider how to modify inflammatory states in the body, naturally? You guessed it, it’s the gut. Housing >70% of our immune system, the gut is our interface between the outside and inside world, separated by one-cell-thickness. The resident microorganisms, outnumbering by 10:1 by our human body cells, develop an ecosystem through postnatal exposures, in the vaginal canal, through breastfeeding, and the immediate environment. Disruption to the balance of bacteria through medication exposures, gluten, herbicides, stress, and infection can set the stage for the innate immune system to prepare for attack. Depression, associated with compromised integrity of this intestinal barrier, becomes the swirling storm of inflammation, impairment of cellular machinery (i.e. mitochondria), oxidative stress, and inflammation in a carousel-like forward rotation. Specifically, depression is associated with elevated levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a nutrient-binding, inflammatory toxin produced by bacteria that are intended to remain in the gut.
If depression is a downstream collection of symptoms, and inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are driving these symptoms, what is at the source? It appears, from data in animals and humans, that disruption to our gut ecology may be a major player, and the microbiome has stepped to the forefront of cutting-edge psychiatric research.
Enter psychobiotics: “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.”
A review by Dinan et al. encompasses the clinical basis for the use of probiotics in mental health with reference to animal studies in which behavioral changes resulted from exposure to bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus. In placebo-controlled trials in humans, measures of anxiety, chronic fatigue, and depression and anxiety associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
The therapeutic clinical applications of probiotics have been limited to a handful of strains out of the more than 7000 at last count. It appears that colonization is not an expected outcome of probiotic supplementation, and that genomic communication between bacteria and immune receptors may account for anti-inflammatory effects.
Given how little is known about therapeutic applications of different strains, it may make sense to defer to ancestral practices that confirm the importance of probiotic exposures. In these foods such as lactofermented kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and other traditional vegetables, microbes are acting on the food, and the food is then acting on our microbes.
What do bacteria accomplish in the gut? Do they just help with digestion? According to Selhub et al., they:
• Direct protection of the intestinal barrier;
• Influence on local and systemic antioxidant status, reduction in lipid peroxidation;
• Direct, microbial-produced neurochemical production, for example, gammaaminobutyric
• Indirect influence on neurotransmitter or neuropeptide production;
• Prevention of stress-induced alterations to overall intestinal microbiota;
• Direct activation of neural pathways between gut and brain;
• Limitation of inflammatory cytokine production;
• Modulation of neurotrophic chemicals, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor;
• Limitation of carbohydrate malabsorption;
• Improvement of nutritional status, for example, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, dietary
• Limitation of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth;
• Reduction of amine or uremic toxin burden;
• Limitation of gastric or intestinal pathogens (for example, Helicobacter pylori);
• Analgesic properties.
Given widespread fermentation practices in traditional cultures, it appears that this dietary wisdom may serve to ameliorate gut-based inflammation and promote optimal nutrient assimilation as described in this review:
“Traditional dietary practices have completely divergent effects of blood LPS levels; significant reductions (38%) have been noted after a one-month adherence to a prudent (traditional) diet, while the Western diet provokes LPS elevations .”
In addition to increasing bioavailability and production of minerals, neurochemicals, and fatty acids, fermented foods actually produce methylfolate, an activated form of folate required for methylation: brain chemical synthesis, detox, and gene expression.
Because of the complex coevolution of bacterial strains, cultivated through our food supply, and complementary to our inner microbiomes, we have an opportunity to use therapeutic foods to reeducate an immune system that has been drawn off course. Psychobiotics have the potential to modulate multiple different relevant factors at once:
“This could manifest, behaviorally, via magnified antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, reduction of intestinal permeability and the detrimental effects of LPS, improved glycemic control, positive influence on nutritional status (and therefore neurotransmission and neuropeptide production), direct production of GABA, and other bioactive chemicals, as well as a direct role in gut-to-brain communication via a beneficial shift in the intestinal microbiota itself.”
It is therefore compelling to consider the power of reconnecting to the natural world through our food; communicating through our guts to our brains, that nutrients are plentiful, our bodies are safe, and that our inflammatory systems can be put at ease. It is under these circumstances that the infinite complexity of the endocrine, immune, and gastrointestinal systems can play out, unhindered in support of mental health and wellness.
Posted: April 8, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: Acid, alkaline, Cancer, Sugar
Sugar and Cancer
If you have cancer or know and care about someone that is suffering from cancer, please read and share this article.
In most cases, the consumption of sugar WILL increase the pace that cancerous tumours will grow. Here is why:
1. Tumours actually have their own insulin receptors and when we consume any form of sugar (including fructose), it gets shuttled into the tumour.
2. Glucose is energy and can fuel the tumour to grow.
3. Excessive sugar/glycogen in your blood will make your body acidic, a perfect growing condition for cancer cells to thrive.
4. When we break down sugars in the body, lactic acid is created as a bi-product. This makes your body even more acidic.
5. Cancerous tumours themselves, create more acid by the way of lactic acid.
However, cancer cells struggle to grow in an alkaline environment and even can decline.
So what can you do?
1. Avoid adding any form of sugar to your diet. This includes fruit juices, brown or raw sugar, high fructose corn syrup and of course sucrose from white table sugar.
2. Limit products that get broken down into blood sugar very quickly. Eg. Pasta made from processed white flour gets broken down almost immediately and although it doesn’t contain sugar, it converts to glycogen in the body and can fuel cancer cells.
3. Never consume fruit juices. Yes they have antioxidants, but they are also full of easy to absorb sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead that still has its fibre intact. Supplement vitamins and minerals.
4. Avoid any foods with a label or more than one ingredient. If you do choose to eat processed foods, PLEASE look at the label and see how much sugar has been added. This might be represented as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, glucose or alcohol sugars. In a lot of cases, “sugar” will be listed, sneakily followed by two or three other ingredients which are also forms of sugar. 95% of processed foods will have sugar added to make it taste better and tempt you consume more. Increasing food manufacturer’s profits… at the cost of your health. Even products like tomato soup that you certainly wouldn’t expect to contain sugar, often contains over 5 teaspoons per can. Proceed with caution. All the little bits adds up. Breakfast cereals tend to be the worst false representation of a healthy food.
5. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables that are high in chlorophyll and will reduce your body’s PH balance. Wheat grass powder is also a great way of getting your greens and reducing your body’s PH.
6. Limit your consumption of beef, pork and lamb to once or twice a week. Try to eat mainly fish and free range chicken/eggs as other sources of protein. When our stomach breaks down meats, it creates more acid.
7. Limit coffee to one to two cups a day. Coffee increases acidity.
8. Exercise regularly, but not to excess. Excessive exercise increases lactic acid production.
9. Make sure you get ample rest and recovery. When we are stressed or tired, our body’s adrenal
cortex secretes higher levels of cortisol. This will make us more stressed, mess with our other hormones and contribute to immunity dysfunctions.
Sugar really is one of the largest factors contributing to our worlds rapidly increasing cases of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Avoid it and reduce your chances of getting one of these diseases. If you are unfortunate enough to already have one, remove sugar from your diet and I assure you that you will not only feel better, but you will also have a much better quality of life.
It is no coincidence that as our sugar consumption has increased over the past 20 years, the cases of degenerative disease have risen at a comparative level. We now consume 35% less fat than we did 20 years ago, but our average sugar consumption has risen from 26lbs to 135lbs per year!
We need to open our eyes and demand that food manufactures stop sneaking sugar into everything we eat. It’s making us sicker but unfortunately no one is standing up for our rights to have more transparency and education about what is really in our food.
You can make a stand by no longer supporting the big food manufacturers and stop buying their sugary processed foods. Support your local farmers, eat real food and learn how to fall in love with FOOD again!
If you have or know and love someone with cancer, please help them share this article. You won’t see this info being shared by a food manufacturer. This information needs to get out to help the people that need it.
Over the past 14 years, Matt has been a personal trainer, nutritionist and international health club manager in four countries and has helped over 1000 people get into the best shape of their lives.
His methods are tried and true and most importantly, make sense. Over the years, he has gained a wealth of knowledge from trying different methods on himself, as well as his clients and has always been fortunate enough to get results. He has perfected his skills over the years to be able to not only prescribe the right meal plans to achieve his clients goals, but also help educate them to understand how to manage the emotional side of eating and unlearn bad habits.
Matt believes that you must first focus on being healthy and then the body will take care of the weight. Matt teaches his clients the reasons why their body’s do the things they do so that they can be empowered to make educated decisions for themselves on a daily basis. You can find Matt’s nutrition program in our shop. Facebook or his website
- See more at: http://globalhealingexchange.com/sugar-cancer/#sthash.22VuH6ob.dpuf
Posted: March 28, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: abcesses, acne, Alternative medicine, anti-parasitic. treats flatulence, Asthma, atigue and low spirits. *is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, black cumin, blood pressure, boils, bone marrow production, breast milk, bronchitis, Cancer, colds, constipation, diarrhea, digestion, dysentery., eczema, headaches, hemorrhoids, Nigella Sativa, Pertussis, psoriasis, rheumatism, toothaches, tumours
Note : BIO-SIL stocks black cumin seed oil.
Please see http://www.biosil.co.za :)
Black Cumin Seeds provide many wonderful health benefits
by Tony Isaacs
(NaturalNews) The prophet Mohammad reportedly said that seeds of the black cumin plant could cure anything but death itself. While that may seem to be quite the tall order, black cumin (Nigella sativa) does in fact have remarkable healing and health properties that make it one of the most powerful medicinal plants known to man.
Black cumin is a part of the buttercup family and the seeds are dark, thin, and crescent-shaped when whole. The seeds have been used for many centuries in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and India. Today, black cumin seeds are used as a seasoning spice in different cuisines across the world due to their nutty flavor. Besides their culinary uses, black cumin seeds also have a wealth of important health benefits and are one of the most cherished medicinal seeds in history.
The seeds of the black cumin plant contain over 100 chemical compounds, including some yet to be identified. In addition to what is believed to be the primary active ingredient, crystalline nigellone, black cumin seeds contain: thymoquinone, beta sitosterol, myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous.
Black cumin seeds have a particularly long and strong history use in Egypt. When archaeologists found and examined the tomb of Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen (King Tut), they found a bottle of black cumin oil, which suggested that it was believed to be needed in the afterlife.
Physicians to the Egyptian pharaohs frequently used the seeds after extravagant feasts to calm upset stomachs. They also used the seeds to treat headaches, toothaches, colds, and infections. Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her stunning beauty, used black seed oil, likely due to its abilities to strengthen and bring luster to hair and nails.
Hundreds of studies have been conducted on black cumin which have shown that compounds from the seeds help fight diseases by boosting the production of bone marrow, natural interferon, and immune cells.
Several of the studies have shown that black cumin seed extract could assist individuals with autoimmune disorders and could possibly help to fight cancer. One recent study on black cumin seed oil demonstrated that it was effective against pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and most difficult to treat cancers.
Black cumin is one of the very few botanicals that have shown such effectiveness (the other most notable one is oleander extract).
One of black cumin’s most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system: including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increase the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.
Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.
The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver, probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.
Black cumin also:
*stimulates energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits.
*is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
*treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.
NOTE: Those who decide to use black cumin seed oil should check labels and product information carefully. Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella sativa is true black cumin.
About the author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group “S.A N.E.Vax. Inc” which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone “Ask Tony Isaacs – featuring Luella May” forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group “Oleander Soup” and he serves as a consultant to the “Utopia Silver Supplement Company“.
Posted: March 23, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: bloating, Gut flora, gut health, Health, overweight, probiotics, sluggish thyroid, sweet cravings
The Many Health Benefits of
Raw cultured vegetables have been around for thousands of years, but we have never needed
them more than we do today. Rich in
lactobacilli and enzymes, alkaline-forming, and loaded with vitamins, they are an ideal food that can and should be consumed with every meal.
Since they are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Dutch seamen used to carry them to prevent scurvy. For centuries, the Chinese have cultured cabbage each fall to ensure a source of greens through the winter (if they have no refrigeration).
The friendly bacteria, the enzymes, and the high lactic acid in raw cultured vegetables add to health and longevity.
They taste tangy and it is probably a new taste for you, but personally speaking, cultured
vegetables are the best way to eliminate cravings for sweets. After initially getting use to eating cultured vegetables, you will soon feel that no meal is complete without
them. Since they are all vegetable, they combine with either a protein or a starch meal.
So what exactly are raw cultured vegetables?
They’re sauerkraut. The Austrians coined this word, from sauer (sour) and kraut (greens
or plants). But they are very different than the pasteurized sauerkraut you buy in the supermarkets. The pasteurization (heating) process destroys precious enzymes, and the added salt eliminates any health benefits. The variety of vegetables that you can culture are endless and once you culture your first batch of vegetables, you will want to experiment and try different vegetables that perhaps you’ve never tried before.
Here are many of the benefits to adding cultured vegetables to your diet:
- Help re-establish a healthy inner ecosystem.
- If you have ever experienced a sluggish thyroid, it can be such an emotional roller coaster to get it functioning properly. Personally speaking cultured vegetables are one of things that have helped to nourish and re-balance my thyroid which had been sluggish for about a year. It is very important when you have a sluggish thyroid, to do everything possible to eat more alkalizing foods such as cultured vegetables, coconut kefir (Fermented coconut water from young Thai coconuts. They are the white coconuts that you see at Asian markets or Whole Foods.), sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, kombu, arame, etc.)
- If you have ever struggled with your weight or wanted to lose those nagging pounds we’ve all held onto, add cultured vegetables to your diet. Losing weight is all about how well everything is flowing in your digestive tract, how regular you are and how to balance the acids in your body to a more alkalizing state.
- They improve digestion. Knowing the health benefits of raw foods, eating cultured vegetables is an easy way to implement raw foods into your diet. However, depending on how well you digest your foods, your digestive tract may be too weak to tolerate them. Cultured vegetables eliminate this concern, since they are pre-digested. This means that even before they enter your mouth, the friendly bacteria have already converted the natural sugars and starches in the vegetables into lactic acid, a job your own saliva and digestive enzymes would do anyway. The enzymes in the cultured vegetables also help digest other foods eaten with them.
- They increase longevity. You could think of the friendly bacteria in raw cultured vegetables as little enzyme powerhouses. By eating the vegetables, you will maintain your own enzyme reserve and use it to eliminate toxins, rejuvenate your cells, and strengthen your immune system – which all add up to a longer, healthier life.
- They control cravings. Homemade cultured vegetables are ideal for appetite control and thus weight control. The veggies help take away cravings for the sweet taste in pastries, colas, bread, pasta, dairy, and excessive amounts of fruit.
- Raw cultured vegetables are alkaline and very cleansing. They help restore balance if your body is in a toxic, acidic condition. Because they do trigger cleansing, you may have an increase in intestinal gas initially as the vegetables stir up waste and toxins in your intestinal tract. Soon however, you will notice an improvement in your stools.
- And lastly, if you want gorgeous, healthy skin cultured vegetables will become your best friend. Our skin is our largest organ and whatever shows up on the skin is a good indication of what is going on inside the body.
During the fermentation period, the friendly bacteria are having the time of their life, reproducing and converting the sugars and starches to lactic acid. Once the initial process is over, it is time to slow down the bacterial activity by putting the cultured vegetables in the refrigerator. The cold greatly slows the fermentation, but does not stop it completely.
Even if the veggies sit in your refrigerator for months, they will not spoil; instead they become more like fine wine, more delicious with time. Properly made, cultured vegetables have at least an eight month shelf life, although my veggies have never lasted that long.
Posted: March 17, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: Cancer, colon cancer, prebiotics, probiotics
Research suggests a diet rich in
natural probiotics discourages colon cancer
by Carolanne Wright
(NaturalNews) Good news: If you’re a fan of probiotics, another health benefit has been added to the ranks, this time concerning lowered colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. A known immune booster, probiotics also hinder harmful pathogens in the gut that can lead to cellular mutations. Not only that, certain species of beneficial bacteria form conjugated linoleic acid in the colon, which may inhibit the development of cancer through anti-inflammatory action.
Keeping the colon healthy and disease-free
According to Cancer Active, Professor Ian Rowland at the University of Ulster, a leading expert on diet and cancer prevention, notes:
“Studies using cultures of human colon cells grown in flasks show that probiotics can interfere with the action of cancer forming substances. When probiotics have been given to laboratory rats, they have decreased the level of gene damage (an important event in cancer) and reduced the numbers of tumours induced in the colon. There are only a few studies in humans because of the difficulties in studying the effects of diet on human cancer. However, in the few studies that have been done, probiotics – sometimes in combination with prebiotics – have shown effects suggesting that they may reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
At a molecular level, researchers believe probiotics help discourage colon cancer by:
Stimulating the immune systemProducing beneficial short-chain fatty acidsHindering enzymic activities linked with carcinogensActivating beneficial anti-carcinogenic enzymesEncouraging higher levels of butyric acid in the colon (an important growth regulator for colon cells)
Probiotics also bind to bile salts. Epidemiological studies have found a strong connection between CRC risk and diets that are high in certain types of fat, such as corn oil, safflower oil, lard or beef tallow. Researchers believe this is due to increased level of bile acids, which are necessary to digest fat. When the bile is broken down in the colon, the byproducts have a cytotoxic effect on colon cells, triggering proliferation and the possibility of cancer. Probiotics help protect against this hazard in the following manner: modulation of enzymes that create harmful wastes and also by reducing the toxicity of bile salts through a binding effect.
Moreover, two types of probiotics, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bififobacterium lactis, demonstrate antibacterial characteristics by producing lactic acid and corresponding short-chain fatty acids. When lactic acid is present, the gut environment becomes more acidic, which inhibits potentially carcinogenic bacteria. To encourage the growth of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in the gut, make sure you are getting enough soluble fiber (examples include oats, apples, barley, flaxseed and Brussels sprouts), and consider supplementing with a prebiotic like inulin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) or galactooligosaccharides (GOS).
Professor Rowland concludes:
“There is a lot of evidence from studies on cell cultures and in animals that probiotics, prebiotics and combinations of the two can exert anticancer effects. Until recently, there has been little work conducted in humans. However a paper soon to be published reports a study conducted as part of the European Union funded SYNCAN Project. In this experiment volunteers were fed a mixture of pro and prebiotics, or placebo, for eight weeks and a wide range of indicators of colon cancer risk were measured. Those subjects on the pro/prebiotics had less DNA damage and a lower rate of cell proliferation in biopsies taken from their colons. Additionally pro/prebiotic feeding resulted in improvements in certain characteristics of stool samples that may be indicative of reduced cancer risk.”
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.
Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Thrive-Living/4995788…
For Pinterest fans: www.pinterest.com/thriveliving/
Find at Google+: www.goo.gl/cEZiyR
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/Thrive_Living
Read her other articles on Natural News here:
Watch this blog – we’re having great fun and pleasure experimenting
with cultured foods, including kombucha, kefir and cultured vegetables,
bringing back some old but valuable practices
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: good bacterial, Health, Kefir, oatmeal, reakfast
Kefir breakfast serves up the benefits of cultured food
Donna Schwenk prepares cultured food daily. But Schwenk’s “cultured” isn’t highbrow or refined; it’s fermented and alive with good bacteria.
After a series of health problems, the Greenwood, Mo., resident introduced kefir — a fermented milk drink that has been around for thousands of years — to her family’s diet. Foods like kefir, kombucha, sprouted grain and sourdough breads, and vegetables such as kimchi and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics that aid in digestion and overall health.
“After I saw the dramatic health benefits that cultured foods bring to restoring the balance of good bacteria to the body, I wanted to share my story with everyone,” Schwenk says. “But I think it’s important to meet people where they’re at. You don’t have to make your own fermented kefir or bake your own sprouted breads: There are pre-made options in today’s grocery and health food stores.”
Even food guru Michael Pollan’s most recent book, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” (Penguin Group), touts the benefits of grandma-style pickled vegetables, preserved lemons and yogurt. Schwenk’s second cookbook, “Cultured Food for Life” (Hay House), was released last October, and her website, CulturedFoodLife.com, shares cooking videos, recipes and an online store to get people started fermenting their own foods.
“So many people are feeling unwell and are hungry for well-being,” Schwenk says. “Never would I have thought that I would be writing cookbooks on cultured foods and sharing my fermented food story with so many people, but it all feels really good.”
Kefir Breakfast Pudding
Makes 1 serving
1 cup kefir, any flavor
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal of choice, old-fashioned, steel-cut or rolled oats
1/2 cup fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mandarin orange slices or peaches, cut into bite-size, plus more for topping
1 teaspoon sweetener, such as maple syrup, honey, stevia or agave nectar, optional
The night before: Pour kefir into a clean, wide-mouth, pint-size canning jar. Add chia seeds, uncooked oats and fresh fruit of choice. Place lid tightly on jar and shake vigorously. Refrigerate jar overnight.
In the morning: Remove lid and stir in optional sweetener of choice and top with more fresh fruit, if desired.
Per serving: 340 calories (48 percent from fat), 15 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 31 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 22 milligrams sodium, 7 grams dietary fiber.
Posted: March 3, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: cultured foods, fermented foods, good bacteria, Gut flora, gut health, pre-digestion, probiotics
5 reasons your digestive system isn’t working properly
It seems nearly everyone has digestive issues these days. Crohn’s, IBS, colitis, celiac, and dozens of other digestive disorders have made an industry out of sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free products. So why is it that those with digestive issues can’t often fully fix them and have to follow a very strict diet or suffer the painful consequences?
Gut flora imbalance
One of the main reasons you are not able to digest food properly is bacterial imbalance in your intestinal system. An ideal ratio for a properly functioning gut is 85 percent good bacteria to 15 percent bad, and when this is accomplished the good bacteria flourish and are allowed to do their job of digesting and absorbing certain starches, fiber, and sugars.
Unfortunately, a lifetime of habits littered with antibiotics, sugar, alcohol, toxins, and ‘dead’ food has destroyed the proper balance we require for good digestion.
In your effort to regain proper gut flora balance, consider antibacterial foods and herbs like garlic, onions, oregano, cloves, and black walnut. At the same time consider probiotic rich foods like green leafy vegetables and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, tempeh, and kefir.
(Note – BIO-SIL has cultured vegetables available – we believe this is a crucial area of health that needs to be explained and practised :) Keep peepers on this blog!)
Enzymes play a key role in our health by enabling our bodies to properly digest and use all the nutrients we take in to their greatest potential. If we do not introduce enough enzymes through our food, we put more pressure on the pancreas to produce enzymes in order to break down waste products, which eventually can leave it overworked and unable to produce the enzymes required to facilitate proper digestion.
To maximize your enzyme production, first increase your consumption of raw, organic food like papaya, pineapples, bee pollen, kefir, and fermented vegetables. Chew your food thoroughly to properly mix them with your enzyme rich saliva, which helps the process of pre-digestion.
Juicing is one way to really increase the amount of easily assimilated enzymes into your digestive system, as well as digestive and systemic enzyme supplements.
Previously, it was believed that magnesium was required for up to 325 enzymatic processes, but according to new research, that number is closer to 800. This makes magnesium very important in the digestive process.
Magnesium is also heavily implicated in proper functioning of muscles, including those in the lining of your digestive tract. A deficiency in magnesium causes the peristaltic action in your digestive system to slow right down, which hinders the movement of waste, and backs up the digestive process.
Consider liquid magnesium supplements, and loading up on salads rich in leafy greens and vegetables.
Stress creates all sorts of problems for your digestive system. It strips your body of various vitamins and minerals (B vitamins and magnesium to name a couple), tightens your muscles, slows down bowel movements, and inhibits absorption of enzymes and probiotics, as well as other nutrients.
Keep your stress in check through chamomile, medicinal mushrooms, kefir, and acts of gratitude, meditation, and exercise.
Heavy metal toxicity
There are many types of toxins that can cause digestive distress, however, one of the most gut compromising toxins falls in the heavy metals category.
Heavy metals are introduced into our bodies in a variety of ways, but some of the more problematic gateways are through vaccinations and mercury amalgams. Not only does this create a great burden for proper liver, gallbladder, and pancreas function (including secreting bile to facilitate digestion), but heavy metals also kill off good bacteria to further impair the digestive process.
Heavy metal detoxification is a delicate process and should be handled by a professional, but you can consider chlorella and cilantro to help bind and remove them from your system.
Posted: February 28, 2014 Filed under: Food | Tags: store food, vegetable storage
22 Unusual Tips, Tricks, and Tests to Make Your Food Last Longer
~by Rachel Grussi
February 27, 2014
Wasting food feels horrible. Whenever I find old, moldy food in the fridge and toss it, unused into the trashcan, I feel like I’m A) pouring money into the garbage, and B) wasting things like a true American. Food spoiling and being thrown away is a total privilege that is used way too often! So try these tricks to keep your uneaten food out of the landfill:
1. Cook vegetables as soon as you buy them. To keep veggies longer and prevent wasting food, chef and food writer Tamar Adler suggests the intriguing idea of cooking your vegetables immediately after buying them. You can prepare and refrigerate a week’s worth of precooked food beforehand, which can be warmed to room temperature and dressed with vinaigrette for a salad, baked into a mid-week casserole or tossed into vegetable curry at the end of the week.
2. Store your onions in pantyhose; they will last as long as 8 months (because they feel fabulous, most likely!). It’s as simple as putting onions in nylons, and tie knots between onion.
3. Wrap lettuce in tinfoil to help it stay crispier longer. Make sure it’s dry, though, and freshly salad-spinned. Moisture is the cause of lettuce wilting.
4. Did your bread go stale before you could finish it? Rub an ice cube over stale bread, and then bake it for 12 minutes to revive it.
5. Keep tomatoes out of the fridge; instead, store at room temperature. Same for bananas!
6. Get an ethylene gas absorber for the fridge. Ethylene really makes or breaks the freshness in your foods, so it’s wise to invest. It’s not too expensive, either; a set of 3 costs $16. These little pods absorb the ethylene emitted by fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh up to 3x longer. Here’s a handy list of ethylene-producing and ethylene-sensitive foods.
7. Tired of your cilantro rotting before you can make your fourth batch of salsa? Store delicate herbs like you would flowers, then cover with plastic, secure with a rubber band, and refrigerate. This is the best for delicate herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, and chives.
8. Oily herbs cannot be stored the same way. Herbs like thyme can be tied loosely together with string and hung in the open air.
9. Use a vinegar solution to make your berries last longer. Prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider) and ten parts water. Swirl the berries around in the mixture, drain, rinse, and put them in the fridge. The solution is diluted enough that you won’t taste the vinegar. Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.
10. Don’t store onions with potatoes. It makes them sprout and spoil faster. Instead, put your potatoes with one apple in the bag to keep the sprouting from happening. Low levels of ethylene gas, such the amount an apple omits in a well-ventilated bag, suppresses the elongation of the potatoes’ cells, preventing sprouting. Store them carefully, preferably in a cool, dry place with good air circulation. They can last up to 2-3 months this way!
11. One rotten apple can spoil the bunch. Apples in general can make other fruit ripen faster, so keep them away from the rest.
12. Tired of fridge burn on your cheese? Add a dab of butter to the cut side of cheese to keep it from drying out. You also want to wrap in cheese paper or wax paper (NOT plastic wrap) and then place in a plastic baggie. Keep in the warmest part of the fridge (vegetable or cheese drawer).
13. Freeze and preserve fresh herbs in olive oil. The herbs will infuse the oil while freezing, and the ice cubes are very handy for cooking: just pop one out and use as the base of a dish. Works best with rosemary, sage, thyme, and oregano. Dill, basil, and mint should always be used fresh.
14. Wrap the crown of a bunch of bananas with plastic wrap. They’ll keep for 3-5 days longer than usual, which is especially helpful if you eat organic bananas. Bananas also produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit, so keep them isolated on the counter.
15. Clean your fridge. Once something goes bad in your fridge or cupboards, it leaves behind a lot of fellow mold friends ready to eat up your new food. Disinfect the fridge — it’ll make everything last a little longer.
16. Tomatoes are a tricky bunch. Don’t store them in plastic bags! The trapped ethylene will make them ripen faster. Unripe tomatoes should be kept stem side down, in a paper bag or single layer in a cardboard box in a cool area until they turn red in color. To ripen faster, store with fruit. The gases emitted will help ripen the tomatoes. Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, on the counter away from sunlight, in a single layer, not touching one another, stem side up. Overly ripe tomatoes should be put in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before eating them.
17. Keep your ginger in the freezer. If you want to make Yogi Tea on the regular, you need to freeze your ginger. It’s easier to manage this way, and it will stay good for a much longer time. It grates much more easily, and the peel grates up so fine that you don’t actually need to peel it.
18. Keep mushrooms in a paper bag, not a plastic bag.
19. Keep your milk and dairy products in the middle of the fridge instead of in the door. This way, it has longer access to cooler temperatures.
20. Making popcorn? Cook it in a bowl with a microwave-safe plate on top. This reduces the amount of unpopped kernels (and waste!).
21. Waste not, want not, even with lemons. If you only need a tiny spurt of juice, don’t slice the whole thing up. Instead, use a skewer or fork to pierce the skin and squeeze a bit of juice out.
22. Freeze flour for the first few days to kill bugs. In case you missed our FDA Regulations post, you never know what’s in your food. So stay on the safe side and store the bag in the freezer for several days to kill weevils and insect eggs (yuck!). Female weevils lay eggs in the grain kernel, and larval weevils feed from within making them difficult to detect. Super heating or cooling will kill these pests easily. Just make sure to wrap your flour well or pack it in a freezer bag to prevent it from picking up food odors. You can continue to freeze or refrigerate flour if fridge space is not an issue
- See more at: http://www.gaiamtv.com/blog/22-tricks-food-last-longer?chan=FacebookBlog&utm_source=FacebookBlog_22TricksFood&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=10day#sthash.i6ad1d20.dpuf
Posted: February 28, 2014 Filed under: Food, Gardening | Tags: grow food, herbs, Home garden, tub garden, vegetables
Here Are 66 Things You Can Grow At Home In Containers
By Rachel Cernansky
Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.
As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil’s about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiiiny little terrace (with the help of a little DIY carpentry).
If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.)
Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space.
Here’s a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home.
Tree fruits – including apples
1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.
3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search)
5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)
Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don’t let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.
10. Dwarf oranges
13. Meyer lemons
Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as…
15. Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)
18. Guavas (several varieties)
The real surprises
19. Hops—yes, as in the ”spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they’re easy to grow!
20. Aloe Vera
22. Tea (well, herbal tea)
25. Summer squash
26. Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin
27. Hot Peppers
28. Sweet peppers
30. Small cantaloupe
31. Jenny Lind melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)
32. Golden Midget Watermelon
Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you’re going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)
43. Mesclun greens
45. Swiss chard
46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)
47. Mustard greens
48. Collard greens
Other healthy-sounding stuff
54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts
61. Jerusalem Artichoke
62. Sugar snap peas
63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)
65. Pole Beans
66. Aaaand… asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you’re ok with a risk!
Posted: February 22, 2014 Filed under: Food, Health | Tags: arteries hardening, gall bladder, inorganic, joints, kidney stones, minerals, Organic
DISTILLED WATERS KNOWLEDGE: DOCTOR BRAGG AND DOCTOR MCDANIEL ON ORGANIC VERSUS INORGANIC MINERALSDR. BRAGG:”Now, let me give you a short lesson in chemistry. There are two kinds of chemicals, inorganic and organic. The inorganic chemicals like chlorine, alum and sodium fluoride are inert, which means that they cannot be absorbed into the living tissues of the body.
Our body chemistry is composed of 16 organic minerals, which must come from that which is living or has lived. When we eat an apple or any other fruit or vegetable, that substance is living. It has a certain length of life after it has been picked from the vine or tree. The same goes for animal foods, fish, milk, cheese and eggs.
Organic minerals are vital in keeping us alive and healthy. If we were cast away on an uninhabited island where nothing was growing, we would starve to death. Even through the soil beneath our feet contains 16 inorganic minerals, our bodies cannot absorb them. Only the living plant has the power to extract inorganic minerals from earth. No human can extract nourishment out of inorganic minerals.”
—from, “The Miracle of Fasting” by Dr. Paul C. Bragg, N.D., Ph.D.
“What the human body cannot utilize or excrete, it must store. Consequently, the inorganic salts (inorganic minerals) are stored and in time take their toll in the form of hardening of the arteries, stones within the kidneys, urethras, gall bladder, joints and an etiologic factor in enlargement of the adipose cell (fat cell). To be one hundred percent healthy, the human body must be free of inorganic minerals.
“When pure water enters the human body, it leaves no residue. It is free of all inorganic salts. It is the perfect drink for internal cleanliness and health. Reverse osmosis water is crystal clear with every impurity removed, ready for and perfect for human consumption, free from all pollutants including inorganic salts, organic material, bacteria and viruses. No other water excels as fit for human consumption.”
— Dr. T.C. McDaniel, A.B.A., M.A., D.O., Director of Professional Affairs, The National Foundation for Prevention of Obesity