What’s Beneficial in an Orange?

“A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air.” - Henry Ward Beecher   Oranges make a healthy and refreshing snack. They are loaded with vitamin C and are relatively low in calories. The vitamin C in oranges is an important antioxidant. It is also vital in keeping your immune system healthy. It helps to neutralize pollutants, plays a role in antibody production, and boosts the absorption of nutrients. One medium size orange contains about 82.7 milligrams of vitamin C. What Other Vitamins Are in Oranges? Vitamin A Vitamin A aids in cell reproduction. It stimulates immunity and hormone development and promotes bone growth and tooth development. Vitamin A also helps healthy skin, healthy hair and vision. A medium size orange contains 269 IU of vitamin A. B1 (Thiamin) Oranges are a good source of Vitamin B1, which is also known as thiamine. B1 helps your body convert blood sugar into energy. It is also instrumental in maintaining the health of the following bodily systems and functions: cardiovascular system, muscular function and the nervous system. A medium size orange contains 9.17 milligrams of vitamin B1. Dietary Fiber Oranges are also a good source of dietary fiber. An average orange provides 28 percent of the RDA of dietary fiber. Soluble fiber is instrumental in promoting good cardiovascular health. Folic Acid Oranges are a good source of folic acid, which is the naturally-occurring form of vitamin B9. Folic acid facilitates the making of protein, red blood cells and DNA, the carrier of your genetic identity. One cup of orange juice holds about 80 milligrams. Niacin Aids in proper blood circulation and promotes skin health. This vitamin supports nervous system function and helps your body metabolize proteins and fats. A medium orange contains about 0.6 milligrams of niacin. Minerals found in Oranges Magnesium Is necessary for healthy bones and developing new cells. It is also needed for insulin secretion and function and helps with the absorption of calcium, vitamin C and potassium. One cup of fresh orange juice contains 27.28 milligrams of magnesium. Phosphorus Along with calcium, phosphorus is needed for the development of healthy bones, teeth and nerve cells. 40 milligrams of phosphorus is in an 8-ounce glass of fresh orange juice.  Potassium Is a mineral, the right balance of potassium and sodium properly conducts electricity in your body, which maintains the health of your cells and enables them to work properly. A 6-ounce serving of orange juice contains 332 milligrams of potassium. Trace Minerals Found in Oranges Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc are also in oranges. It has always been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This seems to be also true of oranges. However, you choose to enjoy this healthy snack, be it eating an orange or drinking a fresh glass of orange juice, [...]

2018-11-06T16:58:11+00:00 By |

Keto vs. Paleo – Here’s What Science Says About Which Low Carb Diet is Best

Find Out Which Diet Works Best for You and Your Lifestyle!   There will always be some type of low carb diet that gets the wellness community excited. Remember when Atkins and South Beach diets were the talk of the town? Pretty much most of these fad diets focus on decreasing intake sugar and carbohydrates. Today, two most popular low carb diets are the ketogenic diet and the paleo, or caveman, diet. I’ve written quite a bit lately about the ketogenic diet because I’ve been inspired by this free keto diet cookbook. When I compared it to the paleo diet, I found that they are actually quite similar. So, does it matter which one you choose? Here are some comments from the scientific community that may help you decide which one (if either) is best for you. Ketogenic Diet A study published in Experimental & Clinical Cardiology examined the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet. Researchers conducted the study on obese participants. The diet consisted of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Here are the results: The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. Marcelo Campos, MD at Harvard Medical School, claims: We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. He does add that the keto diet can be heavy on red meat and fatty, high-sodium, processed foods. Going keto doesn’t mean you can gorge on sausage and bacon! Be aware of where you’re getting your protein, and try to eat red meat in moderation. Also, get your healthy fats from live foods such as oils, nuts, seeds, fish, and avocados. Animal studies offer additional insights. One study evaluated the effects of a ketogenic diet on mice. The researchers published their finding in the journal Cell Metabolism. Here’s their conclusion: A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet extends longevity in adult male mice. Motor function, memory, and muscle mass are preserved in aged ketogenic mice. Furthermore, the Scientific American reports: Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Paleolithic Diet A study in Nutrition Research examined if the paleo diet had a favorable effect on adults with high blood cholesterol levels. They compared it with the effects of the grain-based heart-healthy diet that the American Heart Association recommends. Twenty volunteers who [...]

2018-10-25T13:49:18+00:00 By |

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Gluten?

Common Signs of a ‘Gluten Allergy’ You Should Watch Out For   The word “gluten” has become such a buzzword in recent years, most likely because of the sudden popularity of the gluten-free diet that’s been endorsed by famous personalities. Before you consider trying this diet, read this page first to learn about gluten, and how it can negatively impact your body and health in the long run. What Is Gluten? A type of protein, gluten is composed of glutenin and gliadin molecules that form an elastic bond when mixed with water. Gluten is highly noted for its adhesive abilities that can maintain a compact structure for holding bread and cakes together, and providing a spongier texture. This ability isn’t surprising, considering that the word “gluten” is derived from the Latin word for “glue.” While it does wonders for these foods, the same cannot be said for your body. Research has shown that gluten can be quite harmful for you because of the vast range of complications it might cause (more on this to come in a while). What Does Gluten Do to Your Body? A major caveat linked to gluten is its tendency to impede proper nutrient breakdown and absorption from foods, regardless if they have gluten or not. This may prevent proper digestion because excess gluten leads to the formation of a glued-together constipating lump in the gut. Afterward, the undigested gluten prompts the immune system to attack the villi, or the fingerlike projections lining your small intestine.1 This may lead to side effects such as  diarrhea or constipation, nausea and abdominal pain. Excessive gluten consumption and further small intestine damage and inflammation may predispose a person to nutrient malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, osteoporosis, other neurological or psychological diseases, and complications linked to the skin, liver, joints, nervous system and more. What Are the Types of Food That Contain Gluten? Gluten is predominantly found in whole grains like rye, barley, triticale and oats; in wheat varieties like spelt, kamut, farro, durum; and in other products like bulgar and semolina.2 Wheat-based flours and byproducts that also contain high quantities of this protein include:3,4,5,6 If there’s another compelling reason why you shouldn’t eat processed foods, it’s because these items often contain gluten. Here are examples of foods with gluten, even though they’re not made from grains:7,8 Even worse, manufacturers deceive customers by “hiding” gluten products like wheat under other names in food labels, such as:13,14 • Malts • Starches and other derivatives • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) • Hydrolyzed wheat protein15 • Textured vegetable protein (TVP) Common Signs of a ‘Gluten Allergy’ You Should Watch Out For Consuming too much gluten can prompt various complications, such as a gluten allergy, wherein the immune system produces “weapons” to combat gluten in your system. However, a gluten allergy is not to be confused with gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity16 or celiac disease.17 It is quite similar to other food allergies, since these are all responses to a particular [...]

2018-10-24T18:03:49+00:00 By |

Foods Scientifically Proven to Kill Cancer

Can Food Fight Cancer?   In order to defeat cancer and ensure there is no recurrence, the body must be brought into balance and the immune system rebuilt and fine tuned. So how is this feat accomplished? Detox, detox, detox and achieve a slightly alkaline pH, while filling the body with the best, organic, nutritionally dense food available. Your goal is to rebuild a killer immune system as you bathe every non-cancerous cell in your body with nutrition. For specific foods known to eliminate cancer, check out the following list: Omega 3 Oily fish, fish oil, flax seed oil, hemp oil, and healthy oil blend supplements provide omega 3 fatty acids (and other beneficial fatty acids), which fight inflammation and make the body less hospitable to cancer cells. Vitamin D is also known to kill cancer, and you can find many fish oils and some vegan oil blends with vitamin D in them. Cruciferous Vegetables Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, watercress, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, bok choy, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, arugula, and more. These vegetables contain sulforaphane and other helpful compounds, which help fight tumors, breast, prostate, brain, and colorectal cancers, as well as leukemia. Broccoli sprouts and mature broccoli in combination really pack nutritional, cancer fighting punch. Berries Black raspberries appear to reign supreme, though all berries contain cancer fighting phytonutrients and high amounts of ellagic acid, which inhibit tumor growth. Maitake and Shiitake Mushrooms Google maitake mushrooms and cancer and the American Cancer Society pops up at the top of the search list. For one brief moment it seemed they might actually be doing their job, but no. They claim there have been no studies to show that maitake or any other mushroom help fight cancer. Continue your search and study after study reveals they do indeed. Mushrooms boost immune function and are a great source of antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamins C and B vitamins as well as calcium and other minerals. Tumeric Curcumin, found in turmeric, inhibits the spread of cancer (metastases) along with its anti-inflammatory and oxidative effects. Tumeric can be found at farmer's markets in root form. It can be used liberally to spice your food (great on salads or in salad dressing as well as in cooked dishes) with no side effects. Tomatoes The active compounds found in tomatoes, carotenoids and lycopene (especially lycopene), are very helpful, especially in the fight of prostate and pancreatic cancer in men. Seven to ten helpings are week are suggested, both cooked and raw juice. To gain the health benefits of juice, make your own. Store bought tomato juice will be pasteurized. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant. Folate Egg yolks, avocadoes, apricots, green leafy vegetables, and pumpkin are among the foods rich in folate. For meat eaters, chicken livers are very high in folate. Studies involving folate or its synthetic form, folic acid, show a significant reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Folate or folic acid ?is essential [...]

2018-10-23T18:44:00+00:00 By |

Chlorella Boosts Immune Function

Chlorella's Effect on Disorders and Diseases   For anyone who suffers from frequent bouts of upper respiratory tract issues, and even for anyone wanting to protect against them, research shows three interesting things: First, about 95 percent of all infections start in what's called the mucosal surfaces, or moist areas such as your nose, eyes and mouth.1 Second, a School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences study2 at Bangor University in the U.K. revealed that women who don't tend to get much exercise but then start walking briskly for 45 minutes a day may, after just a few months, cut the frequency of such infections in half. Third, mucosal surfaces can be protected by "immunological barrier" antibodies contained in chlorella, a freshwater alga. In fact, this relatively unknown alga has so many beneficial functions in your body, it's hard to list them all. But first, we'll tackle the impact of the studies. Dr. Michael Greger, a New York Times best sellers author at Nutrition Facts, explains that even a 30-minute workout three times a week might be enough to provide a significant immune system boost and considerably curtail your risk of developing upper respiratory problems.3 But regarding its relation to your susceptibility to flu-like symptoms (and arguably, the flu itself), those mucosal surfaces: " … [A]re protected by antibodies like IgA, which provide 'an immunological barrier by neutralizing and preventing viral pathogens from penetrating the body through the mucosal surfaces.' The IgA in our saliva, for example, is 'the first line of defense against respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and influenza.'"4 He also states that it doesn't take much, including in children: "Let kids run around for just six minutes, and you can boost the numbers of immune cells circulating in their bloodstream by more than a third."5 How Studies Have Used Chlorella to Increase Athletes' Immune Systems While it may seem counterintuitive, it was established years ago that heavy exercise for a prolonged period may actually reduce your resistance to infections, even leading to a two to six times greater risk of acquiring an upper respiratory tract infection following strenuous activity such as marathon participation.6 As such, immune function is something savvy sports coaches keep their eye on and even monitor, as illnesses like these can seriously undermine athletic performance. One of the most effective ways to inhibit illness is to minimize contact with cold viruses, but it's not always enough for athletes who push their bodies to extremes (or otherwise overtrain) to wash their hands or wear a mask. Upper respiratory tract infections can be initiated when latent viruses already inside your body (such as Epstein-Barr [EBV]) are reactivated. According to Greger, this can happen as soon as your immune system starts to flag. In fact, IgA levels drop the day before EBV "comes out of hiding" and symptoms begin emerging, which can be linked to reduced salivary IgA during training. Greger suggests that to keep athletes' collective immune functions strong, using [...]

2018-10-23T18:20:59+00:00 By |

Why Low-Carb Diets May Be Ideal for Most People, Including Athletes

Jeff Volek, Ph.D., and registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, has done enormous work in the field of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets, investigating how it affects human health and athletic performance. Volek has published many scientific articles as well as several books, including "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living," and "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance." Both of these books were co-authored with Dr. Stephen Phinney, a physician and true pioneer in this field, who has studied low-carb diets even longer than Volek. Starting out as a dietician, Volek was taught that low-fat diets were healthy and that saturated fats and cholesterol should be avoided. But in working with diabetics, he kept feeling that something was "off." Why should diabetics eat so many carbs? "In essence, it drove me to want to understand metabolism and nutrition at a much deeper level," he says. "I was also into self-experimentation ... I was at the time into very low-fat diets, thinking that was how I would optimize my own health. But I decided to experiment with a very low-carb diet." Low-Carb Diets Can Benefit Athletes and Non-Athletes Alike His experimentation began in the early '90s and, to his great surprise, his low-carb experiment proved to be anything but harmful. This fueled his passion for understanding how humans respond to diets that are very low in carbohydrates, and led him to continue his education. He has now spent the last 15 years conducting research in this area, and the outcomes from most experiments have been very encouraging. "The science continues to point in the direction that there are a lot of applications for these diets for a large number of people. We're still sorting out a lot of the details, but clearly we need to change the way we feed Americans and the way we think about nutrition in order to reverse ... obesity and diabetes." He's also done research on low- and non-fiber carb diets and athletic performance, and here too results have proved quite positive — despite running counter to everything he was taught about diet and performance in school, and in most of the scientific literature as well. "It's been an interesting journey to say the least ...The things I was reading, the things I was taught were not really based on a lot of science, and were a lot of half-truths and misinformation, which still persist today," he notes. Is Your Diet Driving Your Metabolism in the Right Direction? Most of the food (fuel) people eat these days is moving their metabolism in the wrong direction. The Westernized diet constantly biases you toward using more nonfiber carbs for fuel. Most Americans are primarily burning glucose as their primary fuel, which actually inhibits their body's ability to access and burn body fat. Healthy fat, meanwhile, is a far preferable sort of fuel, as it burns far more efficiently than carbs. As noted by Volek, humans [...]

2018-10-23T16:05:48+00:00 By |

Chamomile Tea: Why This Ancient Therapeutic Drink Still Stands Out Today

Chamomile Tea Helps Lower Risk of Thyroid Cancer   The story of chamomile goes back to ancient European and Western Asian civilizations. Greeks, Egyptians and Romans valued the flower for its varied uses, such as for treating erythema and xerosis (severely dry skin). Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was one of the first luminaries to advocate the use of this plant.1 It was only during the Medieval Age that chamomile came into widespread use. During the 16th and 17th centuries, doctors and healers prescribed chamomile for all kinds of uses, and it was even used as an ingredient to make other medicines. Chamomile was also taken as a tea, and is still a practice that survives today.2 The Potential Benefits of Drinking Chamomile Tea Chamomile contains a mixture of essential oils, vitamins and minerals that are known to provide an array of benefits. One of the easiest ways of gaining these positive effects is to make tea from the flowers, which is one of the most common ways of consuming chamomile.3 Here are several documented benefits of chamomile tea that may help with your health: Improves cardiovascular function: Flavonoids in plants like chamomile have been long associated with a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease, as well as myocardial infarction. In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, chamomile tea helped improve brachial artery pressure among the participants 30 minutes after drinking.4 Improves digestive function for babies with colic: Chamomile tea may be helpful in reducing colic in babies, especially when combined with other herbs. In a correlated study published in Pediatrics in Review, infants who took chamomile tea had a success rate of 57 percent in the elimination of colic compared to those who only took a placebo, which only had a success rate of 27 percent.5 Induces sleepiness: Chamomile tea has long been known for its ability to help induce sleep, especially when taken via tea or aromatherapy. In the study conducted on brachial artery patients, researchers also observed that 10 of the participants went into a deep sleep for 90 minutes after drinking chamomile tea.6 Helps lower risk of thyroid cancer: Apigenin, an antioxidant found in chamomile, has been shown to fight various cancer cells (breast, digestive tract, skin, prostate and uterus) in test tube studies.7,8 Another study supports this claim, as evidenced in the European Journal of Public Health. Researchers found that there’s an inverse relationship between chamomile tea consumption and benign/malignant thyroid diseases among the Greek patients who participated in the study.9 Helps manage blood sugar levels: According to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, Type 2 diabetics who consumed chamomile tea regularly experienced decreased concentration of HbA1C, serum insulin levels, LDL cholesterol, triglyceride and homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance.10 Helps manage inflammation: Chamomile contains compounds that may help prevent inflammation caused by microbes. In one example, chamomile has been shown to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori,11 a microbe that can [...]

2018-10-23T15:24:15+00:00 By |

Omega-3 Level Is the Best Predictor of Mortality

What Is the Omega-3 Index and Why Is It Important?   Omega-3 has once again been validated for its usefulness to not only lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) but also your risk of all-cause mortality. Beyond that, the new research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, suggests measuring your omega-3 blood level may be a better predictor of your risk of death than your serum cholesterol. Omega-6s also recently made the news for similar reasons, giving me an opportunity to remind you of the importance of balancing your intake of these two essential fatty acids. Because you are more likely to be omega-3 deficient, I highly recommend you take the omega-3 index blood test to accurately determine and begin to track your omega-3 percentage. As part of a consumer-sponsored research project, GrassrootsHealth has created a convenient test kit to measure both your vitamin D and omega-3 index. This data will be used to analyze the health benefits of these vital nutrients, as well as any potential linkage between the two. Given the importance of vitamin D and omega-3s to your overall health and longevity, this is a test you simply cannot afford to overlook. Omega-3 Level Slashes Your Risk of Mortality and CVD Events Research funded by the National Institutes of Health once again highlights the importance of your omega-3 level to your heart health and overall well-being. The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology,1 looked at the value of measuring blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids to assess your risk for developing certain diseases. The outcome? A higher omega-3 index was associated with a lower risk for: Total CVD events Total coronary heart disease (CHD) events Total strokes In this body of work, led by omega-3 expert and prolific researcher William Harris, Ph.D., professor of medicine, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, the omega-3 index was measured for 2,500 participants (54 percent women) in the offspring cohort of the Framingham Heart Study.2 The omega-3 index reflects the EPA and DHA content of your red blood cell membranes. All participants, who had an average age of 66 years and were CVD free at baseline, were tracked until about age 73. Besides tracking total mortality, researchers also noted death from CVD, cancer and other causes, as well as any associations between omega-3 index levels and risk of CVD events, fatal or not. While increased levels of omega-3s have been shown to reduce your CVD risk, the researchers also noted a strong association between the omega-3 index and death from all other causes. Notably, when comparing participant omega-3 index levels, those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids slashed their risk of death from any cause by 34 percent. This outcome suggests omega-3s provide other beneficial actions beyond the well-known ones associated with a pathological process, such as plaque buildup in your arteries, for example.3 The participants with the highest omega-3 [...]

2018-10-23T14:56:04+00:00 By |

How to Have a Happy Halloween with Healthier Candy Choices

Where to Find Tasty Candy Without Unhealthy Additives.   Halloween is approaching, which for many of us means searching far and wide for the perfect costume, stocking up on spooky decorations, and… strategizing ways to reject those inviting “take one” candy jack-o-lanterns displayed on every doorstep and storefront.   Indulging in one (or two) sweet treats is inevitable for most of us on the holiday. As a dietitian and founder of Tovita Nutrition, I’ve seen Halloween get the best (and worst) of people. What’s scariest to me about the candy isn’t the sugar content - we already know that candy is a treat and it’s not where you aim to get quality nutrition - but rather the synthetic ingredients that many candies are made with. Lakes, dyes, high-fructose corn syrup… you name it. The good news is that in 2018, the ultimate era of health awareness, there are so many healthier alternatives to the candy we grew up eating. That’s right, I said healthier, not to be confused with healthy.   This piece isn’t meant to deter you from indulging, and it’s not meant to help you navigate trick-or-treating without overdoing it (sorry!). It’s meant to shed light on the fact that there actually are better-for-you versions of the candy we know and love, that ditch artificial ingredients and coloring. 1. Chocolate coated candies from UNREAL vs. M&M’s When I think of chocolate candies, my mind goes straight to my childhood favorite: M&M’s. I used collect the blue ones and eat them in one giant mouthful until my tongue turned blue. Looking back on that and knowing today what makes those candies blue, I CRINGE! So, I’m introducing the new and improved chocolate candy, and there’s nothing artificial about them! They are made with organic, non-GMO, and sustainable ingredients. While M&M’s contain artificial coloring from lakes and dyes, UNREAL candies are colored with ingredients like beet juice, turmeric extract, and cabbage juice. While you should never turn to candy for your daily dose of fiber, it doesn’t hurt that a serving of the chocolate coated candies have a nice 3 grams of fiber :)   2. Gummy bears and worms from YumEarth vs. Haribo If you’re not a chocoholic, you’re not off the hook! The gummy candies we grew up eating are certainly not made with organic ingredients, and they too are loaded with artificial ingredients. These YumEarth gummy bears are colored with juices from pomegranates, carrots, apples, and blackcurrants instead of synthetic food coloring. Not to mention, your standard serving of Haribo gummy bears has 22 grams of sugar, while a serving of YumEarth pomegranate bears has 17 grams.   3. Yoyo Bear Nibbles vs. “Fruit Roll-Ups” Yoyo fruit rolls are the new and improved fruit roll ups, boasting clean, vegan ingredients like real fruit and fruit extracts for coloring. Not to mention they have NO added sugar! That’s right, the sugar it contains is straight from the fruit it’s made with. Bonus: they’re [...]

2018-10-15T14:30:15+00:00 By |