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10 Powerful Purple Vegetables You Should Be Eating — and Why

Purple veggies are delicious and pretty — and packed with nutrition. See why they should be on your plate.

Purple vegetables may be pretty, but they also have powerful health benefits. See why and get mouthwatering recipes for 10 purple vegetables.

The color purple often symbolizes royalty and magic. And lately, purple vegetables have been popping up in more places.

You might have seen shades of purple in your grocery store or local farmers’ market — from vibrant purple cauliflower to the darker skins of purple potatoes.

But are these colorful veggies really worth seeking out and including in your regular meals? Should you become passionate about naturally hued purple foods?

Let’s Take A Look At Why Some Vegetables Are Purple

Purple foods are nothing new. In fact, you’ve likely been eating some purple vegetables since childhood.

And purple veggies have been around for a long time. Some vegetables are naturally purple, like eggplant.

And some are purple because farmers bred them to be colorful, like purple cauliflower. For thousands of years, humans have been tweaking the genetics of foods — naturally!

The process is called selective breeding. Unlike genetically modifying foods, it’s a slower process. Farmers select and grow crops with desired traits over time.

Should You Eat More Purple Vegetables?

The deep purple color of fruits and veggies is usually a sign these foods have a good dose of antioxidants.

A particular type of antioxidant called anthocyanins gives plants (including flowers) their vivid violet colors. (They also give red foods, like tomatoes, and blue foods, like blueberries, their colors.)

Anthocyanins protect purple vegetables from sunlight damage, cold temperatures, and other stressors. And they attract pollinators, like bees and butterflies.

They also can help protect and heal your cells from damage and protect you from many lifestyle diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

For centuries, people have used anthocyanins in herbal medicines (from dried leaves, berries, roots, and seeds).

And mixtures and extracts with anthocyanins have been used for a wide range of health conditions. Including everything from hypertension and liver disorders to kidney stones and urinary tract infections — and the common cold.

4 More Reasons to Eat More Purple Foods

Anthocyanins have a wide range of health-promoting benefits.

Science is showing that they are:

  • Anti-Inflammatory — Anthocyanins have consistently been shown to reduce inflammation. Why is this important? Because chronic inflammation is one of the underlying causes of many diseases of our times. Including Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, heart disease, allergies, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and joint disease, depression, some types of cancer, and obesity.
  • Heart Healthy — Consuming a high amount of anthocyanins has been shown by a 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to improve many cardiovascular risk factors, including the ability to lower artery stiffness and lower blood pressure.
  • Anti-Cancer — Anthocyanins are associated with cancer prevention. For example, a 2013 study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research suggests that purple sweet potato may protect against colorectal cancer— the third most common cancer. And purple corn, though difficult to find, may have particularly potent cancer-fighting power. In research by Monica Giusti, Ph.D., purple corn showed significant blockage of colon cancer cells.
  • Good for Your Brain — A 2003 study published in the Archives of Pharmacal Research showed the memory-enhancing effects of eating purple sweet potatoes. Other research points to the ability of anthocyanins to help prevent age-related decline in the nervous system. And anthocyanins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and localize inside brain regions involved in learning and memory.

Researchers haven’t focused on anthocyanins as much as other flavonoids, so even more benefits could be found.

Are Purple Vegetables Healthier?

Some purple vegetables have more health benefits compared to the same veggies in other colors — at least for some nutrients.

For example:

  • Purple potatoes have four times as many antioxidants as Russet potatoes, due to the anthocyanins.
  • Compared to orange carrots, purple carrots have two times the amount of alpha and beta-carotene. (The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A — another important antioxidant that improves immunity and is good for eye health.)
  • Red cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants. And it’s been shown to have six to eight times more vitamin C than green cabbage.

Of course, you shouldn’t switch to only eating purple foods.

Eating a variety of colorful foods every day is best. But do include purple ones! And here’s how…

10 Purple Vegetables and How to Eat Them

Are you ready to play with more purple on your plate?

Even picky eaters might be tempted to try some of these colorful veggies.

1. Purple Cabbage — Also Known As Red Cabbage

You should be able to find purple cabbage fairly easily. And it’s one of the best healthy food bargains because it has the highest level of antioxidants per dollar.

Purple cabbage is also a cruciferous vegetable, so it gives you all the excellent health benefits of the brassica family — including fighting cancer, relief from depression, and more.

The leaves are thicker than green cabbage, but the taste is similar. You can easily substitute purple cabbage for green cabbage in recipes. You can even use purple cabbage to make visually appealing cabbage rolls with your favorite filling.

Purple cabbage goes well in salads. Try this Loaded Veggie Chopped Salad from Veggie Inspired.

This beautiful chopped salad is a perfect way to eat the rainbow. Almost every color of the spectrum is represented, including a heap of beautiful purple cabbage.

If you want to avoid sweeteners, you can leave the maple syrup out of the dressing. Or for an alternative, you can replace it with a soaked date and puree the dressing rather than whisk it together.

Or try this Red Cabbage Salad from Responsible Eating and Living. The homemade prune butter is easy to prepare and makes this salad extra special and delicious.

2. Purple Onion — You’ll Find Them Labeled As Red Onion

Next to purple cabbage, this is probably the most affordable and easiest-to-find purple vegetable out there.

A 2017 study published in Food Research International found that the combination of quercetin and anthocyanin makes purple (also known as red) onions powerful cancer-fighters.

You can use these onions in most recipes that call for sweet onions. The red onion may add color to your foods. For example, it will turn pickle brine hot pink.

Try this recipe for Easiest Quick Pickled Onions from What Great Grandma Ate.

Make some pickled onions and keep them in your fridge — they might even become one of the healthy staple foods you keep on hand all the time.

They add depth and flavor to many savory dishes. Add them to sandwiches in place of raw onions. Spoon them over chili. Or use them in your next Buddha bowl.

Fruit salsas are a versatile condiment. And they’re a great way to bring an abundance of flavor to any dish. You can scoop this pineapple salsa onto tacos, burgers, and salads.

3. Purple Carrots — Now Available in More Stores and Markets

You might be surprised to learn that carrots weren’t always orange.

They were domesticated in the Afghanistan region about a thousand years ago, at which time they were purple and yellow. Orange carrots didn’t arrive until the 1500s.

Purple carrots became available again because scientists discovered that purple carrots have special genes that orange carrots don’t. These genes make them more resistant to diseases and pests.

Purple carrots, ranging from dark violet to reddish-purple, can have an intensely sweet and sometimes peppery flavor.

They are a beautiful addition to salads and veggie plates — they have bright orange, yellow, or white cores when you cut them. But you can also cook them and use them in a variety of recipes without having a big impact on the flavor.

Try this recipe for Za’atar Spiced Rainbow Carrots from Plants-Rule.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of zingy sumac, protein-packed sesame seeds, and earthy thyme. You can find za’atar spice mix at most grocery stores in the spice section, make your own blend, or order it online.

4. Purple Cauliflower — Bright and Beautiful

This purple vegetable is showing up on more and more store shelves, as consumer demand for purple foods has increased. (You might also see lime green and orange-colored cauliflower.)

Purple cauliflower has 15% more antioxidants than the world-famous antioxidant-superstar, kale.

Purple cauliflower retains its color after cooking, and it’s said to have a milder flavor than white cauliflower, with a slightly sweeter, nuttier taste.

Cut it up and add it to salads for a delicious crunch.

Try this recipe for Ginger Raw Slaw with Beet and Cauliflower from Trinity’s Kitchen.

This salad has an irresistible red wine color. You can even turn this slaw into a main dish by serving it over quinoa or your favorite whole grain.

If you want to avoid sweeteners, you can leave out the raisins and the coconut nectar in the dressing. And be sure to choose organic or non-GMO versions of tamari or shoyu.

5. Purple Kale — More Intense Flavor Than Green or Black Kale

You may have seen purple kale, with its green leaves and purple stems. This veggie is grown for eating but also for ornamental purposes (many people find it stunningly beautiful).

Young, tender purple kale can be used in salads. And the more mature leaves are best when cooked (steaming works well).

Try this gorgeous Purple Kale and Pansy Salad from The View from Great Island.

When making this kale salad, be sure to remove the entire stem and spine from the leaves because they can be a little tough to chew. You can also massage the kale with the dressing with your hands to make it easier to chew.

If you want, you can use another sweetener in place of the honey, or leave it out. And to make it oil-free, leave out the oil.

6. Purple Potatoes — Purple Majesty, Purple Viking, and Purple Peruvian

Are purple potatoes healthy?

Substituting purple potatoes for white or yellow potatoes can also give you some anti-inflammatory benefits.

See more about the purple potato effect in this video from Michael Greger, MD:

Purple potatoes can also be heart-healthy. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that they can help lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Purple potatoes are usually smaller than regular potatoes. And you should keep the skin on the get the most benefits.

Try this Purple Potato Salad from Kimberly Snyder.

This bright purple potato salad has a creamy avocado dressing. Plus, even more, purple power from the red (purple) onions.

And don’t worry about leaving this on the counter or table for a few hours. The acid from the mustard and the lemon juice will keep the dressing green as it sits.

7. Purple Sweet Potatoes — A Spectacularly Healthy Choice

Vibrant on the inside, purple potatoes are a dietary staple food in Okinawa— an island off the coast of Japan that is a blue zone (one of the regions where people live the longest and healthiest lives).

Okinawans’ long lives are credited primarily to their whole-foods, plant-based diet. But purple sweet potatoes are part of what makes them so healthy. In fact, traditionally, Okinawans derived up to 60% of their total calories from sweet potatoes.

Purple sweet potatoes have a similar taste to orange sweet potatoes, but they’re a bit less sweet. They have a lower glycemic rating, which is particularly good for diabetics and pre-diabetics.

And here’s a cool fact: Food chemists are using purple potatoes as a natural food dye and an alternative to toxic, synthetic food dyes.

Try these Purple Sweet Potato Patties from Green Evi.

These versatile purple veggie burgers can be eaten hot or cold.

Or try this Slow Cooker Purple Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew from Lucy at Baking Queen 74.

This cozy stew is easy to make and could be a perfect dinner. The recipe calls for a particular vegetable bouillon powder, but you can substitute your preferred bouillon or vegetable broth.

8. Purple Asparagus — Sweeter And A Beautiful Violet Color

The purple variety is less bitter and slighter sweeter than green asparagus. Enjoy it raw in salads (sprinkle with lemon juice or vinegar to boost the color) or cooked (though it loses most of its purple color when heated.)

Try this Shaved Purple Asparagus Salad from Strength and Sunshine.

Strips of purple asparagus are perfect alongside buckwheat noodles (which can be found gluten-free) in an Asian-inspired vinaigrette.

If you want, you can replace the oil in the dressing with an extra teaspoon of brown rice vinegar. Also, be sure to choose organic or non-GMO corn when shopping for this salad.

9. Purple Brussels Sprouts — Fun If You Can Find Them

While they are hard to grow and can be difficult to find, purple Brussels sprouts have an almost-broccoli-like sweetness.

The purple color won’t be lost during cooking (though it will fade). But be careful not to overcook because the leaves aren’t as tightly packed so this variety won’t take as long as the green ones.

Try roasting or steaming them.

10. Eggplant — A Glossy, Purple Food

A more exciting vegetable than you probably think, eggplant can add toothsome texture and flavor to your meals.

The anthocyanins and other nutrients are in the skin. So be sure to keep the skin on when using eggplant. Also, make sure it’s ripe. The ripe eggplant is a bit soft to the touch and white (not green) on the inside.

Try this Eggplant “Parmesan” Made with Pecans from Katie Mae at Plantz St.

Instead of breading and deep-frying eggplant slices, this plant-based eggplant “parmesan” gets its crunch from broiled potatoes.

Or try this Quick & Easy Ratatouille from A Virtual Vegan.

Ratatouille is a comfort food and a great way to enjoy eggplant and other delicious veggies. Use it as a sauce, serve it as a side dish, or spoon it over a baked potato or sweet potato.

When shopping for this recipe, keep an eye out for organic or non-GMO zucchini because conventional zucchini can sometimes be genetically modified.

How to Find Purple Foods

Look for purple vegetables at grocery stores, natural foods stores, and your local farmers’ market.

In addition to the veggies above, you might see others, like purple spinach, purple artichoke, and purple kohlrabi — or even purple snow peas.

But if you want to avoid GMOs, consider that some purple tomatoes are genetically modified. (However, not all purple tomatoes are GMO. For example, one type, Indigo Rose tomatoes, is naturally bred to be purple. So they aren’t genetically modified.)

To avoid purple GMO tomatoes, be sure to choose organic or organic seeds if you want to grow them — (although many growers aren’t impressed with growing the Indigo Rose tomatoes).

And if you have a hard time finding purple foods, don’t panic.

Many of the purple vegetables on this list have non-purple counterparts that also offer wonderful health benefits. If you only have veggies of other colors, you can still make recipes that call for the blue-violet varieties.

Even without that pop of purple, you’ll end up with a delicious, healthy, plant-powered dish. Eating more veggies of any color is always a win!

More Reason to Eat Them — Purple Vegetables Support Biodiversity

Eating purple also supports biodiversity.

Industrial agriculture tends to favor single varieties of vegetables like orange carrots, russet potatoes, or white cauliflower. Vegetables are bred for uniformity using monocropping, rather than for diversity.

This practice puts our food security at risk. A particular pest or disease could come along that wipes out a particular variety. And if that variety is all there is, it could have a damaging impact on food supplies.

Seed diversity contributes to a more resilient food system for all.

Purple Power!

Purple isn’t only the color for royalty. Now you can see why everyone can benefit from eating more purple foods.

If you love purple as much as I do — or you just want to liven up your plate — how will you add more purple foods to your meals?

By Ocean Robbins | Healthy Holistic Living

Food Revolution Network is committed to healthy, ethical, and sustainable food for all. Guided by John and Ocean Robbins, with more than 700,000 members and with the collaboration of many of the top food revolutionary leaders of our times, Food Revolution Network aims to empower individuals, build community, and transform food systems to support healthy people and a healthy planet.




How to Buy Fresh, Organic Food. And Why You Should.

With the accelerating deterioration in quality and reliability of the conventional food supply, one of the best steps anyone can take for health and preparedness is to increase purchases of food produced by regenerative farmers and small-scale artisans.

What follows is a summary of resources to help you find fresh food.

Any search should start with the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). WAPF is an international membership 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet through education, research, and activism.

The foundation operates on a system of local chapters — there are around 320 chapters in the U.S. and close to another 75 internationally. It is the primary responsibility of each chapter leader to locate sources of real food for both WAPF members and non-members who ask.

To find a WAPF chapter near you, go here.

Every December, WAPF also publishes its Shopping Guide, a comprehensive listing of sources for 30 food categories, including meat, dairy, poultry, ferments, and other nutritious foods. (Members receive the guide for free; non-members can purchase the guide for $3.)

With “Best,” “Good” and “Avoid” rankings, the guide strives to identify the healthiest foods consumers can purchase in health food stores, supermarkets, and farms, including foods that can be ordered by phone or online.

1. Websites to locate regenerative farms

For those who don’t live near a WAPF chapter or who live in a food desert with few (if any) local sources of nutrient-dense foods, here are websites listing regenerative farmers that include those who ship their products:

  • EatWild.com — Founded in 2001 to promote the benefits of eating meat, eggs, and dairy products from “100% grass-fed animals or other non-ruminant animals being fed their natural diets,” EatWild features a state-by-state-plus-Canada directory of local farmers who sell pasture-raised products direct to consumers. The website’s directory currently lists more than 1,400 pasture-based farms.
  • LocalHarvest.org — Local Harvest’s website has a directory listing “over 40,000 family farms and farmers markets along with restaurants and grocery stores that feature local food.” Local Harvest has listings for local farms, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, farmers markets, restaurants, groceries, pick-your-own produce, and farm stands.
  • FarmMatch.com — The FarmMatch site connects consumers looking for nutrient-dense food with local farmers and buyers clubs selling food from local farms. Many of the producers on FarmMatch will also ship their products.
  • RealMilk.com — This is the website for A Campaign for Real Milk, a project of the WAPF to establish universal access to raw milk. All farmers and food buyers clubs listed on the site provide raw dairy products — many also sell meat, poultry, eggs, produce, and other foods. WAPF has both a national and international directory of producers. For an interactive map, go here.
  • AzureStandard.com — Azure Standard markets the products of thousands of farmers and local businesses by providing a one-stop shop for people who have trouble finding organic, naturally produced foods locally. Azure delivers to drop points around most of the country and ships everywhere in the U.S. Go to azurestandard.com for more information.
  • PolyfaceFarms.com – One farm that needs no help to successfully market its products is the world-famous Salatin family farm, Polyface Farm, located in southwest Virginia — the farm ships beef, pork, poultry, and other nutrient-dense foods across the country to customers ordering through polyfaceyum.com.

2. Listings by certification organizations

For those interested in getting verification of standards that farmers adopt in raising livestock or growing produce, there are a number of certification organizations providing those services.

Consumers looking for grass-fed meat and dairy from grass-fed animals can go to AmericanGrassfed.org, the website of the American Grassfed Association (AGA). For a list of AGA-certified farms, go here. AGA certifies farms as “grass-fed” if the animals on the farm are:

  • Only fed grass and forage from weaning until harvest.
  • Never treated with antibiotics or added growth hormones.
  • Raised on pasture without confinement.
  • Born and raised on American family farms.

The influence of industrial agriculture has diluted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) organic standards, especially for foods like dairy where giant confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — whose cows rarely or ever are out on pasture — nevertheless obtain USDA organic certification.

The RealOrganicProject.org (ROP) was formed to add on requirements to the current USDA standards to restore the term “organic” to its original intent. ROP has certified 850 “real organic” farmers. To view the list, go here.

Other certification organizations with listings for sources of wholesome foods include:

  • AGreenerWorld.org, which has listings for a variety of certifications with a directory page by “types of outlets” and product categories.
  • CertifiedHumane.org, which has a listing of retailers and producers of specific foods produced through humane farming practices.
  • Certified.NaturallyGrown.org, which has a listing by state of producers that avoid GMO (genetically modifies organism) feeds and “any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides” as inputs for their operations.

Types of operations include producing, livestock, harvesting mushrooms, aquaponics, and honey beekeeping. CNG also publishes the Guide to Exceptional Markets to promote “food co-ops, grocers, and farmers markets” featuring CNG producers.

3. More local connections

  • Edible Communities: Another network identifying sources of fresh food in over 90 cities via “independently owned, locally focused publications” is EdibleCommunities.com, which features stories on local farmers and food artisans. Restaurants and farmers’ markets are among the venues distributing free copies of Edible Communities magazines. Go here to see if a city you live in or near has an Edible.
  • Intentional communities: An “intentional community” is defined as “a small, localized community of persons or families presuming common interests or values, and usually sharing responsibilities.” The website ic.org lists over 1,100 intentional communities with farms in the U.S. and internationally.

Most of these communities allow visitors — a number of them such as Cobb Hill Farm in Hartland, Vermont, have a farm store where consumers can purchase nutritious produce, meat, dairy, and other foods.

  • Community-Supported Agriculture: Consumers can lock in a supply of farm-fresh food by subscribing to CSA programs. CSAs have been defined as a production and marketing model whereby consumers buy shares of a farm’s harvest in advance.

The CSA model is mostly used for production, but some CSAs offer meat, poultry products, eggs or other foods, or some combination of products and these other items. Under a produce CSA, subscribers prepay for a growing season to receive weekly distributions of produce — meat CSAs are often for a 6-month period, with winter and summer seasons for distribution to subscribers.

There are also multi-farm CSAs. This business model helps farms by improving their cash flow and by having consumers share in the risk of anything going wrong with the harvest. The subscriber isn’t guaranteed a specific amount of food, only that the share will be in proportion to the subscriber’s membership interest in the harvest. You can find a list of CSAs in your area on the Local Harvest website.

  • Farmers markets and farm stores: Aside from going to the farm, there are a number of other local venues where consumers can obtain farm foods as well as foods from local artisans, notably farmers’ markets. A good farmers market will have a broad array of producers selling quality meat, poultry, dairy, produce, ferments, and baked goods, among other foods.

Farmers markets are booming in many areas of the country, and the National Farmers Market Directory maintains a U.S. listing online by state. State farmers’ market associations, state departments of agriculture websites, and your local agricultural extension agents are other sources of information about farmers’ markets.

For farmers who don’t have the time or inclination to set up at a farmers market, a farm store variation is increasingly taking root. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, for example, local farmers and artisans stock the store shelves at the Argus Farm Stop themselves and receive 75% of the sale proceeds. The owners at Argus have trained others around the country in adopting this promising model to increase small-farm revenues and access to quality locally produced food in what amounts to a year-round, all-day farmers market.

Food Cooperatives: Another venue where consumers can find farm-fresh products are food cooperatives: “A food co-op is essentially a grocery store that’s owned by the people that shop there. Members get to decide what foods and products are stocked on the shelves, where those items are purchased, and what quality standards both products and vendors have to meet.”

A national list of food co-ops is maintained by CoopDirectory.org. Before joining a co-op, do your due diligence to find out how much emphasis the co-op places on purchasing food from local farmers and artisans.

  • Buyers Clubs: Food buyers clubs distributing food directly from the farm usually have a less formal operation than food co-ops. Instead of a brick-and-mortar business where members own stock in the co-op, buyers clubs often work out of members’ houses and the members pay an annual fee to belong to the club. If you live near a Weston Price Chapter, ask your chapter leader if there are any food buyers clubs in your area.
  • Food Hubs: A final venue, for the purposes of this story, is the food hub. The USDA defines a “food hub” as “a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional food producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail and institutional demand.”

Food hubs increase access and convenience for consumers wanting fresh food. There are currently around 300 food hubs in the U.S. A link to the USDA Food Hub Directory is posted at www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com.

4. Quality matters

The healthiest, highest quality food is generally found on the farm. The industrial-food-stocked supermarket, a post-World War II phenomenon, has contributed to the deterioration of the American people‘s health.

With industrial food and the pharmaceutical industry increasingly joined at the hip, the decline is only accelerating. Increasing purchases from small farmers and local artisans are the path to better health and stronger communities.

Anyone with questions about finding sources of fresh food can email foodseries@solari.com.

Originally published by The Solari Report.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.




All About Nuts: The Eight Healthiest Varieties

Do you want a quick, easy, no-prep snack that can keep you fueled on the go while reducing your risk of disease and death? It sounds nuts — and it is nuts!

If you are interested in maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, nuts are, quite simply, a food group you need in your life. Compact and convenient, in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and flavor profiles, nuts are an easy way to boost nutrition and energy levels without any preparation required.

Besides being portable and easy to consume, eating nuts has been shown to improve heart health and reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease.[i] Consumption of tree nuts and even peanuts (technically a legume, but nutritionally similar) has been significantly associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers[ii] and a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. These nutritional powerhouses are so potent, eating just a handful of nuts per day has been associated with a 20% reduced risk of death.[iii]

In this overview, we explore eight of the healthiest varieties of nuts on the planet. And unlike some exotic superfoods, these exemplars of nutritional potency are generally affordable and available anywhere food is sold. So, read on and discover the many reasons nuts are a great snack choice for keeping you well-fueled and satisfied throughout your busy days.

Eight Healthiest Varieties of Nuts

1. Walnuts

Walnuts not only look like bihemispheric “brains” in miniature but they have also been scientifically linked to better brain health. Walnuts are a significant source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, a nutritional requirement for optimal neurological functioning. Moreover, walnuts contain well-known neuroprotective compounds, such as gallic acid, vitamin E isomers, melatonin, folate, and polyphenols.

Another benefit of adding walnuts to your diet is better heart health. Walnuts have been shown to improve vascular endothelial function, which aids blood clotting, immune function, and platelet adhesion.

Other benefits of walnuts include beneficial microbiome enhancement, which has been linked to improved overall immunity and resistance to disease. There is even evidence that eating walnuts preserve youthful telomere strands, a key element in anti-aging. If you need more convincing, here are 13 reasons to eat more walnuts.

2. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are believed to have originated over 5,000 years ago in China. Today, nearly 100% of the U.S. crop is grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.[iv] While not as common a snack as many other nut varieties, hazelnuts pack a serious nutritional punch and a light, sweet flavor that should not be overlooked.

According to Nuts.com, “Hazelnuts have one of the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scores of any nut,” signifying high levels of antioxidants.[v] They also contain the highest proanthocyanidins concentration of any tree nut, with antioxidant capabilities that are 20 times more potent than vitamin C and 50 times more than vitamin E.[vi]

As further testament to the antioxidant power of this tiny tree nut, a hazelnut-enriched diet modulates oxidative stress and inflammation gene expression without weight gain.[vii] And dietary supplementation with hazelnut oil has been shown to reduce serum hyperlipidemia and slow the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.[viii]

3. Almonds

Almonds are a high-protein staple of many athletes and fitness buffs and for good reason. Clinical studies have shown that almond supplementation two hours before exercise can improve performance in endurance exercise in trained subjects.[ix]

Fitness enthusiasts and others who are intent on reducing fat in their diet need not shy away from indulging in a healthy handful of these little wonders. Almond supplementation in combination with a low-calorie diet has been shown to improve a preponderance of abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome while reducing hyperlipidemia,[x] the presence of high levels of fat in the blood.

Besides being good for your blood and your physical fitness, almond consumption may even reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.[xi] In fact, one of the best things you may be able to do for yourself is to simply eat 15 almonds per day. But don’t conflate almonds with almond milk, which can contain a measly 2% almonds but a lot of carrageenans, which have been linked to inflammation and colon disease.

4. Macadamias

Macadamia nuts are one of the more precious nut varieties on our list, depending on where you live and shop. Large, velvety, and exotic, macadamias are rich and flavorful with U.S. suppliers based almost exclusively in the Hawaiian Islands.

Studies on the health benefits of macadamia nuts once again show that eating fat from healthy sources like nuts will not make you fat, nor will it create problems with cholesterol. Quite the opposite; a macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL cholesterol in men and women with slightly elevated cholesterol.[xii]

Macadamia nuts are high in monounsaturated fat. When combined with a moderately low-fat diet, macadamias have produced beneficial effects on cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels when compared with a typical American diet. So ditch the chips and cookies; when you’re ready for a snack, fortify yourself with a handful of delicious macadamia nuts instead.

5. Pecans

Like most nut varieties, pecans are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Flaky and sweet, pecans are a favorite among Southerners (Georgia is one of the top-producing states in the U.S.) who use them in decadent desserts like pecan pie. While skipping the corn syrup and added sugar is best for your health, don’t skip on pecans.

If their delicious taste and inviting texture were not reason enough, studies on pecans have demonstrated a significant positive effect on cardiometabolic risk,[xiii] thus reducing the likelihood of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular (CV) disease and diabetes mellitus.

Pecans have significant antioxidant activity,[xiv] possibly due to their high vitamin E content, a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. They have also been shown in clinical studies on mice to support brain health by slowing down the progression of motor-neuron degeneration.[xv]

6. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are large tree nuts native to the Amazon rainforest. Besides their satisfying taste and texture (did I mention size?) brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the vital nutrient selenium.[xvi]

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is only found in certain foods. Low levels of selenium have been linked to fatigue and brain fog, as well as more serious deficiencies such as thyroid problems, immune system dysfunction, infertility, and cognitive decline.[xvii]

Increasing selenium levels via Brazil nut supplementation has been associated in clinical trials with improvement in thyroid hormone levels,[xviii] as well as significantly improving blood levels of selenium and glutathione peroxidase in kidney patients undergoing dialysis.

Eating Brazil nuts can also improve your mood. Results of a clinical trial of adults suffering from anxiety showed that the group that was supplemented with 100 micrograms (mcg) of selenium per day for five weeks had less anxiety than the placebo group. According to the report, the lower the level of selenium in the diet, the higher the levels of anxiety, depression, and tiredness among patients, all of which decreased following five weeks of selenium therapy.[xix]  

The recommended RDA for adults is at least 55 mcg of selenium each day. Eating just a few Brazil nuts each day will keep your selenium tank filled up and make sure you have the benefits of a good mood and sufficient energy to tackle your day.

7. Cashews

Cashews are easily one of America’s favorite nuts. This is one snack food fad that actually works. The incorporation of cashews into typical American diets could decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.[xx] Cashews have the honorable distinction of also being anti-cancer: cashews contain an anticancer catechol, which has demonstrated activity against drug-resistant cancer cell lines.

Cashews may even be able to help the body in utero. In a 2017 animal study, pregnant mice who were fed a cashew supplement produced offspring with more highly matured reflexes and better memory than mice, not fed cashews.

Essential fatty acids are indispensable during pregnancy, lactation, and infancy, and researchers believe that this nutritional boost positively influenced the transmission of nerve impulses and brain function to the offspring. Whether you’re pregnant or not, eating cashews can be a satisfying way to get the essential fatty acids and dietary fiber that you need each day to enjoy optimal health.

8. Pistachios

Pistachio nuts may come in a shell, but they are worth the effort. These small, flavorful nuts are actually the seeds of the Pistacia vera tree, and they are packed with enough nutrients to make them worth the bit of work required.

Pistachios are a potent source of essential B vitamins, including B6, which are vital to a healthy central nervous system.[xxi] Pistachios also promote heart-healthy blood lipid levels thanks to their fatty acid content that helps maintain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity in the body. Studies have shown that a pistachio-enriched and walnut-enriched diet could lower triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol,[xxii] adding to the heart-centric benefits of this delicious snack.

Don’t worry about overdoing it; 1 ounce of pistachios has less than 160 calories and is actually quite a robust serving of 49 to 50 nuts. So, go ahead and indulge in a handful (or two). Your heart will thank you for it.

To learn more about the health benefits of eating nuts, consult the GreenMedInfo.com natural health database with more than 300 abstracts on nut research.

References [i] Nerea Becerra-Tomás, Indira Paz-Graniel, Cyril W C Kendall, Hana Kahleova, Dario Rahelić, John L Sievenpiper, Jordi Salas-Salvadó. Nut consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutr Rev. 2019 Oct 1 ;77(10):691-709. PMID: 31361320 [ii] Lang Wu, Zhen Wang, Jingjing Zhu, Angela L Murad, Larry J Prokop, Mohammad H Murad. Nut consumption and risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2015 Jul;73(7):409-25. PMID: 26081452 [iii] Maira Bes-Rastrollo, Nicole M Wedick, Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, Tricia Y Li, Laura Sampson, Frank B Hu. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1913-9. Epub 2009 Apr 29. PMID: 19403639 [iv] Nuts.com, Nuts, Hazelnuts (Filberts), https://nuts.com/nuts/hazelnuts. Accessed 4/22/2020 [v] Nuts.com, Nuts, Hazelnuts (Filberts), https://nuts.com/nuts/hazelnuts. Accessed 4/22/2020 [vi] Nuts.com, Nuts, Hazelnuts (Filberts), https://nuts.com/nuts/hazelnuts. Accessed 4/22/2020 [vii] Laura Di Renzo, Giorgia Cioccoloni, Sergio Bernardini, Ludovico Abenavoli, Vincenzo Aiello, Marco Marchetti, Andrea Cammarano, Iraj Alipourfard, Ida Ceravolo, Santo Gratteri. A Hazelnut-Enriched Diet Modulates Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Gene Expression without Weight Gain. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019;2019:4683723. Epub 2019 Jul 4. PMID: 31354906 [viii] Jen-Her Lu, Kai Hsia, Chih-Hsun Lin, Chien-Chin Chen, Hsin-Yu Yang, Ming-Huei Lin. Dietary Supplementation with Hazelnut Oil Reduces Serum Hyperlipidemia and Ameliorates the Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Hamsters Fed a High-Cholesterol Diet. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 14 ;11(9). Epub 2019 Sep 14. PMID: 31540081 [ix] Laura Esquius, Ramon Segura, Guillermo R Oviedo, Marta Massip-Salcedo, Casimiro Javierre. Effect of Almond Supplementation on Non-Esterified Fatty Acid Values and Exercise Performance. Nutrients. 2020 Feb 27 ;12(3). Epub 2020 Feb 27. PMID: 32121011 [x] David J A Jenkins, Cyril W C Kendall, Augustine Marchie, Andrea R Josse, Tri H Nguyen, Dorothea A Faulkner, Karen G Lapsley, Jeffrey Blumberg. Almonds reduce biomarkers of lipid peroxidation in older hyperlipidemic subjects. J Nutr. 2008 May;138(5):908-13. PMID: 18424600 [xi] Michelle A Lee-Bravatti, Jifan Wang, Esther E Avendano, Ligaya King, Elizabeth J Johnson, Gowri Raman. Almond Consumption and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Adv Nutr. 2019 Jun 27. Epub 2019 Jun 27. PMID: 31243439 [xii] Amy E Griel, Yumei Cao, Deborah D Bagshaw, Amy M Cifelli, Bruce Holub, Penny M Kris-Etherton. A macadamia nut-rich diet reduces total and LDL-cholesterol in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2009 Mar;104(3):206-10. Epub 2009 Jan 21. PMID: 18356332 [xiii] Diane L McKay, Misha Eliasziw, C Y Oliver Chen, Jeffrey B Blumberg. A Pecan-Rich Diet Improves Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 11;10(3). Epub 2018 Mar 11. PMID: 29534487 [xiv] Chatrapa Hudthagosol, Ella Hasso Haddad, Katie McCarthy, Piwen Wang, Keiji Oda, Joan Sabaté. Pecans acutely increase plasma postprandial antioxidant capacity and catechins and decrease LDL oxidation in humans. J Nutr. 2011 Jan;141(1):56-62. Epub 2010 Nov 24. PMID: 21106921 [xv] UMass Lowell, News, Stories, 2009-10, Shea Pecan Study, Pecans Provide Neurological Protection, https://www.uml.edu/news/stories/2009-10/shea_pecan_study.aspx. Accessed 4/22/2020. [xvi] Christine D Thomson, Alexandra Chisholm, Sarah K McLachlan, Jennifer M Campbell. Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Feb;87(2):379-84. PMID: 18258628 [xvii] Shreenath AP, Dooley J. Selenium Deficiency. [Updated 2020 Mar 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482260/ [xviii] Milena Barcza Stockler-Pinto, Juan Jesús Carrero, Luciene De Carvalho Cardoso Weide, Silvia Maria Franciscato Cozzolino, Denise Mafra. EFFECT OF SELENIUM SUPPLEMENTATION VIA BRAZIL NUT (BERTHOLLETIA EXCELSA, HBK) ON THYROID HORMONES LEVELS IN HEMODIALYSIS PATIENTS: A PILOT STUDY. Nutr Hosp. 2015 Oct 1;32(4):1808-12. Epub 2015 Aug 1. PMID: 26545554 [xix] Benton D., Cook R. The impact of selenium supplementation on mood. Biol Psychiatry. 1991 Jun 1;29(11):1092-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372 [xx] Eunice Mah, Jacqueline A Schulz, Valerie N Kaden, Andrea L Lawless, Jose Rotor, Libertie B Mantilla, DeAnn J Liska. Cashew consumption reduces total and LDL cholesterol: a randomized, crossover, controlled-feeding trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar 29. Epub 2017 Mar 29. PMID: 28356271 [xxi] Hernández-Alonso P, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Pistachios for Health: What Do We Know About This Multifaceted Nut?. Nutr Today. 2016;51(3):133–138. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000160 [xxii] Kai Liu, Suocheng Hui, Bin Wang, Kanakaraju Kaliannan, Xiaozhong Guo, Linlang Liang. Comparative effects of different types of tree nut consumption on blood lipids: a network meta-analysis of clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Nov 27. Epub 2019 Nov 27. PMID: 31773150

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.



Top Tips for a Healthier 2022 | Dr. Joseph Mercola

Source: Mercola.com

Story at-a-glance

  • The start of a new year is often a good time to take stock and plan out beneficial lifestyle changes. Included are 22 tips for making 2022 your healthiest year yet
  • Top tips include optimizing your vitamin D, targeting your immune system with immune-boosting nutraceuticals, treating COVID symptoms early, improving your liver health, protecting your vision and combating inflammation and autoimmune diseases
  • Items to eliminate include processed foods high in seed oils and processed sugar, as well as electromagnetic field exposures, freedom of speech robbers such as Google and Facebook, and toxic clothing
  • Items to add include magnesium, collagen, filtered water, vision-enhancing nutrients, osteoporosis-busting exercise and healthy sleep

The start of a new year is often a good time to take stock and plan out beneficial lifestyle changes. Here are 22 tips for making 2022 your healthiest year yet. How many have you incorporated so far, and which ones can you add to your toolbox for the coming year?

Tip 1: Optimize Your Vitamin D

Vitamin D optimization is an absolute foundational strategy for fighting infections as it bolsters the first line of defense of your immune system. Ideally, test your vitamin D level twice a year, in the winter and summer, to make sure you’re in a healthy range of 60 ng/mL to 80 ng/mL year-round. (A compelling body of research suggests 40 ng/mL is the cutoff for sufficiency.)

Vitamin D can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections by reducing the survival and replication of viruses, reducing inflammatory cytokine production, maintaining endothelial integrity and increasing ACE2 concentrations, which helps lower COVID-19 severity.

If your vitamin D levels are not optimal and you come down with COVID, it is best to take 0.5 mcg of calcitriol on the first day and then 0.25 mcg for a week, as this is the active form of vitamin D. Merely swallowing regular vitamin D capsules will not help with COVID for one to two weeks, which is why you must add calcitriol.

You can learn more about the mechanisms behind vitamin D in my June 2020 scientific report, available on StopCovidCold.com. October 31, 2020, I also published a scientific review1 in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients — “Evidence Regarding Vitamin D and Risk of COVID-19 and Its Severity” — co-written with William Grant, Ph.D., and Dr. Carol Wagner, both of whom are part of the GrassrootsHealth expert vitamin D panel. You can read the paper for free here.

Tip 2: Up Your Intake of Key Immune-Boosting Nutrients

Many nutrients are known for their immune-boosting properties and ability to ward against encapsulated RNA viruses such as influenza and coronaviruses. A number of them were identified and listed in a February 2020 article in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.2,3,4

A number of nutrients have also shown promise against the atypical symptoms associated with severe COVID-19, such as excessive, out of control inflammation and blood clots.

While these symptoms have become increasingly rare as the virus has mutated into milder strains (Omicron being a prime example), some early COVID-19 patients are still struggling with long-term symptoms, colloquially known as “long COVID.” For them, such nutraceuticals may be particularly helpful.

Here’s a summary of the nutritional supplements identified. (For suggested dosages, see the Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases paper.5)

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) — Encourages glutathione production, thins mucus, lowers your chances of influenza infection and reduces your risk of developing severe bronchitis.
Elderberry extract — Known to shorten influenza duration by two to four days and reduce the severity of the flu.
Spirulina — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies. In a human trial, spirulina significantly lowered the viral load in patients with HIV infection.
Beta-glucan — Reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
Glucosamine — Upregulates mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS), reduces severity of influenza infection severity and lowers influenza mortality in animal studies.
Selenium — Selenium deficiency increases the rate at which viruses can mutate, promoting the evolution of more pathogenic strains.
Zinc — Supports “effective function and proliferation of various immune cells,” lowering mortality in the elderly by 27%. If treating acute COVID, it’s best taken with quercetin (500 mg) to drive the zinc into the cell to limit viral replication.
Lipoic acid — Helps boost type 1 interferon response, which activate intracellular antimicrobial programs, thereby limiting viral spread between cells, and modulate your innate immune responses, restraining pro-inflammatory pathways and inhibiting cytokine production. They also activate your adaptive immune system.6
Sulforaphane — Helps boost type 1 interferon response.
Resveratrol — A 2005 study7 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found resveratrol has the power to inhibit the replication of influenza A virus, significantly improving survival in influenza-infected mice. According to the authors, resveratrol “acts by inhibiting a cellular, rather than a viral, function,” which suggests it “could be a particularly valuable anti-influenza drug.”

Tip 3: Treat COVID at FIRST Sign of Infection

Should you develop COVID symptoms, you simply MUST start treatment immediately. We now know early treatment is key for successful resolution of the infection. It could literally be the difference between life and death and I can’t stress that enough. It is far better to overtreat a cold like COVID than ignoring the symptoms and dismissing them.

There are several early treatment protocols available, most of which focus on similar remedies. I believe the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance’s (FLCCCs) protocol is among the most comprehensive. You can find a listing of doctors who can prescribe necessary medicines on the FLCCC website.

There, you can also find downloadable PDFs in several languages for prevention and early at-home treatment, the in-hospital protocol and long-term management guidance for long-haul COVID-19 syndrome.

A slightly revised version of the FLCCC protocol is below. I’ve altered some of the dosages, and added a few more therapies that they have yet to include, such as nebulized hydrogen peroxide and intravenous ozone.

FLCCC Alliance I-MASKplus Protocol

Tip 4: Optimize Your Health With Systemic Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins composed of individual amino acids necessary to speed up cellular functions and biological processes. Some of the bodily processes that require enzymes include energy production, oxygen absorption, toxic waste removal, breaking down fats in your blood, dissolving blood clots and fighting infections.

In the era of COVID, an enzyme called lumbrokinase may be of particular benefit, as it helps break down blood clots. If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past, and/or received one or more COVID injections, lumbrokinase may be helpful to prevent blood clotting issues.

Proteolytic enzymes such as lumbrokinase and serrapeptase serve to digest unwanted proteins in your blood, like blood clots. They also help combat inflammation and rebalance your immune system, facilitating the removal of inflammatory proteins, removing fibrin (a clotting material that restricts blood flow and prolongs inflammation), reducing edema in inflamed regions, and boosting the potency of macrophages and killer cells.

If you want these enzymes to work on the potentially damaging proteins in your blood and not the food in your stomach, you will need to take them on an empty stomach, either one hour before or two hours after a meal. Otherwise the enzymes will be used to digest your food and not work in your bloodstream.

Tip 5: Boost Your Liver Health With Choline

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition caused by an unhealthy processed food diet. Aside from cutting out processed foods high in sugars and seed oils, adding in more choline can be helpful, as it appears to be a key controlling factor in arresting the development of fatty liver.

It does this by enhancing secretion of very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles in your liver, which are required to safely transport fat out of your liver. Choline deficiency may result in excess fat and cholesterol buildup. Choline also aids in DNA synthesis and is important for healthy mitochondrial function.

Choline-rich foods to consider loading up on include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, krill oil, organic pastured chicken, vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, grass fed beef liver and pastured egg yolks.

A single hard-boiled egg can contain anywhere from 113 to 147 milligrams of choline, or about 25% of your daily requirement, making it one of the best choline sources in the American diet. Only grass fed beef liver beats it, with 430 milligrams of choline per 100-gram serving.

Tip 6: Eliminate ALL Seed (Vegetable) Oils

A compelling report in the journal Gastroenterology offers a radically novel yet logically sound explanation as to why some COVID-19 patients develop life-threatening organ failure, namely their high unsaturated fat intake. Since diet-related comorbidities are responsible for 94% of COVID-19-related deaths,8 taking control of your diet is a simple, common-sense strategy to lower the risks associated with this infection.

Simply put, high intake of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) — a primary source of which is industrial seed oils — is associated with increased mortality from COVID-19, while healthy saturated fats actually lower your risk of death.

Omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) makes up the bulk of the omega-6 consumed and is the primary contributor to nearly all chronic diseases, because when consumed in excessive amounts, LA acts as a metabolic poison radically limiting mitochondrial function and your ability to produce cellular energy.

The reason for this is because polyunsaturated fats such as LA are highly susceptible to oxidation. As the fat oxidizes, it breaks down into harmful sub-components such as advanced lipid oxidation end products (ALES) and oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMs). These ALES and OXLAMs are actually what cause the damage.

While excess sugar is certainly bad for your health and should typically be limited to 25 grams per day or less, it doesn’t cause a fraction of the oxidative damage that LA does. Processed vegetable oils are a primary source of LA, but even food sources hailed for their health benefits contain it, and can be a problem if consumed in excess. Cases in point: olive oil and conventionally raised chicken, which are fed LA-rich grains.

Tip 7: Boost Your Magnesium Intake

Magnesium is required for the healthy function of most cells in your body. Deficiency will impede your cellular metabolic function and deteriorate mitochondrial function, which can result in more serious health problems. Deficiency is widespread, thanks to inadequate consumption of leafy greens, so if you rarely eat your veggies, you could probably benefit from supplementation.

Having low amounts of magnesium has also been shown to significantly increase your supplemental vitamin D requirement. Research by GrassrootsHealth9 shows you need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day.

Your vitamin K2 intake can also affect your required vitamin D dosage. Data10 from nearly 3,000 individuals revealed 244% more oral vitamin D was required to get 50% of the population to achieve a vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if they weren’t concurrently also taking magnesium and vitamin K2. So, a simple way to optimize your vitamin D absorption is to take it in conjunction with magnesium and K2.

Foods with the highest magnesium levels include spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and romaine lettuce.

If you’re using a supplement, you may want to use magnesium threonate to provide at least some of your magnesium, as it appears to be most efficient at penetrating cell membranes, including your mitochondria and blood-brain barrier. Another effective way to boost your magnesium level is to take Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) baths, as the magnesium will effectively absorb through your skin.

Tip 8: Improve Your Bowel Evacuation

Healthy evacuation of your bowels is a factor that many tend to ignore. The good news is that improving your bowel function can be as simple as changing how you sit on the toilet. Your puborectalis muscle helps control elimination during a bowel movement and prevent incontinence when you’re standing.

However, when you sit on a typical toilet, this muscle cannot fully relax, which is why you may need to push or even strain in order to have a bowel movement. While squatting, however, the muscle relaxes fully, making elimination easier.

Squatting on the toilet bowl can help you eliminate waste better if you are constipated. But this requires strength, flexibility and balance, especially if you’re not used to this method. Other options include using a simple footstool to help you get into a more “squatty” position or leaning forward as you sit on the toilet, with your hands on or near the floor.

Tip 9: Combat Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. While inflammation is a perfectly normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, it leads to trouble when the inflammatory response gets out of hand and continues indefinitely.

Your diet plays a significant, if not primary, role in this chain of events and is the perfect place to start to address it. Certain nutritional supplements can also be helpful as add-ons. Here’s a summary of key principles:

Limit or eliminate vegetable oils (seed oils) — A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.

Eat more veggies — Vegetables are a key anti-inflammatory staple. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, though, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content. Some high- lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting.

Add in fermented foods — Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are other anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. A majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut as the result of an imbalanced microbiome.

Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchi, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives and other fermented vegetables will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. Ideally, you’ll want to eat a wide variety of them as each contains a different set of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

If you don’t like fermented vegetables, consider yogurt made from raw, organic milk from grass-fed cows. Yogurt has been shown to reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of your intestinal lining, thereby preventing toxins in your gut from crossing into your bloodstream.

Boost your omega-3 fat intake — Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins — such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies — are also important anti-inflammatories, particularly for brain and heart health. In fact, your omega-3 level is a powerful predictor of mortality. If you don’t enjoy these types of fish, consider using krill oil instead.

Cook with herbs and spices — Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are among the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients available and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness. Among the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs and spices are cloves, cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, apple pie and pumpkin pie spice mixtures, oregano, marjoram, sage, thyme and Italian spice.

Tip 10: Filter Your Water

While the U.S. has many water quality concerns, it doesn’t really matter where you live anymore, as many dangerous chemicals find their way into the ecosystem, spreading from one continent to another. This is why filtering your household water is more a necessity than an option these days.

Filtering your drinking water is good practice, but equally important is filtering the water you use for bathing. This is because immersing yourself in contaminated water may be even more hazardous to your health than drinking it.

Chemicals absorbed through your skin go directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your digestive and internal filtration systems. Unfiltered water can also expose you to dangerous chlorine vapors and chloroform gas, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, asthma, airway inflammation and respiratory allergies.

Unless you can verify the purity of your water, you should seriously consider installing a high-quality, whole-house water filtration system. Ideally, filter the water both at the point of entry and at the point of use. This means filtering all the water that comes into the house, and then filtering again at the kitchen sink and shower. As for the type of filtration system to get, there are various options, most of which have both benefits and drawbacks.

Common options include reverse osmosis (RO), ion exchange, and granular carbon or carbon block filters. Ideally, you want a filtration system that uses a combination of methods to remove contaminants, as this will ensure the removal of the widest variety of contaminants.

Tip 11: Reduce Your EMF Exposure

One of the most dangerous kinds of pollution affecting your health is the invisible sea of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) your body swims in daily, both outdoors and in your home. Common sources include cell phones, cell towers, computers, smart meters and Wi-Fi, to name just a few. Strategies to reduce your EMF exposure include:

Connect your computer to the internet via a wired connection and put it in airplane mode. Also opt for wired keyboards, trackballs, mice, printers and house phones.
If you must use Wi-Fi, be sure to shut it off whenever it’s not in use, especially at night.
Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your walls.
Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light.
Replace your microwave oven with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food quickly and far more safely.
Avoid “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling, including smart TVs. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as it doesn’t emit Wi-Fi.
Opt-out of smart meters if you can or add a shield to an existing smart meter.
Avoid using a wireless baby monitor. Instead, move the baby’s bed into your bedroom, or use a hard-wired monitor.
Remove all fluorescent lights from your home and switch to incandescent bulbs.
Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body unless it’s in airplane mode, and never sleep with it in your bedroom.
Use the speakerphone on your cell phone, and hold it at least 3 feet away from you. Ideally, use your cell phone as little as possible.

Even if you implement these strategies, you’re unlikely to eliminate all exposure, as EMFs saturate public places and can invade your home from your neighbors. To minimize the harmful effects, the following strategies can be helpful:

Increase your magnesium intake — As a natural calcium channel blocker, magnesium can help reduce the effects of EMF on your voltage-gated calcium channels. Since many are deficient in magnesium, I believe you could benefit from as much as 1 to 2 grams of magnesium per day.

Molecular hydrogen — Molecular hydrogen has been shown to target free radicals produced in response to radiation, such as peroxynitrites. Studies have shown molecular hydrogen can mitigate about 80% of this damage.

Molecular hydrogen will also activate Nrf2, a biological hormetic that upregulates superoxide dismutase, catalase and all the other beneficial intercellular antioxidants. This in turn lowers inflammation, improves your mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.

Protective spices — Cinnamon, cloves, ginger root, rosemary and turmeric have exhibited protective effects against EMF-induced damage.

Tip 12: Boost Your Collagen Production Naturally

Collagen is the most common and abundant of your body’s proteins. One of its primary purposes is to provide structural scaffolding for your various tissues to allow them to stretch while still maintaining tissue integrity.

As a compound of essential amino acids, there’s only one way to get collagen: Your body can’t produce it, so you must obtain it through your diet. Historically, traditional diets provided ample collagen in the form of broth made from boiled chicken feet or beef bones. These are by far your best alternatives.

If you decide to use a collagen supplement, it’s important to know what to look for. Laboratory testing has revealed many popular collagen and bone broth products contain potentially hazardous contaminants typically associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), so to avoid contaminants, make sure your collagen supplement is certified “100% Organic” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Moreover, collagen supplements can be either unhydrolyzed (undenatured) or hydrolyzed (denatured). The processing that most collagen supplements undergo to become hydrolyzed can also result in questionable byproducts that are best avoided. My personal preference is to use a less denatured (unhydrolyzed) organic collagen supplement, as it has a more balanced amino acid profile.

That said, I still believe the natural approach is best. Making homemade bone broth using bones and connective tissue from grass-fed, organically raised animals isn’t very complicated and will produce the best results.

Tip 13: Optimize Your Sleep

One of the most radical and recent discoveries revealing the importance of sleep for health is that each and every organ has its own biological clock. In your brain is a “master clock” that synchronizes these clocks and your bodily functions to match the 24-hour light and dark cycle.

When you upset your circadian rhythm by not getting enough sleep, the results can have far-reaching consequences, affecting everything from mood, creativity and brain detoxification to DNA expression, chronic disease risk — including dementia — and longevity. Helpful tips to optimize your sleep include:

Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible, to avoid lowering melatonin production, which can interfere with your sleep.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eliminate EMFs in your bedroom.
Keep all electronic devices at least 3 feet from your bed.
Adopt a neutral sleeping position by propping your pillow under your neck, not your head, to maintain a proper spinal curve.
Reserve your bed for sleeping and don’t keep a TV in your bedroom.
Consider separate bedrooms if sharing your bed with a partner impairs your sleep. Pets may also need to be kept in another room if they disturb your sleep.

Tip 14: Ditch Google and Facebook Once and for All

Over the years, the government and business monopolies, including the likes of Big Tech, have formed a global alliance hell-bent on protecting and concentrating member profits. The price for keeping business going as usual is personal liberty and freedom of speech that may impact these fascist government-industrial complexes.

In recent times, we’ve seen unprecedented efforts to censor natural health topics in various online platforms, especially Google and Facebook, under the guise of protecting you against “misinformation.”

By censoring the voices that challenge mainstream information on crucial health topics like pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, GMOs, pesticides, junk foods, artificial sweeteners and fake meat, Google and Facebook are able to protect the profits of its advertisers and stakeholders.

Across the board, Google only gives you the results they want you to see, while relevant articles and news they deem “harmful” are buried. Facebook, meanwhile, relies on so-called “fact-checkers” to dissuade and redirect users away from anything that contradicts the mainstream narrative. We now have proof that Facebook’s “fact checks” are nothing more than opinion pieces, thanks to a lawsuit by journalist John Stossel,11,12,13 but they’re still presented as assertions of facts.

If you’re fed up with Google’s and Facebook’s exploitation and manipulation, the best way to break free is by being informed. If we work together to boycott them, Google and Facebook will crumble.

We have added a built-in sharing tool on top of each newsletter article to make it easier for you to share it to your friends and family via email or text. And, while the articles on my website are only viewable for 48 hours, we are in the process of transferring our entire archive over to the Censored Library on Substack. This will allow us to bring back my previously deleted articles in a liability-protected format.

For just $5 a month, or the discounted annual rate of $50 per year, you will have access to all of my articles, all the time, even after they’ve been deleted from Mercola.com.

Tip 15: Protect Your Eye Health

Your ocular health affects your overall well-being, so routine eye exams are important health basics. Additionally, keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp by:

Removing trans fats from your diet — As with linoleic acid, processed foods and baked goods are primary sources of harmful trans-fats.

Removing high fructose corn syrup from your diet — High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your retina, obstructing blood flow, and a key strategy to normalize your blood pressure is to dramatically reduce your fructose intake.

High sugar intake is also a primary culprit of elevated blood sugar readings. High blood sugar not only obstructs blood flow by damaging blood vessels in your retina but also pulls fluid from the lens of your eye, which can affect your ability to focus. As a general guide, I recommend keeping your total daily fructose consumption below 25 grams a day, including fructose from fruit.

Eating your veggies — Consuming high amounts of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, can encourage healthy vision.

Boosting your omega-3 fat intake — Omega-3 fats protect healthy vision. Good sources include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, and anchovies. If you use a supplement, I recommend krill oil, which also contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.

Quitting smoking — Smoking increases free radical production throughout your body, putting you at risk for any number of health problems, including vision problems.

Aside from lutein and zeaxanthin, astaxanthin is one of the best antioxidants for eye health. It’s been shown to protect against a number of eye-related problems, including age-related macular degeneration, which is the No. 1 cause of blindness in the elderly, glaucoma, cataracts, inflammatory eye diseases, cystoid macular edema, retinal arterial occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, and venous occlusion.

Astaxanthin also helps maintain appropriate eye pressure, energy levels, and visual acuity. Because the above list includes several of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., this powerful antioxidant becomes increasingly important.

Tip 16: Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food has many rewards, from providing you with fresher, uncontaminated produce and cutting your grocery bill, to increasing your sense of well-being and slashing your risk of depression. Research14 also shows elderly individuals who garden on a regular basis have a 36% lower risk of dementia than non-gardeners.

There are many different ways to grow your own food, even if you live in an apartment. You can use virtually every square foot of your space, including vertical space, for growing food. Hanging baskets are ideal for a wide variety of foods, such as strawberries, leafy greens, runner beans, pea shoots, tomatoes, and a variety of herbs. And, instead of flowers, window boxes can hold herbs, greens, radishes, scallions, bush beans, strawberries, chard, and chilies, to name just a few.

Rule No. 1 for growing nutrient-dense food is building healthy soil. There are five basic principles to growing topsoil and building a healthy soil ecosystem, and these rules apply whether you’re working a farm or tending a small vegetable garden in your backyard:

1. Avoid disturbing the soil microbiome — The less mechanical disturbance the better, which means no tillage, herbicides, pesticides or fungicides

2. Protect the soil’s surface — Use cover crops, untreated lawn clippings, mulch, and wood chips to maintain soil biology, prevent water evaporation, and lower soil temperature, which is particularly important on hot days

3. Diversify your crops — Having a diverse array of plant life is essential to healthy soil, and cover crops help fulfill this requirement

4. Maintain living roots in the ground as long as possible — Growing something at all times is key to soil vitality, so be sure to plant a cover crop after you harvest your vegetables

5. Integrate livestock and other animals, including insects — To mimic the impact of wild herds, regenerative farmers will pasture chickens, cows, lambs, pigs, and other animals to benefit the soil and ensure a highly nutrient-dense finished product. While many homeowners cannot keep farm animals on their property, you can easily attract pollinators and predator insects to ward off garden pests by including lots of flowering plants

One of the simplest and most inexpensive gardening alternatives is to grow your own sprouts. They’re a particularly excellent choice during winter months when outdoor gardening is limited or ruled out. They also grow quickly, allowing you to harvest in about a week, and you don’t have to cook them. Sprouts are also a perfect complement to fermented vegetables, which are also easy and inexpensive to make at home, from scratch.

Sprouts are actually among the most nutrient-dense foods out there. Topping the list are sunflower seed and pea sprouts, which are typically about 30 times more nutritious than organic vegetables. Sunflower and pea sprouts are among my own favorites. Broccoli sprouts, known for their anticancer activity, are another excellent choice.

Tip 17: Try Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training

Blood flow restriction (BFR) training, also known as vascular occlusion training, involves “partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow” while working the occluded muscle. BFR training works on a very simple principle: It tricks your body into believing that it’s moving far heavier weights than you’re actually using, generating compensatory metabolic responses.

With BFR training, you’re able to significantly enhance your strength and muscle mass using a fraction of the weight typically used, in about half the time it would normally take.

Its ability to achieve such remarkable physiological benefits has to do with the fact that when you restrict the venous blood flow from the muscle group being engaged, you create a relatively hypoxic environment in the exercising muscle which then boosts beneficial metabolic responses, such as increasing muscle lactate and growth hormone and inhibiting myostatin.

Venous flow restriction is achieved by wrapping the extremity being worked with an inflatable cuff or band. The band needs to be tight enough to shut down the venous return to the heart, allowing the venous blood to “pool” in the region of the limb that is being exercised, while loose enough to allow arterial flow-through.

With very light exercise, and in about 15 to 20 minutes, you get an exhaustive workout that sends a signal to your brain to help you “recover and adapt to it.” Your brain then sends out a wide variety of powerful hormonal responses that cause your muscles and blood vessels to grow.

BFR is particularly beneficial for the elderly, as it dramatically reduces the risk of injury while optimizing muscle growth beyond what strength training with heavy weights can actually do! To learn the ins and outs of BRF, be sure to download and read through my free BFR report.

Tip 18: Lower Your Risk for Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases are on the rise, so the earlier you take steps to prevent them, the better. The good news is that some of the strategies that can lower your risk of autoimmune problems are incredibly simple and inexpensive.

For example, drinking a solution of baking soda on a daily basis can help reduce inflammation associated with and caused by autoimmune conditions. Baking soda provides a signal to mesothelial cells — which line your internal organs — that your body is doing fine; it’s not under attack, so developing an aggressive immune system and/or a harmful autoimmune response is unnecessary.15

To try this strategy, simply add one-half teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of water (about 4 ounces), stir until it’s completely dissolved, and repeat no more than three times per day, and no more than seven one-half teaspoons in any given 24-hour period.

Another strategy that costs nothing is to allow fevers to run their course, as long as they’re not above 103 degrees F. While most tend to rush to administer fever-reducing medicine at the first sign of low-grade fever, this can actually backfire. Fever facilitates your detoxification process, with the aim of producing a cleaner system. Reducing the fever can effectively prevent or interrupt your body’s natural healing process.

A far better alternative would be to administer liposomal vitamin C, which will aid and speed the process, not stop it. Certain homeopathic medicines can also be beneficial. If you’ve suppressed fevers all your life, you may benefit from regular saunas, ideally one with low or no electromagnetic fields, as this will help detoxify your system. If you’ve been vaccinated, you probably need to take saunas on a regular basis as well.

Tip 19: Combat Osteoporosis

With osteoporosis — brittle bone — comes the risk of bone fractures due to a fall, and hip fractures, in particular, are notorious for raising an older individual’s risk of death. Low bone density, known as osteopenia, also raises your risk of fractures and may progress into osteoporosis. But before you turn to conventional drugs, you should know that there are far safer ways to address this problem, such as by loading up on nutrients that help promote bone growth. These include:

Vitamin D Vitamins K1 and K2
Calcium Magnesium
Collagen Boron
Strontium

Sufficiently load-bearing exercise is also important. Research suggests the load needed to trigger bone growth in the hip is 4.2 times your bodyweight. Unfortunately, conventional strength training comes nowhere near that — but BFR does! So, preventing osteoporosis is yet another reason to add BFR to your lifestyle tool kit.

Tip 20: ‘Green’ Up Your Wardrobe

Fast fashion is a major contributor to the global waste problem, as clothing is now the fastest-growing category of waste. Across the board, throughout the distribution chain, whatever cannot be sold always ends up in a landfill. The textile industry is also a major environmental polluter.

The primary solution should be obvious: Buy less. Buying only what you actually need will allow you to spend more on high-quality items that last. If an item is still in good condition but for whatever reason doesn’t fit your body or lifestyle anymore, ask around to see if anyone wants or needs it first.

As a last-ditch resort, donate clothing that is still in good condition to a reputable charity that serves the needs of your local community. Local women’s shelters and crisis centers may accept your donations.

If you need to purchase new clothes, make sure to choose organic, GOTS-certified clothing made from sustainably grown fabrics. The SITO brand is an example of a GOTS-certified organic clothing brand, established by the biodynamic certification agency Demeter. SITO supports our global mission of improving fabric production and putting an end to fast fashion.

Tip 21: Take Control of Your Blood Pressure

In 2017, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology, along with nine other health organizations, changed the cutoff used to diagnose high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80.

This slight shift increased the number of people diagnosed with high blood pressure to include many who had previously been considered within the normal range. According to the AHA, an estimated 103 million U.S. adults today have high blood pressure (hypertension), and about 1 in 3 people has prehypertension.

According to medical physiology textbooks, as much as 95% of hypertension is called essential hypertension, meaning the underlying cause is unknown. However, a number of factors have been identified as contributing to high blood pressure, including but not limited to insulin and leptin resistance, potassium deficiency, and elevated uric acid levels. The good news is that there are many techniques and lifestyle changes, including the following:

Exercise — A comprehensive fitness program can go a long way toward regaining your insulin sensitivity and normalizing your blood pressure. In fact, exercise is considered the first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension, and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

If you are insulin resistant, you’ll also want to include weight training. When you work with individual muscle groups, you increase blood flow to those muscles, and good blood flow will increase your insulin sensitivity.

Vitamin D optimization — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension. For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL year-round.
Time-restricted eating — Eating all your meals within a six- to an eight-hour window, each day is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of high blood pressure.
Stress management — It has been shown that people with heart disease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70% simply by learning to manage their stress. Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable everyday stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.
Essential oils — A number of essential oils can be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage.
Beets — In one small placebo-controlled trial,16 one glass (250 milliliters or 8.5 ounces) of beetroot juice per day for one month reduced blood pressure in those diagnosed with hypertension by an average of 8 mmHg systolic and 4 mmHg diastolic pressure.

This 8/4 mmHg reduction is very close to that provided by blood pressure medications, which typically can reduce blood pressure by about 9/5 mmHg, and for many, it was enough to bring their blood pressure down to normal levels. The treatment group also saw a 20% improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and a 10% reduction in arterial stiffness.

Tip 22: KetoFast

KetoFast is the term I coined to describe a protocol that combines three key strategies: a cyclical ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, and cyclical partial fasting. The first step to KetoFast is to make sure you stop eating at least three hours before bedtime to avoid creating unnecessary free radicals.

Next, compress your eating to a six- to eight-hour timeframe, meaning you eat all of your calories for the day during those six to eight hours. For the remaining 16 to 18 hours, you’re fasting. For example, delay your first meal of the day until 11 am or noon and stop eating by 7 pm.

Once you’ve followed this intermittent fasting schedule for a month, you can move into the second phase, which involves having a single reduced-calorie meal, ideally, breakfast, followed by a 24-hour water-only fast, once or twice a week. This meal will typically be somewhere between 300 and 500 calories. This meal should consist of:

  • Carbs — Less than 10 grams of net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber), primarily from nonstarchy vegetables, seeds, or nuts.
  • Protein — Half of your personalized daily protein requirement. If you’re younger than 60, a general recommendation for your daily protein requirement would be 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. The key here is not just lowering your overall protein intake but, rather restricting your intake of branched-chain amino acids such as leucine, found primarily in meat and dairy products.
  • Fat — The remainder of your calories come from healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, MCT oil, butter, olive oil, and raw nuts.

The day after your water-only fast, go ahead and feast. Now’s the perfect time to do hardcore strength training, and to load up on protein. Immediately after your workout is when you’ll want to eat that grass-fed organic steak and/or whey protein, as now you’re in rebuilding mode.

The intermittent and partial fasting regimen described in KetoFast essentially mimics ancestral eating patterns, allowing your body to work optimally by allowing for periods of breakdown and cleanout, and periods of rebuilding and rejuvenation.

One way that your body promotes this is through autophagy, which is the body’s innate cleanout process, in which damaged mitochondria, proteins, and cellular components are digested and then recycled during the regeneration phase, which occurs during refeeding. By upregulating autophagy, you may significantly lower your risk of most diseases, including cancer and neurodegeneration.

A common misconception is that because nutritional ketosis is so beneficial, it stands to reason that remaining in ketosis for the rest of your life would be the way to go. I disagree with this approach, having experienced the drawbacks of it firsthand.

Continuous keto can start wreaking havoc with your hormonal system, specifically your thyroid. It’s important to realize that nutritional ketosis is a catabolic process, meaning you’re breaking things down. This is a good and necessary process, but you also need to build your body back up! After some months on a continuous ketogenic diet, you start losing muscle mass, which is the complete opposite of what you’re looking for.

I strongly recommend cycling in and out of ketosis once you’ve regained your metabolic flexibility and are able to effectively burn fat for fuel. In other words, you stay in ketosis only long enough to make sure you’re burning fat, and then you move into a more balanced approach where you’re adding in higher amounts of healthy carbs once or twice a week.

Sources and References



Most Comprehensive Study to Date: Omega-3 Reduces Heart Risks

The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of omega-3 fats for heart health. If fatty fish is not a regular part of your diet, you may need to consider supplementing omega-3 fatty acids to keep your heart happy and healthy

The most in-depth analysis to date confirms the importance of consuming sufficient quantities of omega-3 fats for preventing cardiovascular disease.

The meta-analysis, published in the peer-reviewed journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reviewed 40 clinical trials, and the multi-disciplinary team of researchers delivered an authoritative rallying cry for including more EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats in your diet, citing their significant cardioprotective effects.

Omega-3 Fats: Are You Getting Enough?

This expanded review of a previously published meta-analysis analyzed the observed effects of all randomized control trials with EPA/DHA supplementation and cardiovascular outcomes published before August 2019. Examined outcomes included myocardial infarction (MI) — commonly called heart attack — coronary heart disease (CHD) events, CVD events (a composite of MI, angina, stroke, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, sudden death, and non-scheduled cardiovascular surgical interventions), CHD mortality and fatal MI.

The study[i] found that EPA and DHA supplementation is associated with significantly reduced risks of having a cardiovascular event and reduced risks of dying from such an event. The risk reduction broke down as follows:

  • Fatal myocardial infarction — 35% lower risk
  • Myocardial infarction — 13% lower risk
  • CHD events — 10% lower risk
  • CHD mortality — 9% lower risk[ii]

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is responsible for nearly 18 million deaths each year and is the No. 1 cause of death globally.[iii]

Benefits of Omega-3s Are Dose-Dependent

Study authors noted that whatever amount of EPA and DHA you are getting in your normal diet, supplementation is likely required to receive maximum cardioprotective benefits. A 1,000-milligram increase in daily omega-3 consumption decreased the risk of cardiovascular disease events by 5.8% and heart attack by 9%. The study examined dosages of up to 5,500 milligrams (mg) per day and discovered that benefits are dose-dependent.[iv]

The new research corroborates a 2019 meta-analysis by Harvard School of Public Health researchers and represents all of the research to date, encompassing more than 135,000 study participants.[v] Study co-author Aldo Bernasconi, Ph.D., stated:

“When separate analyses arrive at similar results, that’s not only validating, it also underscores the science base needed to inform future intake recommendations. Because this paper included more studies and all dosages, the estimates for a dose-response are more precise and the conclusions stronger.”[vi]

Supplemental Omega-3s Protect Against Heart Disease

EPA and DHA are the primary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids of marine origin.[vii] Foods like anchovies, sardines, and wild-caught salmon are highly nutritious options for getting these heart-healthy fats into your diet, however, study co-author Dr. Lavie suggests that any patient with CVD should consider supplementing as well.

Dr. Lavie suggests omega-3 supplementation at doses of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day — far higher than what is typical, even among people who regularly eat fish, adding:

“Given the safety and diminished potential for interaction with other medications, the positive results of this study strongly suggest omega-3 supplements are a relatively low-cost, high impact way to improve heart health and should be considered as part of a standard preventive treatment for most patients with and those recovering from myocardial infarction.”[viii]

As demonstrated on the Greenmedinfo.com database, Omega-3 fats have been shown in numerous studies to decrease the risk of heart attack death[ix] and to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality in CHD patients.[x] With at least 61 distinct health benefits, omega-3 fats have been shown to improve mood disorders such as bipolar depression[xi] as well as blood pressure[xii] and diabetes[xiii] symptoms, making them important not only for heart health but your overall health as well.

References [i] Aldo A. Bernasconi, Michelle M. Wiest, Carl J. Lavie, Richard V. Milani, Jari A. Laukkanen. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.08.034 [ii] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [iii] World Health Organization, Health Topics, Cardiovascular Diseases, https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases/ [iv] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [v] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [vi] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [vii] Aldo A. Bernasconi, Michelle M. Wiest, Carl J. Lavie, Richard V. Milani, Jari A. Laukkanen. Effect of Omega-3 Dosage on Cardiovascular Outcomes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.08.034 [viii] Elsevier. (2020, September 17). Authoritative new analysis links increased omega-3 intake to cardioprotection and improved cardiovascular outcomes: Study indicates that EPA and DHA supplementation reduces multiple types of cardiovascular risk. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200917084102.htm [ix] Ariane König, Colleen Bouzan, Joshua T Cohen, William E Connor, Penny M Kris-Etherton, George M Gray, Robert S Lawrence, David A Savitz, Steven M Teutsch. A quantitative analysis of fish consumption and coronary heart disease mortality. Am J Prev Med. 2005 Nov;29(4):335-46. PMID: 16242600 [x] Yun-Tao Zhao, Qiang Chen, Ya-Xun Sun, Xue-Bin Li, Ping Zhang, Yuan Xu, Ji-Hong Guo. Prevention of sudden cardiac death with omega-3 fatty acids in patients with coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Ann Med. 2009;41(4):301-10. PMID: 19148838 [xi] Yamima Osher, R H Belmaker. Omega-3 fatty acids in depression: a review of three studies. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009;15(2):128-33. PMID: 19499625 [xii] G K Paschos, F Magkos, D B Panagiotakos, V Votteas, A Zampelas. Dietary supplementation with flaxseed oil lowers blood pressure in dyslipidaemic patients. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;61(10):1201-6. Epub 2007 Jan 31. PMID: 17268413 [xiii] Alin Stirban, Simona Nandrean, Christian Götting, Ronald Tamler, Alexandra Pop, Monica Negrean, Thomas Gawlowski, Bernd Stratmann, Diethelm Tschoepe. Effects of n-3 fatty acids on macro and microvascular function in subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 13. Epub 2010 Jan 13. PMID: 20071644

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.



The Proximity Principle – Uniting Local Farmers with Local Buyers – The Imperative of Our Time

By Julian Rose | Waking Times

Independent small and medium-sized farms have been handed a death sentence by Klaus Schwab head of The World Economic Forum. Schwab, and fellow architects of top-down control, have officially let it be known that under the policy known as ‘Green Deal’ traditional family farms are no longer wanted and the foods they produce are to be replaced by laboratory and genetically engineered synthetic lookalikes. This policy is spelled out in the pages of Klaus Schwab’s book ‘The Great Reset’ which is part of the envisaged ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

The British government and the European Commission are committed to adopting this insane agenda in which working farmers are to be replaced by digitalized precision robots, as part of a so-called Global Warming mitigation crusade. When properly analyzed, this is revealed as a totalitarian program for complete corporate and banking control of the food chain. A program that is designed to eliminate the independent farmer.

What Are We Going to Do About It?

There is a very straightforward answer to this question. We are going to come together at the local level and launch a mutually supportive initiative that will guarantee both the farmer and the purchaser of the farmer’s food a fair and mutually beneficial exchange.

How does it work?

Very simple. The purchaser (consumer) approaches his or her local responsible farmer and asks to buy some fresh produce. The farmer considers this proposition. Some may decline, but this will be because it has not occurred to them that the future of their current dependency on a corporate-controlled marketing regime is completely untenable under the program proposed by Mr. Schwab.

Any good farmer will not turn down an opportunity to do business with near neighbors who are in search of positive and value-for-money farm-raised foods. Especially once the farming community realizes that their future income will depend more and more upon establishing a marketplace amongst those in the immediate vicinity of his/her farm. Those who do not wish – or cannot any longer – purchase their staple food requirements from corporate-owned super and hypermarket food chains.

The Savvy Farmer…

The savvy farmer can see the writing on the wall. Can see that slavery to a system of national and global manipulation – totally out of his/her hands – is a recipe for disaster. Such a farmer will be on the lookout for a secure local market; one where purchasers want to buy direct from the farm with no middle-man taking a cut. This must be the way forward if a secure future on the land is the desired outcome. Any intelligent farmer will recognize this and will take seriously a bonafide
request to supply farm-raised produce to those eager to buy it.

The Savvy Consumer…

The savvy consumer will be looking for fresh, healthy, flavourful good quality foods upon which to raise their family, or simply to feed themselves. They will recognize that the chance to acquire such food ‘direct from the farm’ represents the best possible outcome. A bond built-up with a local farmer, via regular purchasing of their farm-raised products, provides a powerful ally for times ahead when the commercial food chain is subjected to the brutal intervention of the architects of global control and shortages become the norm. Such times are no longer speculative. They are on our doorstep.

The Savvy Farmer and the Savvy Consumer – Getting Together

Either the consumer or the farmer can take the initiative of bringing both parties together.

How?

By calling a ‘round table’ meeting in the local village/town hall or simply in your home. Invite one or two farmers to sit around that table with some individuals eager to obtain food directly from the farm. Some might even be ready to discuss contracting a farmer to grow the staple foods they require. Good quality food is grown without recourse to chemical pesticides.

Farmers need a secure income and the buyers a secure local source of nutritious food. Fair prices for both parties and delivery or ‘pick-up from the farm’ can be negotiated in a friendly and informal manner. This is not purely ‘business’ in the old sense of the term; it is forming a common bond in a time when such bonds have been tragically neglected and supermarket convenience cultures have destroyed the links that hold communities together.

New trading, bartering, and sharing practice will be built around the adoption of this ‘proximity principle’. This is the one sure way of effectively resisting the Klaus Schwab farm killer and the New World Order plan for global domination of the food chain.

Other ways of supporting local trading include farm shops, farmers markets, box schemes, food cooperatives. Get onto the front foot and regenerate your community – from the ground up!

For further details of the Proximity Principle and community, regeneration sees ‘Creative Solutions to a World in Crisis’ by Julian Rose.

About the Author

Julian Rose is an early pioneer and practitioner of UK organic farming; an entrepreneur and leader of projects to create self-sufficient communities based on local supply and demand; a teacher of holistic life approaches and the author of four books – one of which ‘Creative Solutions to a World in Crisis’ lays-out detailed guidelines for the transformation of society into caring communities built upon ecological and spiritual awareness, justice and cooperation. See Julian’s website for more information www.julianrose.info




UK’s Largest Vertical Farm That Uses Only Sunlight Begins First Harvest

While hydroponic farms, also known as “vertical farms,” swap land use for electricity use— one project is trying to take the best of both worlds.

Using only natural light for photosynthesis and heat, Shockingly Fresh’s greenhouse in Offenham, England, can produce four times the yield compared with regular farming while using much less energy than other vertical farms.

This is because other vertical farms are closed systems—relying on the artificial LED light and indoor heating to keep crops cozy.

“It is ultimately better for the environment. I can’t say it’s carbon-neutral but it isn’t as carbon-hungry as an LED vertical farm would be,” the aptly-named Nick Green, development director of Shockingly Fresh, told The Guardian. 

While other producers might say that Shockingly Fresh’s use of natural light means they can’t keep up the 24-7 production typical of farms that can leave the lights on all night, the company stresses that they match the consumption patterns of humans and use far less energy in the process.

“Production isn’t completely linear as it would be in a fully-lit vertical farm, but people don’t eat as much lettuce in winter as they do in summer,” he explained.

Offenham was completed in 2021 and is already producing lettuce and bok choy for sale at supermarkets, with strawberries planned for winter when the days become shorter. Even though Green reckons they can produce 2 million heads of lettuce per year, the location is just one-tenth of the size of future projects.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Healthy Man Switched To 80% ULTRA-Processed Food Diet For 30 Days, Here Is What Happened To His Body

Most of the ready-made food we eat today is ultra-processed. As tasty as they may be, they can be even dangerous from a health perspective. There have been concerns that such ultra-processed food makes us crave more and eventually leads to obesity. Dr. Chris Van Tulleken, a television presenter and researcher, wanted to prove these concerns – using his own body as the test subject.

Dr. Chris filled 80% of his daily diet with ultra-processed food for 4 weeks. This means 4/5th of the foods being eaten are packaged and ready-made items like burgers, candy, chocolates, chips, and so on. If it sounds similar to your present diet, then Dr. Chris’ experience may be an eye-opener for you. The whole experience is available to watch as a mini-documentary.

The Effects Of The 80% Ultra-Processed Food Diet

The immediate effects, Dr. Chris reports, were poor sleep, low libido, anxiety, sluggishness, unhappy feelings, and heartburn. He also developed piles due to constipation. He said that he “felt ten years older”.

In that 4 weeks, Dr. Chris’ weight had increased by nearly 7kg and had made him overweight. He estimates that, at that rate, in 6 months he would have gained 38kg. The weight was not the only visibly drastic change. Take a look at the video yourself:

Scans of Chris’ brain activity showed that the areas that control reward had become connected to the areas controlling automatic, repetitive behavior. This meant that his brain told him to eat ultra-processed food even if there was no need for it. The response was similar to when substances such as drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are used addictively. The changes were not permanent, but Dr. Chris sounded an alarming warning: If a 42-year-old’s brain was changed that much in just 4 weeks, imagine how children’s developing brains are affected.

We are yet to figure out the reason behind this effect of ultra-processed foods. Chris conjectures that it is primarily because of their constituting nutrients and the way they are processed.

Once You Start Eating, It Becomes Tough To Stop

In the documentary, Chris speaks with Dr. Kevin Hall, a National Institutes of Health senior investigator. He reveals that a study was made comparing two diets that had the same nutritional quantities but one was made up of about 80% ultra-processed foods.

The study revealed that those who were given the ultra-processed diet ate about 500 calories more every day. In about 2 weeks, they gained about 1kg of weight. Blood tests showed an increase of the hormone that controlled hunger and a decrease of the one controlling how full we feel. The study suggests that this is how these foodstuffs encourage overconsumption.

Chris’ experience was in line with the findings of this study. He talks about finding himself “craving food much more often”. Some studies have shown that foods that have high fat and carbohydrate content can activate the areas in the brain that control motivation, emotion, and reward. A study based on brain imaging suggested that the more reward you experience from eating such foods, the more you will have to eat to maintain that enjoyment.

However, Chris adds that he does not think that food companies intentionally want to make people obese. Unfortunately, the side-effect of extremely delicious ultra-processed food is that they are addictive.

Moreover, it is very difficult for most people to remove ultra-processed foods from one’s diet. Chris says that their convenience, availability, and marketing all add to them being present in some form in our daily diet. The key here is moderation. Rio Huntriss, a dietitian, says that occasionally enjoying such foods is not likely to have such a health impact. Just don’t make it everything you eat every day.

For full references please use the source link below.

Video can be accessed at the source link below.

By Mayukh Saha | Natural Blaze

Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: mayukh.presi@gmail.com

Read More stories by Mayukh Saha




MIND diet linked to better cognitive performance

By Rush University Medical Center | Science Daily

Aging takes a toll on the body and on the mind. For example, the tissue of aging human brains sometimes develops abnormal clumps of proteins that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. How can you protect your brain from these effects?

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that older adults may benefit from a specific diet called the MIND diet even when they develop these protein deposits, known as amyloid plaques and tangles. Plaques and tangles are a pathology found in the brain that builds up in between nerve cells and typically interferes with thinking and problem-solving skills.

Developed by the late Martha Clare Morris, ScD, who was a Rush nutritional epidemiologist, and her colleagues, the MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. Previous research studies have found that the MIND diet may reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

Now a study has shown that participants in the study who followed the MIND diet moderately later in life did not have cognition problems, according to a paper published on Sept. 14 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Some people have enough plaques and tangles in their brains to have a postmortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, but they do not develop clinical dementia in their lifetime,” said Klodian Dhana, MD, Ph.D., lead author of the paper and an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush Medical College.

“Some have the ability to maintain cognitive function despite the accumulation of these pathologies in the brain, and our study suggests that the MIND diet is associated with better cognitive functions independently of brain pathologies related to Alzheimer’s disease.

In this study, the researchers examined the associations of diet — from the start of the study until death — brain pathologies and cognitive functioning in older adults who participated in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s ongoing Memory and Aging Project, which began in 1997 and includes people living in greater Chicago. The participants were mostly white without known dementia, and all of them agreed to undergo annual clinical evaluations while alive and brain autopsy after their death.

The researchers followed 569 participants, who were asked to complete annual evaluations and cognitive tests to see if they had developed memory and thinking problems. Beginning in 2004, participants were given an annual food frequency questionnaire about how often they ate 144 food items in the previous year.

Using the questionnaire answers, the researchers gave each participant a MIND diet score based on how often the participants ate specific foods. The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and five unhealthy groups — red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

To adhere to and benefit from the MIND diet, a person would need to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable, and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine — snack most days on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. A person also must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, limiting butter to less than 1 1/2 teaspoons a day and eating less than a serving a week of sweets and pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food.

Based on the frequency of intake reported for the healthy and unhealthy food groups, the researchers calculated the MIND diet score for each participant across the study period. An average of the MIND diet score from the start of the study until the participant’s death was used in the analysis to limit measurement error. Seven sensitivity measures were calculated to confirm the accuracy of the findings.

“We found that a higher MIND diet score was associated with better memory and thinking skills independently of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and other common age-related brain pathologies. The diet seemed to have a protective capacity and may contribute to cognitive resilience in the elderly.” Dhana said.

“Diet changes can impact cognitive functioning and risk of dementia, for better or worse,” he continued. “There are fairly simple diet and lifestyle changes a person could make that may help to slow cognitive decline with aging and contribute to brain health.”


Story Source:

Materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Originally written by Nancy Di Fiore. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Klodian Dhana, Bryan D. James, Puja Agarwal, Neelum T. Aggarwal, Laurel J. Cherian, Sue E. Leurgans, Lisa L. Barnes, David A. Bennett, Julie A. Schneider. MIND Diet, Common Brain Pathologies, and Cognition in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2021; 83 (2): 683 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-210107



Five Healthiest Late Summer Produce Picks

We have handpicked some of the tastiest, healthiest fruits and vegetables for your late-summer feast and for year-round health benefits.

Summer is not yet over. These fresh fruits and vegetables are in season in late summer, offering big bursts of flavor and optimum nutrition. Take a peek into our late-summer produce list for a taste of the outstanding health benefits before the season ends.

1. Tomatoes

Whether turned into soup, roasted, pickled, or added to your homemade bruschetta, tomatoes rarely run out of use in a busy kitchen. However, they are also popular for being one of the richest sources of lycopene in the Western world.

Lycopene is a naturally occurring red carotenoid that offers the rich pigment of tomatoes, watermelon, and other fruits. It has been extensively probed for over 70 years if more than 2,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 4,000 other publications on the subject are any indication.[i]

Scientists have long attributed the association of tomatoes with reduced cancer and cardiovascular disease to the lycopene, primarily because of its antioxidant properties.[ii]

In a study, researchers speculated on the link between lycopene and a lower incidence of cardiovascular conditions.[iii] They looked at the effect of lycopene and tomatoes on oxidized LDL cholesterol, finding a modest benefit against oxidative stress affecting LDL cholesterol levels. They also probed three tomato studies and one lycopene study finding improved HDL cholesterol.

2. Cucumbers

The saying “cool as a cucumber” couldn’t be any more accurate, particularly on sweltering August days when everybody needs something refreshing. You’ll find here a cool cucumber and avocado soup recipe for those relentlessly warm days.

Cucumbers won’t get left behind when it comes to health perks. They have high water content and are in fact made up of 96% water.[iv] Low-calorie and extremely hydrating, cucumber can also help slash the excess pounds: an analysis of 13 studies involving 3,628 people associated foods with high water and low-calorie content with a significant reduction in body weight.[v]

In an animal study examining the impact of plants on blood sugar, cucumbers also surfaced as an effective weapon to reduce and keep sugar levels under control.[vi]

3. Bell Peppers

A cousin of the well-loved tomato in the nightshade family, bell peppers are a popular pick for easy summer salads, the favorite stuffed green pepper, and as part of side dishes during steak and fajita nights. They are not only a hearty addition to summer meals but also rich in antioxidants whether in green, yellow, orange, or red sweet varieties.[vii]

Lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are abundant in orange and yellow peppers, help improve eye health.[viii] Bell peppers’ exceptionally high vitamin C content also helps increase iron absorption from the gut.[ix],[x]

4. Melons

A refreshing summer treat, melons such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew are part of the Cucurbitaceae family along with cucumber. Cantaloupe is known by different names including mush melon, muskmelon, and rockmelon.

Melons are rich in vitamin A, offering 299.13 micrograms (mcg) or 33% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) in a 177 gram (g) serving.[xi] They are also chock full of vitamin C in every serving, packing 65 milligrams (mg) or 72% of the RDI.

Vitamin C, along with fiber, potassium, and choline, support cardiovascular wellness. Potassium, which is plenty at 473 mg or 10% of the RDI in the same serving, can help reduce blood pressure and keep it at healthy levels.

As a good source of folate providing 8% of the RDI, melons may also help maintain strong bones, as folate is essential in breaking down homocysteine — increased levels of which have been tied to decreased bone mineral density.[xii]

5. Berries

What would warm late-summer days be like without the colors and tangy taste of berries in sorbets, puddings, and easy salads? This group is deemed one of the healthiest on the planet, mainly because they are loaded with antioxidants for keeping free radicals and the cell damage and oxidative stress they cause at bay.[xiii]

In a study, blueberries, blackberries, as well as raspberries, had the highest antioxidant activity among common fruits, right next to the pomegranate.[xiv] Harvard researchers noted that consuming three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries weekly can lower the risk of heart attacks in women.[xv]

Based on their examination of 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 as part of the Nurses’ Health Study II, they concluded that at least three servings of the berries every week can slash heart attack risk by as much as one-third. Berries are also considered effective brain protectors and cancer fighters.

Find a rich collection of scientific findings on fruits and vegetables on the GreenMedInfo.com database and have a fresh feast on your table as summer draws to a close.

For full references please use the source link below.

By GreenMedInfo Research Group | Natural Blaze




Organic Food Has Become Mainstream But Still Has Room To Grow

Organic vegetables at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, Calif.
Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Kathleen Merrigan, Arizona State University

CC BY-ND

Organic food once was viewed as a niche category for health nuts and hippies, but today it’s a routine choice for millions of Americans. For years following passage of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which established national organic standards, consumers had to seek out organic products at food co-ops and farmers markets. Today over half of organic sales are in conventional grocery store chains, club stores and supercenters; Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target and Safeway are the top five organic retailers.

Surveys show that 82% of Americans buy some organic food, and availability has improved. So why do overall organic sales add up to a mere 6% of all food sold in the U.S.? And since organic farming has many benefits, including conserving soil and water and reducing use of synthetic chemicals, can its share grow?

One issue is price. On average, organic food costs 20% more than conventionally produced food. Even hardcore organic shoppers like me sometimes bypass it due to cost.

Some budget-constrained shoppers may restrict their organic purchases to foods they are especially concerned about, such as fruits and vegetables. Organic produce carries far fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown versions.

Price matters, but let’s dig deeper. Increasing organic food’s market share will require growing larger quantities and more diverse organic products. This will require more organic farmers than the U.S. currently has.

There are some 2 million farms in the U.S.. Of them, only 16,585 are organic – less then 1%. They occupy 5.5 million acres, which is a small fraction of overall U.S. agricultural land. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. farmland is dedicated to growing animal feed and biofuel feedstocks like corn and soybeans, rather than food for people.

In my view, converting more agricultural land to organic food production should be a national goal. Organic farmers produce healthy food, promote soil health and protect watersheds. Ruminant animals like dairy cows when raised organically must graze on pasture for at least 120 days each year, which reduces their methane emissions.

The list of climate and environmental benefits associated with organic is long. Organic farming consumes 45% less energy than conventional production, mainly because it doesn’t use nitrogen fertilizers. And it emits 40% less greenhouse gases because organic farmers practice crop rotation, use cover crops and composting, and eliminate fossil fuel-based inputs.

The vast majority of organic farms are small or midsized, both in terms of gross sales and acreage. Organic farmers are younger on average than conventional farmers.

Starting small makes sense for beginning farmers, and organic price premiums allow them to survive on smaller plots of land. But first they need to go through a tough three-year transition period to cleanse the land.

During this time they are ineligible to label products as organic, but must follow organic standards, including forgoing use of harmful chemicals and learning how to manage ecosystem processes. This typically results in short-term yield declines. Many farmers fail along the way.

The transition period is just one of many challenges for organic farmers. Greater federal government support could help. In a recent report, Arizona State University’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, which I direct, identified actions the Biden administration can take within existing budgets and laws to realize the untapped promise of organic agriculture.

Current USDA assistance for organic producers is paltry, especially given the billions of dollars that the agency spends annually in support of agriculture. Two-thirds of farm subsidy dollars go to the top 10% richest farms.

Our report recommends dedicating 6% of USDA spending to supporting the organic sector, a figure that reflects its market share. As an example, in 2020 the agency spent about $55 million on research directly pertinent to organic agriculture within its $3.6 billion Research, Education and Economics mission area. A 6% share of that budget would be $218 million for developing things like better ways of controlling pests by using natural predators instead of chemical pesticides.

Organic food’s higher price includes costs associated with practices like forgoing use of harmful pesticides and improving animal welfare. A growing number of food systems scholars and practitioners are calling for use of a methodology called True Cost Accounting, which they believe reveals the full costs and benefits of food production.

[Over 100,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]

According to an analysis by the Rockefeller Foundation, American consumers spend $1.1 trillion yearly on food, but the true cost of that food is $3.2 trillion when all impacts like water pollution and farmworker health are factored in. Looked at through a True Cost Accounting lens, I see organic as a good deal.The Conversation

Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.




Is Meal Delivery Worth It? 5 Things to Consider Before Signing Up

In the past, when talking about meal delivery services, most people would be referring to fast food take-out, ordered over the phone and delivered to your doorstep in all its unhealthy glory.

Today, things have changed significantly, and a new era of health-conscious companies have arisen to cater to Millennials and Gen Z-ers with ingredient boxes that allow you to prepare meals at home without needing to face the hassle of a grocery store visit.

There are tons of subscription-based meal delivery brands out there for people who want that ideal combo of convenience, sustainability and calorie-considerate recipes, so what do you need to know prior to committing to a particular service?

Image Source: Pixabay

Price is important

When comparing meal delivery services, the first thing to think about is pricing. This is best calculated on a per-meal basis, as obviously you need to match this to your allotted budget and make sure that you are comfortable with the costs involved.

You will of course be paying more than if you simply purchased the ingredients yourself, but there are some advantages that fall in favor of meal delivery providers; namely that the exact amounts of items that you need will be supplied, so you will not be left with an excess of anything. This reduces waste and means that the additional expense could be justified.

Commitment terms are varied

Another crucial talking point of any meal delivery service is the kind of commitment you are expected to make when you sign up.

The best of the bunch will let you either pause your subscription and skip over certain weeks, or even cancel outright without having to pay anything extra. This is not universally the case, so always read the small print to avoid ending up trapped by a service that you no longer enjoy.

The free trials and offers for new customers are a good way of taking services for a test drive without needing to commit, so also keep an eye out for introductory deals.

Sustainability is a concern

There are all sorts of caveats that come with using meal delivery services from the perspective of sustainability. From the sourcing of the ingredients to the recyclability of the packaging to the carbon footprint of the delivery, these are all aspects which might sway you one way or the other.

Luckily the top rated services are pretty transparent about their efforts to improve sustainability, with some being explicitly ethical, ensuring that all ingredients are organic and sourced as sensitively as possible. If this is high on your wishlist of features, look out for it.

Choice is key

You might be worried that meal delivery services will end up sending you the same handful of recipes and ingredients week after week, but this is another area in which the major players have thankfully managed to innovate as the industry has evolved.

Most will allow you to select from a range of different menus, not only according to your own tastes and preferences, but also along the lines of any dietary requirements you might have. Getting dairy-free and gluten-free meal kits delivered is straightforward in a lot of cases, for example.

Complexity is relevant

Last on the list of things to look out for when dipping your toe into the world of meal delivery services is the complexity of the recipes and menus that they supply.

Some will be designed for home chefs who have a flair for cooking and do not mind getting their hands dirty or spending more time in the kitchen, while others are aimed at those who put speed and convenience first.

If in doubt, check out independent reviews and get word of mouth recommendations to narrow down your options.




New Book Explores Hidden Costs of Broken Food System

By Food Tank | The Defender

“True Cost Accounting for Food: Balancing the Scale,” addresses the unseen costs of a broken food system. The new book suggests that a better food system is possible if the true cost of food is taken into account during every step of the supply chain, from farm to rubbish bin and beyond.

“True Cost Accounting for Food” provides a new lens through which to understand the social, human, economic, and environmental costs of food. True cost accounting is a holistic food system assessment tool intended to illuminate and measure the flows, externalities, and dependencies of the food system, both negative and positive.

Edited by Dr. Lauren Baker, Paula Daniels, and Dr. Barbara Gemmill-Herren, the book begins with an introduction from the trio that details the myriad factors that true cost accounting encompasses.

“Behind all the food that we eat is a vast realm of unaccounted for interactions: the diversion of water from rivers; the extraction of nutrients from the soil; the discharge of pollutants to air and water; the exaction of labor to grow, manage, pick, and package; the release of carbon dioxide to transport and deliver; and so on,” they write.

“When we shine a light on these interactions it becomes clear that a 99¢ hamburger costs all of us a lot more than the dollar placed by a consumer into the hands of a cashier.”

True cost accounting is a “new economics of food and a new relationship with the land and the food that we eat, starting with a holistic view of a system out of balance and ending with a new approach to business and integrated reporting,” the editors conclude.

The book’s chapters are written by a diverse group of experts, including farmers, researchers, scientists, lawyers, and other experts. Authors include Nadia El-Hage Scialabba of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Patrick Holden of the Sustainable Food Trust, and Saru Jayaraman of One Fair Wage.

One assertion throughout the book is that true cost accounting can be used as an economic tool to research and incentivize sustainable agricultural practices.

Chapter 2, titled “Cotton in Egypt: Assisting Decision-Makers to Understand Costs and Benefits,” by Helmy Abouleish, Thoraya Seada, and Nadine Greiss, details a 2020 study that compares the price of conventional versus organic farming in Egypt — a country with extreme soil erosion and drought.

“Organic food is in fact already cheaper to produce than conventional products, if the externalized costs for pollution, CO2 emissions, energy, and water consumption are considered,” Abouleish, Seada, and Greiss write. “These are currently transferred to society or future generations, but if they would appear on supermarket bills, this would be evident to everyone.”

Similarly, chapter 9 explores how a true cost accounting approach may help encourage almond growers in Central California to use regenerative farming practices.

In “Foster Healthy Soils in California: Farmer Motivations and Barriers,” Authors Joanna Ory and Alastair Iles explain that the upfront cost of purchasing, planting, and growing cover crops often dissuades farmers from using the technique. Less than 5% of intensive vegetable farmers along with the Central California coast use cover crops.

The authors argue that growers are unaware of, or don’t understand, the environmental, social, and economic benefits of cover crops. They point to improved bee health, erosion control, water filtration, carbon storage, reduced use of synthetic fertilizers, and the prevention of soil health degradation. More information — and incentivizing policies — could lead to a greater uptake of sustainable agriculture practices.

Limited knowledge about the costs and benefits of the agriculture industry also impacts shoppers.

Consumers are often unaware that for every dollar they spend on food, they pay an additional dollar in hidden costs, authors Patrick Holden and Adele Jones write. Those costs can crop up as taxes to clean up polluted waterways, or as environmental degradation that will affect future generations to come.

The book also highlights success stories of communities that have learned how to price commodities holistically.

The book’s collaborators see “True Cost Accounting for Food,” as a powerful resource for food systems change, containing solutions like sustainability investing and agricultural subsidy reform. True cost accounting “has the transformative potential to amplify the positive benefits of food systems,” editor Lauren Baker tells Food Tank.

Originally published by Food Tank.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.




Urban Farmers Believe They Have Key to Solve Violent Crime

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge

While the Biden administration is on a crusade to ban guns as they say firearms are the culprit to the upswing in violence across major metro areas, there’s one neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, which has one of the highest homicides rates in the country, is experimenting with “urban farming” as a way to lessen food insecurity that may result in less crime.

According to St. Louis Public Radio (STLPR), Tyrean Lewis, founder of Heru Urban Farming, is planting vegetable gardens in neighborhoods where children don’t have enough healthy food to eat.

Lewis is also a health teacher who has seen it all. Some of his students have been locked up for petty crimes, while others have been jailed for shootings. He constantly hears gunshots around his home, and on average, his neighborhood records 3 to 4 homicides yearly.

“I mean, that’s normal to some people and unfortunately to me,” he said.

Researchers say a host of factors contribute to a city’s gun violence problem — what they define as deficits in social determinants of health such as income, housing, healthy living environments and quality education.

And food insecurity.

Lacking a complex nutritional diet can harm brain development in childhood, according to public health experts. That can cause later problems dealing with peers, handling authority and responding to situations of extreme stress.

The problems facing areas that experience gun violence are many, Lewis acknowledges, but he has also seen the impact that food can have.

“I’ve seen the difference in kids when they get a meal and when they don’t get a meal, how they behave and how they focus in school,” he said. “So I truly believe that’s all connected.”

Nearly 70% of the city’s 271 homicides last year occurred in low income census tracts without access to a grocery store or supermarket for at least half a mile, according to a Kansas City Star analysis of federal data and police reports.

Fifty-two of the killings occurred in just eight census tracts on the north side of the city with no grocery store for a mile.

St. Louis leads the state in gun violence and for most of the past decade ranked No. 1 for food insecurity — the lack of reliable access to healthy food. –STLPR

Lewis’ Heru Urban Farming is helping to build a “grassroots ecosystem of Black urban growers, farmers markets, entrepreneurs and community leaders,” said STLPR. In recent years, urban farming has sprouted across St. Louis, allowing folks to access fresh produce.

His mission is to rebuild communities from the bottom up and allow them to become “self-sustaining” with an abundance of healthy food.

People are now tilling and planting on vacant lots, backyards, and school gardens across the metro area as they find ways to rebuild their communities after Democrats and offshoring jobs to China have wrecked local economies over multiple decades.

St. Louis is not the only city with high rates of homicides where urban agriculture programs are springing up. Urban gardens have been spotted across Baltimore City with goals to increase food access, reduce vacant blight, and create new opportunities for education and employment.

Instead of eating junk from corner stores and gas stations, perhaps healthy food is a novel plan to restore inner-city communities by first decreasing food scarcity and, second, allowing access to more nutrient-rich foods that increase brain development.

Though small plots of land in urban areas might not feed an entire neighborhood – and perhaps public/private investments in indoor vertical farming should be made for these communities.




10 Foods to Cut Out to Prevent and Treat Arthritis


Introduction

If you have arthritis, then you may be looking for some of the best home remedies for arthritis.

Learning some of the best exercises and considering the best joint pain supplements will help you manage your pain. This, in turn, will allow you to get back to living your best life and let you do the things you enjoy again.

Trying things like essential oils for arthritis may also be beneficial.

Also, it’s not just about making sure that you’re putting the right foods into your body. There are also some foods that you should be avoiding.

Read on to learn more about what you definitely shouldn’t be putting into your body if you have arthritis.

What Exactly Is Arthritis and What Are the Causes?

The term arthritis refers to a range of conditions. There are several different types, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

What arthritis refers to, in general, is inflammation of the joints in your body. This inflammation can cause pain and stiffness. Further, arthritis can be caused by aging, infection, or injury.

Arthritis Remedies

Exercise

If you have arthritis, then performing exercises that build strength in your joints will help protect them from further damage. Exercise is one of the best joint pain treatments.

Try Supplements

There are lots of supplements available on the market. Do your research and look into the best joint pain supplements available.

Something like Arthrozene may be beneficial. Arthrozene Reviews are generally positive and show that this may be helpful for those looking to reduce joint pain.

Try Essential Oils

Some oils may help those struggling with arthritis. Essential oils for arthritis include eucalyptus, lavender, evening primrose, and turmeric.

Eat Right

Just like there are foods you should avoid, there are also foods that you should aim to include in your daily diet. Look for edibles that contain antioxidants, like blueberries, and protein-based foods, like fish and lentils. A healthy diet is one of the best home remedies for arthritis. 

10 Foods to Avoid If You Have Arthritis

1. You can include salt in your diet. While salt is an important mineral, too much of it can exacerbate your symptoms and even increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if it’s not something you already struggle with.

Look for low-sodium foods and make sure that there’s no salt added. And don’t worry, there are still plenty of spices and herbs that you can use to add a little flavor to your meals.

2. Fried Foods. As delicious as they are, you’re going to want to be careful around any types of fried foods. Generally, they are dredged in oils that are high in saturated fats. These fats can trigger inflammation, so it’s best to avoid them. Also, many fried foods contain other ingredients that might lead to inflammation. These include bread, salt, and sugar.

3. Soda is chock-full of sugar, which can be a huge trigger for inflammation. Studies posit that drinking soda can trigger rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation in women. For this reason, it’s your safest bet to cut soda out of your diet.

Instead, go for a refreshing glass of water. Water is sugar-free and staying hydrated will help keep your joints lubricated.

4. Baked Goods. As sad as it is, you’re going to want to decrease the number of baked goods you’re eating if you’re suffering from arthritis. Not only do they often contain sugar, but they also frequently contain trans fats, which can stimulate inflammation.

It doesn’t mean you have to cut baked goods out entirely. It’s just that you’re going to want to eat them less frequently.

5. Full-Fat Cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese? Cheddar, Havarti, mozzarella… unfortunately, most cheeses contain saturated fats, which can trigger inflammation. Full-fat cheese can also lead to heart disease, so it’s best to avoid these cheeses as much as you can.

6. You were probably encouraged to drink a lot of milk as a kid—and for good reason. Milk contains calcium, which can help strengthen your bones. But, as we get older, many of us lose the ability to properly digest milk. Because the substance so hard on our bodies, it leads to inflammation. So, while milk is great for kids to drink, you might want to swap it out for something easier to digest as you advance in age.

7. Canned Foods. Some canned foods are perfectly fine to eat. However, you should be aware of the sodium and sugar content in many of these foods. Canned fruit, especially, can be very high in added sugar. Make sure to read the label on your canned goods, and look for the ones, which are low in salt and sugar to avoid eating anything that might trigger inflammation.

8. Who doesn’t love sharing a bottle of wine on date night, or drinking beer in the backyard on a hot summer day? Unfortunately, alcohol may not be great for those with arthritis.

It’s important to be mindful when you’re consuming alcohol. A small amount of red wine may be beneficial, but overall, you should try to drink as little as possible.

9. Gluten is a certain kind of protein that you’ll find in wheat, rye, and barley. It provides grain products with the structure that you’re familiar with. However, it can stimulate the inflammatory process. If you have arthritis, do your best to consume less gluten, or if possible, avoid it.

10. Red Meat. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a nice steak once in a while, don’t make eating red meat a habit. This type of meat tends to be pretty high in fat, which, as we know, will trigger inflammation. Eating too much red meat can also lead to other health problems. Instead, go for lean white meats like chicken, or consider eating more fish.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a difficult and frustrating condition. It’s important to find the right joint pain treatments, like getting exercises, trying supplements, and eating right.

Make sure to avoid the above foods as much as you can. You should also consider supplements like Arthrozene. Read up on Arthrozene Reviews to see what other users are saying, and speak to your doctor to determine if a supplement like this is right for you.