Category Archives: Food & Drink
Like many vegetables, the early history of carrots centered on various medicinal attributes thought suitable for curing a wide range of conditions and maladies
Beta-Carotene and More: What Nutrients Are Found in Carrots?
A serving of carrots (one medium carrot or ½ cup chopped) will provide about:
- 210% of the average daily recommended amount of vitamin A
- 10% vitamin K
- 6% vitamin C
- 2% calcium
The high vitamin A content, for which carrots are best known, comes from beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your liver. Interestingly, there’s a reason why ‘carrot’ and ‘carotene’ sound so alike. The word carotene was devised in the early 19th century by a German scientist after he crystallized the compound from carrot roots.
Carrot seed oil also contain potassium, vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine and magnesium. I generally recommend eating carrots in moderation because they contain more sugar than any other vegetable aside from beets,
However, when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, the nutrients in carrots may provide you with protection against heart disease and stroke while helping you to build strong bones and a healthy nervous system.
What Does the Research Say About Carrots?
There’s good reason to include carrots in your regular diet, as the science is very strong that they may help reduce your risk of chronic disease.
Antioxidants in carrots, including beta-carotene, may play a role in cancer prevention. Research has shown that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer,4 while a beta-carotene-rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer.5
The consumption of beta-carotene is also associated with a lower risk of colon cancer6 while carrot juice extract may kill leukemia cells and inhibit their progression.7
Carrots also contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It’s thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.8
A deficiency in vitamin A can cause your eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. Eating foods rich in beta-carotene may restore vision,9 lending truth to the old adage that carrots are good for your eyes.
Carrot extract has been found to be useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions and may offer memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Carrot extract may help to protect your liver from the toxic effects of environmental chemicals.
Carrot extract also has anti-inflammatory properties and provided anti-inflammatory benefits that were significant even when compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Celebrex.
With regards to consumable cures, apple juice vinegar (ACV) has a religion like after. Message sheets and flawed “master” articles flourish with cases that this kitchen staple produced using matured squeezed apple is stuffed with fiber and supplements and can cure pretty much anything, from sugar yearnings to indigestion to diabetes to tumor to obstruction.
Sounds great, right? The bad news: Many of these apple cider vinegar claims are totally unfounded. Turns out, good old ACV contains little to no fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and it’s not been proven as a cure-all for most conditions.
But there are several claims for apple cider vinegar that studies do back up. First, it can help you absorb more nutrients from food, but that’s true whether you slug apple cider vinegar straight or add it to raw concoctions like salad dressings. Second, it can reduce blood sugar spikes after you eat, which, in turn, can help limit cravings and the likelihood you’ll develop type 2 diabetes. In fact, one study found that consuming apple cider vinegar before meals reduced the blood glucose levels of patients with prediabetes by nearly half.
Pretty cool, no doubt. But being a skeptic, I wanted to see for myself whether swigging a tablespoon of vinegar before meals would really banish my cravings and help me eat less. So I grabbed a bottle of Bragg’s and here’s what happened:
1. Downing apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach can make you queasy. Maybe I drank it too fast, but after each glass of ACV-infused water, I felt like I’d just eaten something bad. Nothing crazy happened, but I had this uneasy sensation in my stomach, I burped a lot, and I felt like anything else I put down the hatch might end up coming right back up. So, yes, vinegar curbed my desire to eat, but not in a pleasant way.
2. Taking ACV after a meal works much better. The whole pre-meal thing didn’t work for me. After all, what was the point of feeling semi-nauseous and not wanting to eat before a healthy meal that you’d planned on eating? A better option, I found, was drinking it when I’d already eaten a meal but was still feeling hungry for more. Because I already had a base of food in my stomach, I avoided that queasy feeling, but the apple cider vinegar definitely helped reduce my desire to polish off leftover Christmas cookies.
3. ACV can help get things moving. This was unexpected (and I’ll spare you details), but there was a definite correlation between apple cider vinegar consumption and, well, let’s call it decreased transit time. I could definitely see the appeal of using this as a gentle, natural laxative when things are backed up. Who knew?
4. You’ll burn your esophagus unless you learn to drink apple cider vinegar the right way. Don’t take this stuff straight—it burns like fire (worse than vodka and with no pleasant buzz). Your best bet: Mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water, and then drink it with a straw to minimize contact with your taste buds. I found this method tolerable, although the taste was still slightly reminiscent of feet after a sweaty summer workout session.
Bottom line: While this experiment was enlightening and it did help curb cravings, I’m not making the apple cider vinegar-water blend part of my daily routine. Instead, I’ll be more likely to use it periodically to quell a Krispy Kreme craving or if I’m constipated. And I’m definitely all about using it in healthy homemade dressings to get more nutrients out of all my salad veggies.
The hibiscus bloom is worshipped for its magnificence, and it merits rise to regard for its mending powers. Numerous species have been utilized as a part of customary solution, notwithstanding giving refreshment teas. The tea is harsh and tart—think cranberries—so individuals regularly include sugar or potentially citrus.
Now there’s exciting research backing up hibiscus tea’s medicinal benefits, especially for heart health. Scientists have confirmed that the deep red flowers gently lower blood pressure, thanks to their diuretic properties (they help the body eliminate excess water) and the fact that their anthocyanins block angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), the compound that causes blood vessels to constrict—exactly what the prescription combo of lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide does, but to a milder degree and without side effects.
Hibiscus Tea Recipe
This makes a great, refreshing tea.
4 c water
3 Tbsp dried or 4-5 Tbsp fresh hibiscus flowers
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp raw sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Boil water and pour over hibiscus and cinnamon stick. Steep for 20 minutes. Strain out hibiscus and cinnamon stick. Add sugar and orange. Serve hot or iced.
Soft drink utilization has turned into a very unmistakable and dubious general wellbeing and open arrangement issue. Soda pops are seen by numerous as a noteworthy donor to stoutness and related medical issues and have thusly been focused as a way to shorten the rising commonness of heftiness, especially among kids. Soda pops have been restricted from schools in Britain and France, and in the United States, educational systems as vast as those in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Miami have prohibited or seriously constrained soda pop deals. Numerous US states have considered statewide bans or points of confinement on soda deals in schools, with California passing such enactment in 2005. A key question is whether moves made to diminish soda pop utilization are justified given the accessible science and whether diminishing populace utilization of sodas would profit general wellbeing.
The issue is not new. In 1942 the American Medical Association mentioned soft drinks specifically in a strong recommendation to limit intake of added sugar.1 At that time, annual US production of carbonated soft drinks was 90 8-oz (240-mL) servings per person; by 2000 this number had risen to more than 600 servings.2 In the intervening years, controversy arose over several fundamental concerns: whether these beverages lead to energy overconsumption; whether they displace other foods and beverages and, hence, nutrients; whether they contribute to diseases such as obesity and diabetes; and whether soft drink marketing practices represent commercial exploitation of children.3–5
The industry trade association in the United States (the American Beverage Association, formerly the National Soft Drink Association) counters nutrition concerns with several key points: (1) the science linking soft drink consumption to negative health outcomes is flawed or insufficient, (2) soft drinks are a good source of hydration, (3) soft drink sales in schools help education by providing needed funding, (4) physical activity is more important than food intake, and (5) it is unfair to “pick on” soft drinks because there are many causes of obesity and there are no “good” or “bad” foods. Similar positions have been taken by other trade associations such as the British Soft Drinks Association and the Australian Beverages Council.
Legislative and legal discussions focusing on soft drink sales often take place on political and philosophical grounds with scant attention to existing science. Our objectives were to review the available science, examine studies that involved the use of a variety of methods, and address whether soft drink consumption is associated with increased energy intake, increased body weight, displacement of nutrients, and increased risk of chronic diseases.
In addition to effects on energy intake and weight, it is important to know whether soft drinks displace essential nutrients and contribute to overall poorer diets. Our review showed that increased soft drink intake is related to lower consumption of milk and calcium, but average effect sizes were small. Soft drink consumption was also related to higher intake of carbohydrates, lower intakes of fruit and dietary fiber, and lower intakes of a variety of macronutrients in cross-sectional, longitudinal, and longer-term experimental studies.
There are three fundamental triggers that toss these yearning hormones twisted and make it that much harder to adhere to a good dieting arrangement.
She said she lost 20 pounds by fasting (and using a concoction of syrup, lemon juice, water and cayenne pepper) for her role in Dreamgirls.
But what about the rest of us mortals? We wonder:
- Is fasting an effective way to lose weight?
- Can fasting really help with medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis and other auto-immune disorders?
- Will fasting help you live longer?
And finally, is fasting healthy? Although fasting has been practiced for thousands of years, the question is still a subject of intense medical debate. WebMD consulted experts on weight loss and fasting for some answers.
Fasting and Weight Loss
If you weed through all the controversy, you’ll find that most medical experts agree on one thing: fasting is not a healthy weight loss tool.
“The appeal is that [fasting] is quick, but it is quick fluid loss, not substantial weight loss,” says Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Weight Loss Management Center.
“If it’s easy off, it will come back quickly” — as soon as you start eating normally again, she says.
Even some proponents of fasting for other medical purposes do not support fasting for weight loss. Some say it can actually make weight problems worse.
“Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast,” says Joel Fuhrman MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Plan for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss and Fasting and Eating for Health.
Fasting for weight loss carries other health risks as well.
There are three fundamental triggers that toss these yearning hormones twisted and make it that much harder to adhere to a good dieting arrangement.
Hunger Hormone Trigger #1: Lack of Sleep
The first and one of the most powerful triggers is a lack of sleep. There is very solid research on lack of sleep playing a huge role in your appetite:
A – Those getting a habitual 5 hours of sleep per night had 15.5% lower leptin level, while ghrelin increased by 14.9% compared to those getting 8 hours a night.
B – After two days of sleep deprivation, men had a 45% increase for high carbohydrate foods.
C – After 6 nights of sleep restriction, the rate of glucose from a glucose tolerance test was 40 percent slower. This means that sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance and as stated above, insulin and leptin resistance tend to go together and are predictors of obesity.
D – Those getting 5 hours and 15 minutes of sleep had a slower basal metabolism (by 114 calories per day), while losing about 2 pounds more muscle compared to those who had 7 hours and 25 minutes of sleep over 14 days. Remember, NPY has strong nutrient-partitioning effect and influence where those extra calories are stored.
In other words, lack of sleep induces muscle loss, slows your metabolism, increases your cravings for sweets, causes resistance in regards to insulin (and probably leptin), and increases your hunger hormones, while decreasing your fullness signals. If you feel like you’re always hungry, it might be time to get a little more shut eye.
Hunger Hormone Trigger #2: Stress
Stress increases the release of cortisol while increasing inflammation throughout the body. These things, over-time, can lead to an increased risk of leptin-resistance. In addition to that, CRH (released during stress) also stimulates NPY’s release. This release causes an increase nutrient partitioning to fat as opposed to muscle; this increase also causes the fullness signals to be delayed during eating. CRH also stimulates special neurons in the brain (Hypocretin Neurons) that increase excitability and generally cause issues with sleep causing a cycle of broken sleep and increased NPY.
Hunger Hormone Trigger #3: Dieting / Fasting
Last but not least with this trio is basic crash dieting or fasting. If you’ve ever experienced a yo-yo effect with your weight or have ever tried a crash diet only to re-gain all or most of the weight back, the imbalance between these hormones probably played a key role. For example, researchers had 50 overweight and obese participants go on a very-low calorie diet (an average of 550 calories per day) for 10 weeks. During this time, the average weight loss was 30 pounds, with most keeping off 18 of those pounds after a year. What the study showed though, was that leptin levels were 35% lower than would be predicted, while ghrelin levels were higher than predicted. This means that although the participants were able to keep the weight off, they were also hungrier more often and had a greater desire to eat, a year after the diet – and this was with diet coaching and counseling.
While the hormones that effect and control your hunger are numerous and complex, the three I’ve just discussed are keys to beginning to unravel this complicated system. There are many factors at play, beyond just your determination or plan to diet, and they are factors that many forget at times to even count as at play when they are frustrated about dieting.
Understanding why your body wants you to store fat – and why it will “tell” you to eat more or more often is one thing, but managing your hunger is a whole other beast that I plan to tackle in an article coming soon about key ways to control hunger.
There are numerous hormones that impact hunger in somehow with around 15 assuming a part in your general yearning levels. For this article, we will concentrate on the 3 noteworthy players: Leptin, Ghrelin, and Neuropeptide Y (NPY). These 3 hormones are the real players with regards to long and transient yearning levels.
Hunger Hormone #1: Leptin
Leptin likes to keep the amount of fat you have at a constant level. As such, we’ll give Leptin the nickname, “Leveling Leptin” and say that it likes to act as a thermostat with regards to your body fat.
Leveling Leptin is primarily released from your fat cells and acts on your brain to tell your body how many calories you’re taking in. When the amount of calories you’re eating equals the amount of calories you’re burning, leptin stays at a constant level and “fullness signals” tell your brain not to overeat or under-eat. When you go on a diet, especially a crash diet, leptin levels will drop and the “fullness” signal does not get to your brain as strong or as often. This causes an increase in hunger, as “Leveling Leptin” tries to save you from starvation, or your body’s perceived starvation.
Leptin in essence is trying to save your life, which, a couple of hundred years ago, was essential for survival. But, in today’s society with more than enough food, what you get is an increased desire to eat. How well you deal with these lower leptin levels and concurrent higher hunger signal can often have a huge impact on how effectively you keep the weight off in the long-run. In addition to hunger, Leptin also has a powerful effect on your overall metabolism, exerting effect on your thyroid hormones. Leptin influences both the total amount of thyroid hormone released and how effectively you convert inactive T4 to the active T3.
Besides the overall amount of leptin given off by fat cells, how well your brain reacts to the leptin signals (leptin sensitivity) plays an important factor in overall body fat levels and obesity. For example, both Insulin and Leptin tend to be released during a high-carbohydrate meal. Both of these hormones in unison help to shuttle the glucose in your blood into either fat or muscle cells (insulin), while leptin tells your brain that you’re full and you don’t need to eat more.
When your cells are not reacting to the signals being sent, then you are said to have some sort of resistance. When someone has insulin and leptin resistance (as they tend to go hand and hand) it means your cells do not react appropriately to the signals being sent. Therefore, both glucose and insulin stay in your blood longer, blunting fat loss. Leptin, meanwhile, is not getting to your brain causing its “fullness signal” not to be heard, putting you into a potential vicious cycle of hunger and over-eating.
Hunger Hormone #2: Ghrelin
I first heard of Ghrelin during a presentation by Dr. Len Kravitz where he described this hormone as being elevated every time you’re hungry. As such, the nickname he used and that I’ll use in this article is “Growling Ghrelin.” Growling Ghrelin is an appetite-inducing hormone and when its levels are high, you crave something sweet, which after you eat will help lower your “Growling Ghrelin” levels. Ghrelin levels are high before a meal and drop after a meal.
Hunger Hormone #3: Neuropeptide Y (NPY)
As powerful as growling ghrelin is on appetite, NPY may be even stronger. For example, rats given an injection of NPY will crave sugar water over sex. The primary trigger for its release is calorie restriction and, specifically, low leptin levels. If you’ve ever seen someone eat a massive amount of food at one sitting, it was probably due to NPY’s effects, as NPY’s primary job is to delay the feeling of fullness throughout a meal. In other words, high NPY levels will decrease the feeling of fullness from a meal. In addition to appetite-inducing reactions in the body, NPY also has nutrient partitioning effects which tells your body where and how to store extra calories as either fat or muscle. Basically high levels of NPY will not only cause you to be less full from the meals you eat, but the calories you eat will be preferentially stored as fat. Leptin helps to inhibit the firing of NPY, shutting off the signal to eat.6
Leveling Leptin tells your body that it’s full and when it’s high you feel full and satisfied from eating. When you have Leptin resistance, your body is not accurately reading those signals of fullness causing you to be hungrier, more often.
Growling Ghrelin and NPY both increase appetite and when they are chronically high, you have an increased appetite, crave sweets, tend to eat more at meals, and have an increased risk of storing the calories you eat as fat.
With cold and flu season right around the corner, everyone should be educating themselves on how to protect themselves. You may notice that people are starting to get sick around you; all it takes is for one person to sneeze or cough next to you, and before you know it you’re sick, too.
It is important to use precaution, and do your best to avoid germs. Practice good hygiene, drink fluids, get enough sleep, exercise, and take your vitamins. Most importantly, make sure that you are eating the right foods.
Jess Dyer, in-house nutritionist at Graze, explains that it is important to eat a lot of slow-cooked meals, such as soups and broths, that contain plenty of vegetables. It is a “wonderful way to keep yourself nourished and your immune system supported,” she adds.
Foods that contain vitamin C, such as lemons and fresh peppers, are also good options; vitamin C “helps our bodies fight off infection,” Dyer says.
According to statistics, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population will get the flu, on average, each year. On average, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of problems pertaining to the flu, and 3,000 to 49,000 people in the U.S. die each year from flu-related causes.
Do your best to avoid contracting the cold and flu by eating the right foods. Here are 15 foods that help prevent a cold and the flu.
- Garlic and Onions
- Soup and stews
- Lemon and ginger
- Citrus fruit
- Vitamin C
- Oily fish
- Coconut Oil
Steak and potatoes, fish noodle goulash, fried eggs with toast – these great American suppers are additionally exemplary cases of why the Standard American Diet is making us fatter and more inclined to infection. Subsequent to eating one of those customary American suppers, you may encounter bloating or feel gassy, got dried out or tired. No big surprise! They disregard every one of the standards of food combining.
Many diet companies, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, tell you to eat less and exercise more, with little regard to what you actually combine together in your stomach. What they don’t know is that what happens in your stomach and digestive tract is important and can be the key to long-term health and weight loss!
Many years ago, our ancestors worked hard at physical jobs and returned home each day to eat big meals of meat, breads, cheeses, and even sweets with no adverse effects. They had iron stomachs and digested everything. Our ancestors also had healthier inner ecosystems. A healthy inner ecosystem is made up of the friendly microflora (good bacteria) that reside in our intestines and keep us healthy and strong. A healthy inner ecosystem also means more beneficial microflora helping you digest the foods you eat.
Over time, the introduction of antibiotics, pasteurization, and processed foods, along with a lifestyle of constant stress, has damaged our inner ecosystems. An unhealthy inner ecosystem can lead to fatigue, poor health, and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently.
Today, more than ever, we need to take extra special care of our bodies because they have never been more under-nourished and over-stressed.
The good news is that you can eat your way to better health — and achieve a naturally slim body at the same time. The Body Ecology system of health and healing teaches that it’s more than just what you eat; it’s also how you eat. The “how” is indeed just as important, and Body Ecology provides a roadmap for how to eat your way to healt.
Food combining is the little-known secret to eating that enhances your digestion to give you energy and to help you lose weight and keep it off.
The way toward processing every supper takes a lot of vitality, so you need to expand your capacity to process or your “stomach related fire.” But what happens if your absorption is not working appropriately, similar to such a large number of Americans today?
The undigested sustenance remains in your stomach related tract and festers, making a poisonous domain that makes your blood more acidic and permits yeast, infections, disease cells, and parasites to develop inside you. Generally, your internal biological system is harmed, and you are more inclined to ailment.
Appropriate nourishment consolidating is an arrangement of eating sustenances that join together productively to help absorption so that your stomach related tract does not need to work so difficult to give you the supplements you requirement for vitality. You can take in the nuts and bolts with three basic rules.
1. Eat Fruits Alone on an Empty Stomach
For anyone just starting on the Body Ecology program, we recommend avoiding most fruits — they have a high concentration of natural sugars that encourage the growth of yeast and other pathogens.
The exceptions are sour fruits like lemons and limes, unsweetened juices from cranberries and black currants, and pomegranates. These fruits are very low in sugars and are safe to eat, even in the initial, more limited phase of the program.
Once your inner ecosystem is restored (usually within three months of remaining on Stage 1 of The Diet), you can introduce other low-sugar fruits like grapefruit and kiwis, as well as pineapple, blueberries, and strawberry. These sour fruits combine best with kefir and yogurt made from milk and sprouted seeds and nuts. Nuts, seeds, and dairy foods including cheese are called “protein fats” because they truly are a protein and a fat combined together by nature.
In the kitchen: Start your morning with a glass of warm water and lemon juice to hydrate your body and cleanse and tone your digestive system. Lemon and lime juice can be eaten with animal protein for flavor and to enhance digestion.
2. Eat Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables and/or Ocean Vegetables
When you eat proteins like poultry, fish, meat, and eggs, your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment. When you eat starches like potatoes or bread, your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin to create an alkaline condition.
If you eat proteins and starches together, they tend to neutralize each other and inhibit digestion. The poorly-digested food travels through the digestive tract, reaching the intestines, where it putrefies and causes your blood to become acidic. It also provides a welcome environment for disease-causing pathogens!
To keep this from happening, avoid combining proteins and starches (including grains, like rice, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes) in the same meal. Instead, have non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables with your protein meals to achieve optimal digestion. Taking digestive enzymes can also help the body to better break down protein at each meal.
Non-starchy vegetables include: Leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, bok choy, cabbage, celery, lettuces, green beans, garlic, fennel, onions, chives, turnips, sprouts, red radish, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, beets.
Non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables digest well in acid or alkaline environments, so they go with anything: proteins, oils and butter, grains, starchy vegetables, lemons and limes, and soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds.
In the kitchen: Pair poached fish with stir-fried vegetables, roasted chicken with a leafy green salad and/or a non-starchy vegetable soup. Or try a salad that has veggies that are steamed and chilled (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, plus also a variety of raw vegetables, like shredded carrots, cucumber, or yellow squash), with lightly grilled salmon and a lemon-garlicy dressing.
3. Eat Grains and Starchy Vegetables with Non-Starchy and/or Ocean Vegetables
There are four grain-like seeds on The Body Ecology Program: amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet. These ancient grains are high in protein, gluten-free, and rich in B vitamins, and they feed the beneficial bacteria in your inner ecosystem.
Starchy vegetables include: Acorn and butternut squash, lima beans, peas, corn, water chestnuts, artichokes, and red-skinned potatoes (red-skinned potatoes are the only potatoes included in the Body Ecology program because they have fewer sugars than other kinds of potatoes).
In the kitchen: Make hearty millet casserole with a green leafy salad and yellow squash sautéed in butter. Or try acorn squash stuffed with curried quinoa with the ocean vegetable hijiki and onions. Warming grain soups are also good, especially in winter.
Our new Body Ecology Living Cookbook is full of fresh, healthy, healing, and delicious recipes, created by Donna Gates with the Food Combining Principle in mind. You can make flavorful dishes based on these food combining guidelines at home, like Salmon with Kale Soup, Marinated Corn Salad, Stir-fried Carrots with Lime and Cumin, Quinoa Pilaf, Turkey Burgers with Sweet Mustard Sauce, and more.