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“Dying to Be Me” by Anita Moorjani

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I recently finished reading this wonderful book and today, I want to share it with you all! The story deeply touched my soul with hope and unconditional love. She defines her book as her “journey from cancer to near death to true healing”. She came back to life to spread her message of being fearless and yourself.

In her writing, Anita Moorjani describes how her body began shutting down, overwhelmed by lemon-sized cancer tumors spreading throughout her system. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realized the cause of her disease. I wish I could do that and heal myself too!

Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so quickly that she was released from the hospital a few weeks later without any evidence of cancer in her body! In these pages, Anita narrates some stories of her childhood in Hong Kong, as part of a traditional Hindu family living in a Chinese and British society. She couldn’t belong in any of these cultures, being bullied and rejected. Anita had been pushed and pulled by cultural and religious customs her entire life. Facing the challenge to follow her heart wishes of establishing her career and finding true love, as well as how she eventually ended up in that hospital bed where she was in coma having an amazing near-death experience.

Her life was a struggle trying to meet everyone else’s expectations… Does it sound familiar to you? Because, I can see myself doing this, trying to please others putting myself and my dreams in a secondary place. On the other realm, she had the realization that she had the power to heal and be herself! In Dying to Be Me, Anita openly shares her remarkable experience and all she has learned about illness, healing, fear and the true magnificence of each and every human being! She realized that our true nature, our true Self is “love”. We are spiritual beings connected to each other and because of that, we are all One! Whatever we do affects the entire Universe.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! Be yourself no matter what… Be pure love and keep the peace within you!

To know more about Anita Moorjani visit www.anitamoorjani.com

 

 

A Lifestyle Prescription for Optimal Health: GMOs: Why Do Americans NOT Have the Right to Know? – 29

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  • rousseauGod (Nature, in my view) makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil. He fore’s one soil to yield the products of another, one tree to bear another’s fruit. He confuses and confounds time, place, and natural conditions. He mutilates his dog, his horse, and his slave. He destroys and defaces all things; he loves all that is deformed and monstrous; he will have nothing as nature made it, not even himself, who must learn his paces like a saddle-horse, and be shaped to his master’s taste like the trees in his garden.” ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Although I recently wrote about the continuing debate Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) may pose to our health, I feel compelled to bring it up once again due to the abundance of importance this topic poses with regard to our long-term health as well as our rights as American citizens.

Currently, there are 64 nations around the globe that require labeling of labelgenetically modified foods sold to their citizens. This list of nations includes both developed and less developed nations, but the one thing they all have in common is that their citizens are given the right to make informed decisions about the type of food offered in their market places: are they genetically modified or not? If so, a label must be present to identify those foods as GM foods. Many of these countries are industrialized nations such as Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan, and even China! Here is the complete list of these countries in alphabetical order according to The Center for Food Safety:

Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
labeling_around_the_worldAccording to a recent national survey performed by Consumer Reports National Research Center, 92 per cent of Americans – 92% of Americans – agree that food should be labelled as GM or non-GM. WE, the people, WANT THE RIGHT to make informed decisions that we feel are most important for our family and for our health, but this is not the case. Why are we excluded from the long list of nations that allows it citizens to make these decisions about the type of food they wish to buy for their children when 92% of Americans are demanding to have that right?

In the U.S. many GMO foods are found in processed foods, restaurant foods, and in pseudo-REAL foods. A pseudo-REAL food is one found in the produce area of the grocery that looks and smells like a REAL food, but has been GM. In the author’s opinion when a food has been genetically manipulated through transgenic, gene-splicing techniques to create foods that Nature did not sanction, the food cannot be classified as REAL because its genetic structure was reformulated through biotechnological engineering with unknown health consequences that may develop due to those manipulations. With scientists now capable of creating plants and animals totally unknown to Nature, it becomes our right to know which foods we want to feed our family – GMOs or Nature’s REAL foods – just as the American people have overwhelmingly expressed their concern for choosing.

According to Dr. Thierry Vrain, former research scientist for Agriculture gmo_field_storm_scientistCanada, “Genetic engineering is 40 years old. It is based on the naive understanding of the genome based on the One Gene – one protein hypothesis of 70 years ago, that each gene codes for a single protein. The Human Genome project completed in 2002 showed that this hypothesis is wrong.

The whole paradigm of the genetic engineering technology is based on a misunderstanding. Every scientist now learns that any gene can give more than one protein and that inserting a gene anywhere in a plant eventually creates rogue proteins. Some of these proteins are obviously allergenic or toxic.”

The Non-GMO Project represents the only independent verification system for products made according to best practices for GMO avoidance in North America.

The irony to all of this is that the mega-biotech corporations producing Theirry-Vrain-GE-Tourmany of our processed foods recognize the public’s demand for non-GMO foods is going through the roof. Nutrition Business Journal has reported that sales of non-GMO processed foods that have either been certified as Organic or that carry the “Non-GMO Project Verified” seal has increased by a whopping 80%. This response has caused some food corporations to voluntarily label their products as Non-GMO Project Verified or Organic, but this volunteerism does not extend to all processed foods and certainly not to pseudo-REAL foods which keeps all Americans in the dark about what they are buying for their family.

Dr. Nathan Hendricks is an agricultural economist with Kansas State University. He says, “They are experimenting, in case labeling does become mandatory and boosts demand for non-GMOs. Of course, they may do this without too much fanfare to avoid raising questions about why they’re removing GMOs from some of their products but not others.”top-10-gmo-foods

But the GMO issue goes much deeper than most Americans suspect. Corn and soybeans are the two most widely GM crops that are harvested in the U.S. today. Processed foods such as non-organic tortilla chips most likely will be made from GM corn, while all soy processed foods – everything from soy bacon to soy yogurt – will also be made from GM soy crops unless these foods are identified as Organic which does not allow the use of GM ingredients or they are labelled as “Non-GMO Project Verified.” But this lack of identity goes down to the use of many spices and seasoning mixes that often contain soy or corn ingredients with the GM list more pervasive beyond our imagination. Soft drinks (sodas) can easily contain GM ingredients because they contain Corn Syrup. Any ingredient with the word corn or soy is very likely to be a GM food, so the list of GM products on the U.S. market is mind-boggling. GM ingredients also include the artificial sweetener aspartame, and the sweetener glucose as well as citric acid. It is safe to bet that unless the processed food is identified as Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified, then at least some of the ingredients will contain GM ingredients that we are not being told about.storymaker-ten-genetically-modified-crops0-515x388

GMO companies such as Monsanto try to make a point that GM crops are good the environment and the crops because the use of pesticides it greatly reduced with these crops. While the use of insecticides that kills bugs has been reduced since the introduction of GM crops in the mid-1990’s, the use of herbicides that are used for killing weeds has soared.

Many GMO corn, soybean and other crops have been genetically engineered to survive the use of the weed killer Roundup, also known as glyphosate which is made by Monsanto. The seeds of these GM plants were introduced 1996 by Monsanto and were specifically engineered to resist destruction from Roundup. But the use of Roundup since that time has increased nearly TENFOLD in order to kill the weeds that now have become resistant to Roundup. Just as our overuse of antibiotics to kill bacterial pathogens responsible for disease caused the creation of Super Bugs antibiotics are no longer able to kill, the overuse of Roundup has resulted in OUR creating an epidemic of FrankenWeeds that have become immune to Roundup which it can no longer destroy. How idiotic can we be given our history with the overuse of antibiotics?1833774_1421815559169

Via the U.S. Geological Survey
Use of the herbicide glyphosate, known by the brand name Roundup, has expanded since 1992, according to U.S. Geological Survey records. Genetically modified ‘Roundup Ready’ soybeans, which allow farmers to kill weeds without killing the crop, became available in 1994.”

Stratus Agri-Marketing conducts an annual survey of American farmers. The survey has found that the rate at which Roundup-resistant weeds (also known as glyphosate-resistant weeds) are created continues to gain momentum year after year. In 2011, weed resistance was at 34% for American farmers, while in 2012 immune weeds have increased to 49% on U.S. farms using Monsanto GE crops! In 2012 the total number of acres infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds had grown to 61.2 million acres. Increases are being seen in most states across the country with the Midwest especially being affected. Kent Fraser, president of Stratus Agri-Marketing said, “We asked farmers to share their experiences with glyphosate resistance on their farms and we’re clearly seeing the problem intensify. There is a very high rate of resistance in the southern states like Georgia where 92% of growers reported having glyphosate-resistant weeds. And we’re also seeing the problem intensify in the Midwest. In Illinois, 43% of farmers reported having glyphosate-resistant weeds in 2012.”

Via the U.S. Geological Survey. The graph shows the increase in Roundup usage from 1992 to imidacloprid-by-crops-copy2011, with various colors denoting which crop farmers treated with the herbicide.”

And what is the “solution” according to the biotech industry? Create yet more types of GM crops which they have, along with the USDA’s blessing! Dow AgroSciences has recently received the go ahead from the federal government to sell another brand of Enlist GMO corn and soybean crops that will be resistant to both Roundup and to the herbicide, 2,4-D. Charles Benbrook, Ph.D. and research professor at Washington State University says, “Since this is likely to make even more weeds immune to both Roundup and 2,4-D, this ‘solution’ to the super-weed problem makes about as much sense as pouring gasoline on a fire to put it out.”

These increases in the amounts of herbicides used to control these weeds could easily affect consumers’ health. These herbicides can easily wind up in the crops themselves which cannot be washed out. A group of 70 scientists, doctors and health professionals have tried to bring attention to the fact that some studies have found exposure to 2, 4-D linked to increased risks of birth defects, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and reproductive issues.

Questions that need to be asked and answered:GM-crops-009

  1. WHY is our government allowing biotech industries a free hand to grow GMO crops when there are NO long-term studies indicating that they are safe?
  2. WHY are these crops not being identified in the processed foods they are used as ingredients or in the pseudo-REAL foods found in the produce areas of the grocery or when they used as ingredients in our restaurants?
  3. WHY can 64 nations around the world clearly identify these GM foods for their citizens, while the U.S. government keeps the American public in the dark when 92% of the populace wants to know?
  4. How can we ignore the consequences of our misuse of antibiotics and replicate that calamity with yet another tragedy that may have far greater dire consequences than what we are experiencing from our overuse of antibiotics?
  5. WHO is a safer arbitrator for our health: Man/Government or Nature?Latest-Food-Trends-10-722x406








Asparagus Soup

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I love green asparagus! They are not just delicious, asparagus are packed with health benefits: Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidants, heart heath and blood sugar regulation, just to mention some. It is also, a very good source of fiber, minerals, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6 and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.asparagus

I could eat them just raw, but while living in Spain I learned how to grill them. Just 3-4 minutes in a warm pan with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and the result is a crunchy-grilled asparagus soooo delicious. The most simple way to cook and enjoy these seasonal wonderful greens. While enjoying asparagus season, I decided to make an easy tasty soup with just a few ingredients to storage in the freezer. Here I share my recipe. Enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of fresh green asparagus (about 2 pounds) washed and minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a handful of raw cashews (optional, just to add protein!)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cups of water

Procedure

In a medium saucepan heat the extra virgin olive oil into a medium heat.

asparagus1

Add the garlic and onion. Stir frying for a couple minutes and seasoning.

Then, add the asparagus and keep frying for a few minutes.

asparagus1.

Add the water, cashews and simmer for 15 minutes approximately or until boiling.

asparagus2

Use a hand blender to make it creamy. Yummy!

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Serve it warm and show your loved ones how much you care about them! Life is full of lovely and unrepeatable moments!

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A Lifestyle Prescription for Optimal Health: Is Coffee the New Miracle Drink? – 28

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“Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and our study

2 shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain.” – study author Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Multiple sclerosis (MS) continues to be a befuddling disease. It is thought to be a T-cell autoimmune disease that is influenced by genetic and environmental factors affecting the central nervous system to include the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is known that early exposure to sunlight so the body can produce adequate amounts of vitamin D may be an important environmental factor for preventing the development of MS, but its exact cause continues to remain an unknown. Now two new studies, one American and one Swedish have found that heavy drinking of black coffee each day produces significant protection from developing the autoimmune disease.
The Swedish study included 1629 participants with MS and 2807 healthy people. The U.S. study had 1159 participants with MS, and 1172 healthy people. Both studies looked at the amount of coffee consumed by these people one and five years before MS symptoms ever appeared, while the Swedish study even looked at their participants ten years before MS symptoms appeared and compared their coffee consumption with those that did not develop MS. The Swedish study was supported by the Swedish Medical Research Council and the Swedish Association for Persons with Neurological Disabilities, among others, and found that participants who consumed at least 6 cups of coffee per day during the 1, 5, and 10 years before symptoms were ONE THIRD LESS LIKELY to develop MS compared to those that abstained from coffee drinking. A very similar outcome was found with the John Hopkins study: those participants that did not drink coffee were ONE THIRD MORE LIKELY to develop MS over the participants who did drink 4 or more cups of coffee on a daily basis.
The typical Swedish cup of coffee is smaller than an American cup, so the two study findings were consistent. Dr. Ellen Mowry, the lead author of the American study said, “Caffeine should be studied for its impact on relapses and long-term disability in MS as well.” She also said, “This doesn’t mean we should be recommending rampant coffee drinking.”
What these two studies do indicate is that there is something about coffee drinkers that is protective for preventing MS, and that the new evidence supports many previous studies that drinking coffee with caffeine may be neuroprotective. Other studies have found high consumption of coffee on a daily basis lowers the risk for diseases involving degeneration of neurons, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Mowry’s research team thinks the protective effect of coffee consumption may be narrowed to its main ingredient – caffeine, as they stated, “Caffeine has neuroprotective properties and seems to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may be mechanisms that explain the observed association.” Dr. Mowry went on to say, “Caffeine could be an attractive compound given its apparent benefit in protecting against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The exact mechanism by which it does so in those diseases is unclear, and if caffeine is confirmed to be protective in MS, it may still be acting via a different mechanism.”
“Greater consumption of coffee is associated with reduced odds of multiple sclerosis,” American Academy of Neurology, 2015
Another newly published study has found additional benefits for heavy coffee consumption. A study completed by the Imperial College London has found drinking 4 cups of coffee per day, caffeinated or decaf, lowered the risk for developing endometrial cancer, a cancer of the uterus, by 18 per cent compared to women who drank only one to two cups of coffee each day. Researchers at Imperial College were studying the effects of 84 different foods and nutrients have in women’s diets before focusing on coffee when they noticed the reduction for endometrial cancer with women that drank 4 or more cups of coffee each day.
The lead research fellow in cancer epidemiology at Imperial College London, Dr. Melissa Merritt stated that, “We were not surprised by the results that a high versus low intake of coffee was associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, because they were consistent with what has been observed in previous studies.”
Dr. Merritt continued, “We used a ‘nutrient-wide association study,’ a new approach to systematically evaluate the association of dietary factors with endometrial cancer risk. This approach was inspired by genome-wide association studies that look at genetic risk factors for cancer, but in our case we investigated 84 foods and nutrients in place of genes as risk factors for endometrial cancer.3

She added, “We confirmed observations from previous studies that having a high versus low intake of coffee was associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, and for most other dietary factors there was no association with endometrial cancer risk.”

And again she continued, “Coffee intake is worth investigating further to see if coffee can be used for the prevention of endometrial cancer. However, before clinical recommendations can be made, further studies are needed to evaluate this question in other studies and to try to isolate the components of coffee that may be responsible for any influence on endometrial cancer.”
But the study was unable to offer advice on whether caffeinated or decaf coffee was more protective because the study did not try to differentiate between caffeinated and decaf consumption. Although the researchers do not know precisely why coffee appears to offer protection from this cancer, they do know that coffee is a very good source of antioxidants (phytochemicals that protect cells from free radical damage) that protect and slow the rate of cell damage which may offer a protective effect against the development of cancer. The new study is considered to be of value by Dr. Robert Morgan, a professor of medical oncology with the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center because it is “validating other studies showing coffee has a beneficial effect in decreasing endometrial cancer.”
In the United States endometrial cancer affects 1 in 37 women and is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs. More than 54,000 American women are expected to be diagnosed with either endometrial or uterine sarcomas with over 10,000 women dying from the disease next year. It is 3.5 times more common in women that are overweight or obese compared to women that are a normal weight. There are more than 600,000 survivors of endometrial cancer in the U.S.
Again, women that are overweight or obese are THREE AND ONE HALF TIMES MORE LIKELY TO COME WITH ENDOMETRIAL CANCER. Why would that be? These women’s blood glucose levels would frequently be surging and crashing, causing them to become very hungry, only to resupply their body with anti-foods made of refined processed foods or fast-foods. This brings on the weight issues, leading to excess levels of silent inflammation throughout the body. Uncontrolled glucose begins with the SAD, and until we can change the source of our cravings from anti-foods to Real foods, these chronic health issues will remain because the source of our health problems is not extinguished. Just switching from the soda and fruit juices so many Americans drink on a daily basis to hot tea and coffee without sugar would cause a tremendous upswing for improving our overall health.
A 2013 study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, conducted research to discover just how effective tea and coffee might be with regard to prostate cancer. They were interested in finding out if the bioactive compounds, namely the many antioxidant phytochemicals contained within these beverages from Nature would have any effect upon rates of cancer, its recurrence or delaying the progression of the disease.
It was found, once again, that those participants that drank four or more cups of coffee each day had a 59% reduction for the recurrence of prostate cancer or its progression when compared to those that had only one cup or less per day of coffee. But for drinking tea, there was no reduction in prostate cancer recurrence or progression found to exist. But the authors of the study noted that, “To our knowledge, our study is the first to investigate the potential association between tea consumption and prostate cancer outcomes. It is important to note, however, that few patients in our cohort were regular tea drinkers and the highest category of tea consumption was one or more cups per day. The association should be investigated in future studies that have access to larger populations with higher levels of tea consumption.”
Coffee and tea consumption in relation to prostate cancer prognosis. Cancer Causes & Control, 2013
This would explain the negative outcome for not finding the consumption of tea as highly desirable to help prevent the recurrence or progression of prostate cancer. No one in the study was drinking enough tea on a daily basis, just as the participants that only drank one cup of coffee or less on a daily basis found no benefit in drinking the coffee. The body needs to maintain a critical blood level of antioxidants needed to combat free radicals and prevent the development of cancer or its recurrence. Without that critical level being met, diseases have nothing to keep them from advancing and causing additional suffering.4

This was a five year study involving 1001 prostate cancer survivors between the ages of 35 – 74. The participants had been diagnosed with the disease between the years 2002 – 2005. Of the 1001 participants that signed up, only 630 answered surveys regarding their coffee consumption and were placed in the final analysis. Of those participants only 12% consumed four or more cups of coffee per day, while 61% consumed one cup of coffee a day. The results found those men that consumed four our more cups of coffee each day had 59% less prostate cancer recurrence or progression than those that drank only one cup per week or less. This study was very similar to the findings of the Harvard’s Health Professionals Follow-up Study which concluded men that drank six or more cups of coffee per day decreased their risk of metastatic and lethal prostate cancer by 60 percent compared to those that did not drink coffee.

Again it was the study’s conclusion that due to the consumption of coffee, these participants had higher levels of phytochemical compounds obtained from the coffee that were antioxidants and anti-inflammatory in nature, and that their glucose metabolism was modified to a greater degree than those that did not drink coffee. Improved glucose metabolism reduces inflammatory environments, while an improved arsenal of antioxidants also helps reduce inflammatory conditions. These conditions are anti-cancerous, reducing the likelihood for the development of cancers in general.

Still another study from the National Cancer Institute and Yale School of Public Health was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The intent of this study was to determine how coffee consumption might affect the risk of developing melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The researchers used a very large sample – 447,357 non-Hispanic, white participants from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study who were free of cancer at the start of the study. The participants were monitored for 10.5 years for the incidence of melanoma, with the researchers finding that the more coffee the participants drank during those years, the less likely they would develop melanoma during the follow-up years. By drinking 4 cups of coffee each day, they found a 20% reduced risk for developing melanoma. With this study, only those participants that drank caffeinated coffee reduced their risk for malignant melanoma. The researchers of the study stated, “Higher coffee intake was associated with a modest decrease in risk of melanoma in this large US cohort study. Additional investigations of coffee intake and its constituents, particularly caffeine, with melanoma are warranted.” The research team believes that coffee and lifestyle modifications can make a difference in the incidence of melanoma and stated, “Because of its high disease burden, lifestyle modifications with even modest protective effects may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity.”

How about black coffee for improving oral health? Another study on coffee is suggesting that coffee may do just that – improve your oral health. Researchers from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found that coffee containing high amounts of caffeine can destroy oral bacteria that are responsible for dental plaques when the coffee is consumed black and without sugar.

The researchers used Robusta coffee mostly grown in Vietnam, Brazil and Africa containing high amounts of polyphenols (phytochemicals) made up of compounds that can prevent and treat oral diseases. They noted that the polyphenols found within the Robusta coffee destroyed the bacteria on the teeth by causing them to burst open. After a week, the teeth that had been exposed to the coffee extracts were in better condition than the teeth that were treated only with filtered water. Robusta coffee helped destroy the bacteria that build up plaque. Still, the acidity from too much coffee could have a negative effect upon the enamel of the teeth while consuming too much coffee could also cause staining of the teeth, but what is too much coffee is not defined.
“Antibacterial effect of coffee: calcium concentration in a culture containing teeth/biofilm exposed to Coffea Canephora aqueous extract,” Letters in Applied Microbiology, June, 20141

And still more with another study: According to Dr. V. Wendy Setiawan, a cancer epidemiologist and Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, “Coffee intake has been suggested to lower the risk for HCC [hepatocellular carcinoma] in epidemiologic studies, but these studies were conducted outside of the United States. We wanted to examine whether coffee consumption is associated with risk for developing HCC in multiethnic U.S. populations. Data from a diverse group of men and women from various ethnicities followed up for 18 years showed a statistically significant dose-response relationship between increasing coffee consumption and lowered HCC risk. Now we can add HCC to the list of medical ailments, such as Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, that may be prevented by coffee intake. Daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in individuals who are at high risk for HCC.”

This study found that individuals who consumed between one to three cups of coffee on a daily basis had a 29% reduced risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma compared to participants who consumed less than 6 cups of coffee per week.
Coffee Reduces Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Updated Meta-analysis, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, May 08, 2013

But let’s not stop there. A meta-analysis of 16 studies composed of more than 3,000 cases between 1996 and 2012, found ALL of the studies’ results were consistent. They all showed that moderate consumption of coffee defined as three cups per day, could reduce the risk of liver disease by 50%. This 16 study meta-analysis was done by researchers from the Maro Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy with Dr. Carlo La Vecchia of the Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health at the Institute stating, “Our research confirms past claims that coffee is good for your health, and particularly for the liver. The favorable effect of coffee on liver cancer might be mediated by coffee’s proven prevention of diabetes, a known risk for the disease, or for its beneficial effects on cirrhosis and liver enzymes.”
Coffee Reduces Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Updated Meta-analysis. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013.

According to data compiled by the National Coffee Association’s 2013 survey, about 83% of Americans drink coffee. 63% of Americans consumed coffee every day, compared to 65% in 2012 and 58% in 2011. According to the survey, daily consumption fell from 50% to 41% for those aged 18 – 24, and dropped from 63% to 59% for those aged 25 – 39, while daily consumption increased from 65% to 69% for those aged 40 – 59, and increased as well from 71% to 76% for Americans aged 60 years and older.

800px-coffee_consumption_map-en

Coffee consumption around the world, according to Wikipedia.

These studies on coffee consumption represent only a few of many positive findings daily coffee consumption has been coupled to have upon our health. It should also be kept in mind that when we drink coffee and tea without added sugars, these beverages can improve our health in at least two ways: 1. They contain many different polyphenols that are antioxidant phytochemicals helping to defend and neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals that threaten the structure and health of all of our cells. And when we consume these beverages from Nature we are NOT consuming or consuming less of beverages made by man such as sodas, juice-drinks, or even juices that derive all of their calories from added sugars or natural sugars that have stripped of their fiber. These man-made beverages cause blood glucose levels to soar and crash (S&C) and with each wave of S&C, inflammation throughout the body is heightened. As inflammation is heightened, the development of any number of chronic diseases is heightened as well. But this is NOT the case when we train our taste buds to enjoy coffees and teas from around the world without added sugar. Instead, our health is protected and disease is minimized due to the contents these beverages offer from Nature, while eliminating those promoted by the processed food industry.

A Lifestyle Prescription for Optimal Health: How Safe Are We with Today’s Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? – 27

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A Lifestyle Prescription for Optimal Health: How Safe Are We with Today’s Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals? – 27

  • “minimizing exposure to endocrine disruptors will not only remove distress and pain for the persons (and the wildlife) affected, it will also save the society from considerable economic costs”10 – authors of study: The Cost of Inaction : A Socioeconomic analysis of costs linked to effects of endocrine disrupting substances on male reproductive health, November 17, 2014
  • “the costs estimated in this report therefore represent only a fraction of the total costs of exposure to endocrine disruptors”. – authors of study: The Cost of Inaction : A Socioeconomic analysis of costs linked to effects of endocrine disrupting substances on male reproductive health, November 17, 2014
  • “This study shows the scale of the impacts that hormone disrupting chemicals are having. It’s time for Europe to resist the lobbying of those companies that make money from these chemicals and instead act to phase them out”- Dr. Michael Warhurst, Executive Director of CHEM Trust

The endocrine system is composed of a collection of glands throughout the human body with each producing specific hormones regulating our health in many different ways.  The system is made up of the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus and pineal glands, the parathyroid glands, the adrenal glands, the pancreas, the ovaries in females and the testicles in males.  Together these glands produce hormones that circulate throughout the body, targeting specific organs and tissues that regulate metabolism, growth and development, sexual function, sleep, reproduction, tissue function, and even your mood among other things. 1 It goes without saying that keeping our endocrine system running as it should is imperative to our good health.  But today, within our environment and contained in our processed foods are man-made chemicals known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) that are known to alter the functioning of our endocrine system, increasing the risk of developing major health problems due to our use of synthetic chemicals that have been untested for the disrupting effects they may have upon our endocrine system itself.  EDCs, today, are found just about everywhere: cosmetics, shampoos and other personal care products, electronics, pesticides and of course as additives or contaminants in the processed foods we eat every day.   The health implications from the use of these EDCs have grown overwhelmingly because we now better understand the toxicity of these chemicals and what they are capable of doing.

According to the most comprehensive report providing the combined scientific knowledge on the exposure and effects of EDCs by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO, it found many synthetic EDCs are capable of significant health complications to include escalating the incidence of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men, thyroid cancer, hyperactivity and attention deficit in children as well as the development of non-descended testes in young males.

  • State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals, WHO/UNEP, 2012

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Illustration of normal hormonal response (A) and EDCs interference with hormone receptors (B).

A new report by the Environment Health Perspectives has revealed critical information about how 12 EDCs operate by targeting estrogen receptors at the molecular and atomic levels.  The 12 EDCs tested included Bisphenol A and the flame retardant tetrachlorobisphenol A and found all twelve EDCs suspect in having a role in the development of a number of cancers as well as influencing developmental, metabolic and reproductive disorders by interacting with the body’s estrogen receptors.

  • EDCs and Estrogen Receptor Activity: A Pathway to Safer Chemical Design?, Environmental Health Perspective, December, 2014

 

Data from the The Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study indicates the risk of suboptimal thyroid function & hypothyroidism is more pronounced in women (Canaris, 2000).

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A very common health issue with Americans these days is hypothyroidism which occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones.  Untreated hypothyroidism may contribute to a number of disorders such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, infertility, cognitive impairment, and neuromuscular dysfunction.  The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey completed in 2002 suggests that 1 in 300 Americans then had hypothyroidism with the prevalence increasing with age, and with females affected at a much higher rate than males.  In 2004 it was estimated that 13 million had undiagnosed hypothyroidism.4

Data from the CDC find that the incidence of congenital (from birth) hypothyroidism is rising, resulting in partial or complete loss of thyroid function. EDCs are a primary suspect.

Thyroid cancer has also shown a significant upsurge in incidence as the thyroid gland begins to grow uncontrollably, and may eventually form a tumor due to the influence EDCs appear to have upon the endocrine system.

“The incidence of thyroid cancer is rising in both men and women.  In 1975, the incidences of thyroid cancer in men and women were 3.14 and 6.45 per 100,000, respectively.  By 2010, the respective values were 7.63 and 21.15 (Figure 2)3.”
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  • SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2010. 2013. Available at:http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2010/.

Different areas of the world are showing dramatic differences in the incidence of thyroid cancer.  There is a ten-fold difference in incidence for women, but only a three-fold incidence for men.

  • Curado MP, Edwards B, Shin HR, Storm H, Ferlay J, Heanue M. et al, editors. Cancer incidence in five continents, vol IX. IARC Sci Publ No. 160. Lyon: IARC. 2007.

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ALL Americans are exposed to EDCs that mimic natural hormones made by the tissues and organs of the endocrine system.  It has become virtually impossible to escape contact with these man-made EDCs. When this happens a variety of responses may develop.  They may create a totally different response than the natural hormones or they could cause a response that is more powerful or less powerful than the natural hormones they are replacing.  Because these endocrine hormones are so powerful, they are measured in parts per trillion (ppt.), so it only takes infinitesimal amounts to throw your health into a chaotic whirlpool leading to anything from slowing down your metabolism causing undesirable weight gain to a disrupted immune system, cardiac dysfunction or altered mental status.  Without the proper amounts and the right types of our Natural endocrine hormones, it is impossible to maintain a status of good health unless these conditions are corrected with pharmaceutical drugs that often must be taken the rest of your life – often due to EDCs invading the body as toxic chemicals we can no longer can escape.

 

EDCs are found in personal care products from cosmetics to toothpastes, as additives in foods, in pesticides, in plastic containers used for drinking water and other food items, within the ink contained on the receipts you receive after a making a purchase, and in some pharmaceutical drugs.

Examples of EDCs found in our environment include the following:

  • PCBs & Dioxins found in pesticides. Strong evidence links PCBs as carcinogens that are able to damage the immune system, the brain, reproductive organs and hormones.  They can also cross the placenta that may contribute to mental issues in children.  PCBs can also enter breast milk.  Dioxins are also powerful carcinogens that can affect the immune system and reproductive system.  They can permanently affect sperm quality and affect sperm count.
  • Flame retardants found in plastics, food, paint, furniture – everything from baby blankets to carpets. “Many infants are in physical contact with products treated with these chemicals 24 hours a day.”7
  • Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are a family of fluorine-containing chemicals that include perfluoroctanic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS). They are used in manufacturing and industrial applications because they provide useful properties such as fire resistance and oil, stain, grease and water repellency. Some are found in food packaging and non-stick cookware coatings.  Researchers are discovering serious health concerns about PFOAs increasing risk for cancers of the liver, pancreas, testicular, and breast, while PFOS causes liver and thyroid cancer in rats.  Additional health issues of PFCs include liver and kidney damage as well as reproductive problems.
  • Phthalates found in plastics, food packaging, cosmetics and cleaning agents. Exposure to phthalates has affected the reproductive system of laboratory animals according to the CDC.  CDC researchers have measured 13 phthalate metabolites in the general U.S. population indicating that phthalate exposure is WIDESPREAD IN THE U.S. POPULATION
  • BPA, BPS, BPF found in food packaging, canned foods, receipt ink. More than 90% of the U.S. population has been exposed to BPA which is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sperm anomalies, reproductive organ dysfunction, and altered immunity.  According to Dr. Frederick vom Saal, a University of Missouri biologist who studies endocrine disruptors, “BPA is acting on receptors that are already above thresholds because everyone has estrogen in their body.” When the hormone receptors are overloaded, EDCs can alter cell function throughout the body.  Studies have shown that BPA is capable of affecting health in much smaller quantities than what’s used in typical toxicology tests. According to research published in Toxicological Sciences, BPS and BPF, the replacements made for BPA appear to not only have similar effects as BPA, but sometimes even worse EDCs effects.  Exposure occurs when these chemicals seep out of plastics and into the foods and drinks contained in the plastics as well as most canned foods. In a 2014 University of Calgary study it was found that both BPA and BPS can cause alterations in brain development that led to hyperactivity in zebrafish.  Deborah Kurrasch with the university’s Cumming School of Medicine stated, “I was actually very surprised at our results. This was a very, very, very low dose, so I didn’t think using a dose this low could have any effect. We wanted to use a dose that was found in a natural waterway and that people would get in their drinking water. Waste-water treatment plants do not filter out BPA so this is presumably what is coming into people’s houses. We used a dose that is lower than what developing babies have naturally and we found that brain development is perturbed (in the fish). You have a bunch of cells in your brain and at some point they become neurons and they have to move to the right place to form the right circuitry. If neurons are born too soon, they can move to the wrong place and can form the wrong circuits.”  The result was a change in behavior.11

o   Low-dose exposure to bisphenol A and replacement bisphenol S induces precocious hypothalamic neurogenesis in embryonic zebrafish, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., 2014

  • UV Filters found in some sunscreens and cosmetics
  • Triclosan found in personal care products and antibacterial soaps and toothpastes
  • Parabens found deodorants and polyester fabrics
  • BHA, BHT found in food and gum as a preservative. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is a food additive that the FDA deems to be GRAS (“generally recognized as safe”), while the National Institutes of Health says it’s “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen?” BHT is its chemical cousin BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)

According to the UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, “Chemical products are increasingly part of modern life and support many national economies, but the unsound management of chemicals challenges the achievement of key development goals, and sustainable development for all.”

9Dr. Maria Neira, WHO’s Director for Public Health and Environment says, “We urgently need more research to obtain a fuller picture of the health and environment impacts of endocrine disruptors. The latest science shows that communities across the globe are being exposed to EDCs, and their associated risks. WHO will work with partners to establish research priorities to investigate links to EDCs and human health impacts in order to mitigate the risks. We all have a responsibility to protect future generations.”

Professor Åke Bergman of Stockholm University states, “Research has made great strides in the last ten years showing endocrine disruption to be far more extensive and complicated than realized a decade ago. As science continues to advance, it is time for both management of endocrine disrupting chemicals and further research on exposure and effects of these chemicals in wildlife and humans.”13

A 2012 study stated, “Epidemiological data show increases in incidence and prevalence of diseases associated with endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as breast, prostate, and testis cancer, diabetes, obesity, and decreased fertility over the last 50 years.”  Although the study could not prove cause and effect, the implications are that EDCs are responsible for the health concerns for which they have been involved.

  • Incidence and Prevalence of Health Problems associated with Endocrine Disruption Have Increased, Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012

Today we use a triangular recycle, number system for identifying which plastics are THOUGHT to be safe, and which ones to avoid.  Unfortunately, trying to read the number contained within the triangle many times may require remarkable vision or the use of a magnifying glass, but a number is provided. Here is the current nomenclature of this system and what each abbreviation stands for:

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#1 PETE or PET: Polyethylene Terephthalate Ethylene, used for synthetic fibers, sodas, juice, water, detergent, cleaner and peanut butter containers.  There is still a question that PETE or PET could possibly yield EDCs under conditions of common recommended use.

#2 HDPE: High Density Polyethylene, used in opaque plastic milk and water jugs, detergent and shampoo bottles and some plastic bags

#3 PVC or V: Polyvinyl chloride, used for cling wrap, plastic squeeze bottles, cooking oils and peanut butter containers, and detergent and window cleaner bottles.

#4 LDPE: Low Density Polyethylene, used in grocery store bags, most plastic wraps, Zip-lock bags and some bottles

#5 PP: Polypropylene, used in most Rubbermaid, deli soup, syrup and yogurt containers, straws and other clouded plastic containers, including baby bottles

#6 PS: Polystyrene, use in Styrofoam food trays, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowels, carry-out containers and opaque plastic cutlery

#7 Other:  A catch-all category for plastics that don’t fit into #1-6 categories.  It includes polycarbonate, bio-based plastics, co-polyester, acrylic, polyamide and plastic mixtures like styrene-acrylonitrile resin (SAN).  # 7 plastics are used for a variety of products like baby bottles and “Sippy” cups, baby food jars, 5-gallon water bottles, “sport” water bottles, plastic dinnerware and clear plastic cutlery.14

It wasn’t very long ago when all of these plastics were thought to be safe which is why they were placed in the market.  But as research has continued, the safety of these plastics has come into serious question.  ALL of them are made with chemicals we are beginning to understand in more sophisticated ways concerning the effects EDCs may have upon our health.15

My advice:  We are exposed to EDCs in a multitude of ways.  With regard to food storage and processed foods, THERE IS NO ABSOLUTE SAFETY WITH THE INTAKE OF ANY EDCs. Therefore, I would suggest returning as much as possible to the way foods were stored before our post WW II intellectual revolution relying upon the growing use of EDCs for corporate profits.  Instead, return to leach-free materials such as glass or stainless steel.  Avoid as many plastics in ALL their forms, regardless of the triangular number they may have, as best as you can.  Any form of plastic may present still unknown health risks as researchers continue to turn up additional health issues from all Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals which need to be avoided as best as we can.

 

“Lead Contamination of Tea” by Dr. Greger

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Chamomile-Tea

Another interesting video by Dr. Greger! Know how many cups of tea a day are recommended and safe for you. What kind of tea do you drink??
Learn more about lead contamination in black, white, red and green tea to make better choices!

Here’s the link to watch this short video,

 

 

Lead Contamination of Tea

Cauliflower Curry Soup

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After visiting Jen and Swapnil and having a wonderful home made Indian meal, I got inspired by the aromatic spices! Last night, I made a creamy cauliflower soup with a savory touch that you will fall in love with your kitchen like me. In addition, this is a healthy anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer dish, very easy to make and digest =) Just a few ingredients and lots of spices!

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower head, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (or any kind of onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a handful of cashews (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground curry-masala mix (or just curry), cumin, coriander, turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, allspice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro, parsley or mint, minced (optional)

Procedure

In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil into a medium heat.

Add the leek, garlic and onion and cook until lightly brownish.

cauliflower.soup

Seasoning, add the cauliflower and mix the ingredients.

Add 2 cups of water, add the cashwes and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender.

cauliflower1

Be aware to add more water if you need, I needed 4 cups total but it depends how thick you like the consistency.

When ready, add the coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy as you like.

Serve it warm and enjoy it with love!

cauliflower2

Cooking is my favorite way to spread love!

“Fast Food, Good Food” by Andrew Weil, MD

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FFGF_BookA few weeks ago, while coming back from a short trip, we were listening to a radio program talking about this book. There was the author being interviewed and we got interested in his book. After trying out a few vegan recipes I decided to share it with you all.

“Fast Food, Good Food” is not a vegan cook book, but it is a great step forward to improve your diet and the way you think about cooking a better meal. I think, this book would help you understand that cooking doesn’t have to be a hard task that requires you to be big time in your kitchen. It could be easy and enjoyable! That’s what I’m trying to tell you with my easy recipes too!

Being a vegan takes time and strong commitments. Meanwhile, you could improve your diet, health and knowledge about cooking mostly with vegetables, whole grains, beans, non-dairy products and lots of spices. Also, in many recipes you can replace some ingredients to make healthier vegan version recipes. Let me give you some examples…

  • Eggs to “vegan eggs”: 1 tbsp of flax seed meal + 3 tbsp of water = one vegan egg
  • Milk to non-dairy milk like almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, flax milk, cashew milk… to mention some
  • Butter to extra virgin olive oil
  • Cream to coconut cream
  • Cheese to tofu, vegan cheese
  • Red meat, chicken, turkey to vegan tofu options
  • Ham-burger to bean-burger, veggie-burger

I hope you understand that big changes don’t happen suddenly. Take it easy, go step by step, but be responsible for the food you bring to your table and put in your mouth. Enjoy the time you spend in your kitchen! Look for healthier options; buy your vegetables and fruits in local farmer markets. Stay healthy!

A Lifestyle Prescription for Optimal Health: How to Create Hypertension without Even Trying – 26

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“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.” – Meryl Streep

woman-seaweed-615According to the CDC, ONE THIRD of all Americans are afflicted with hypertension which can easily go on to cardiovascular disease and vascular dementia. If 100 million Americans wish to lose their hearts or their minds, all they need to do is continue relying on the dietary habits most Americans are unable to pull themselves away from. According to the CDC, the number of Americans afflicted with hypertension continues to increase as we age, so the thinking often is that high blood pressure is a “normal” occurrence due to aging. An average of 36% of Americans between the ages of 45 to 54 is afflicted with hypertension. Hypertension increases to 53.5% for Americans aged 55 to 64 years, then increases again to 66.5% for Americans aged 65 to 74 year old and finally to 72.5% for those 75 years old and older. Using this data, it really does appear to be age related, doesn’t it? Not so fast! The “logical” conclusion is that hypertension IS age related – until we look at other cultures around the world where longevity is the longest WITHOUT their people distressed by hypertension due to their dietary and Lifestyle habits. The more we learn about what causes hypertension, the more we learn that this dangerous condition is easily swayed by the types of foods we place into our body.

bluezone1There are five recognized areas around the globe where people live the longest due to the dietary & Lifestyles habits they choose to live their lives. These five areas are known as the Blue Zones and have been thoroughly investigated by Dan Buettner, a researcher for the National Geographic Society. One of the most outstanding observances of these five cultures is that their Lifestyle habits dictate their good health. Three of these societies are located on small islands, one is located on a peninsula and the fifth is right here as a tight-knit, spiritual oasis within the U.S. that follow very specific dietary & Lifestyle rules for good health resulting in lower blood pressure and less cardiovascular disease for all those involved.
The five cultures where centenarians are most commonly found are Okinawa, Japan (an island culture), Sardinia, Italy (an island culture), Loma Linda, California (an American spiritual oasis), Nicoya, Costa Rica (a peninsula culture), and Ikaria, Greece (another remote island culture). Within these Blue Zone societies you find many individuals living into their 90’s and beyond who are able to remain fully active while remaining medication free and free of hypertension until the very end of their lives. All of these societies offer extensive evidence that Lifestyle habits are the key to exceptional longevity.

Personal-Blue-Zone-DietExcept for Lima Loma, these societies are not immerged in modern technology nor do they go to gyms to work out or have a special set of genetic traits. The reasons these cultures have the longest living, healthiest peoples on the entire planet is that their lives are aligned with Nature by being physically active with the outdoors on a daily basis, maintaining a positive attitude with close family ties to one another, while eating REAL, unprocessed, non-GMO, Organic foods that are often grown in their own gardens. The foods they eat on a daily basis are full of Nature’s natural ingredients – vitamins, minerals, phytochemical, fiber, and enzymes which all work together to prevent hypertension, minimizing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, dementia and cancer. These cultures have been able to maintain their good health because they have been relatively isolated from cultures dominated with processed foods and fast-foods that are destroying their health. Most of these societies still lack the fast-foods and groceries dominated with processed foods as we have here in the U.S., while lacking the “advances” industrialized societies can no longer live without. But now the isolation of these cultures is threatened by increased recognition and globalization of the people. This is causing their environment to gradually change, meaning they are slowly becoming more influenced and Americanized which is beginning to have an effect on their health and longevity – all for the worse.

Nicoya-Costa-Rica-Blue-ZoneThe Food & Drug Administration keeps a list of over 3000 food additives used in processed foods, but the list of just how many man-made chemical additives there are may go as high as 14,000 laboratory-made additives to get these foods to have a longer shelf life, a more desirable taste, and a better appearance so we will want to buy them. Whether it is 3,000 or 14,000 additives, these are laboratory-made additives that have nothing to do with promoting good health, but everything to do so you will not want to stop eating them once you begin. The more you eat, the larger their profits and that is exactly what it’s all about – profits at any cost, whether it’s our health or our life that is a stake.

Even if we were to avoid eating fast-foods (a real fantasy), the average American spends 90% of her budget on processed foods because they are easy to prepare, cheaper to purchase, and do not spoil quickly as real foods will do. Also due to the proliferation of fast-foods and processed foods, family cooking skills are collapsing with fewer and fewer people knowing how to prepare meals from scratch – especially when you can easily order a take-out pizza delivery or you can just pop over to McDonalds for whatever we have trained our taste buds to accept. So how does all of this lead to the proliferation of hypertension? Let us look at just three ingredients frequently found in the foods most Americans now eat.

Vange26-2PhosphatesOne of the silent ingredients found in processed foods is phosphate. Different forms of phosphates are found in processed cheeses, cola, baking powder, and generally are ubiquitous in these foods under a variety of names that makes it less noticeable. Phosphate can be listed as sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, phosphoric acid to name only a few, and is listed under 45 different phosphate derivative food additives extensively used in the world of processed foods as preservatives and pH stabilizers.

Researchers have now discovered that high intakes of phosphate cause a buildup of a hormone called FGF23. What is important about FGF23 is that it controls the reabsorption of sodium that is filtered through the kidneys creating a sodium conservation effect. It has been discovered that mice lacking FGF23 are able to eliminate higher amounts of sodium in their urine, reducing blood pressure, but animals that have high levels of FGF23, retain high levels of sodium in their blood, causing high blood pressure to develop. High levels of the FGF23 hormone causes an additional strain on the heart through its sodium conservation effect brought on by high levels of phosphate additives found in processed foods.
FGF23 Regulates Renal Sodium Handling and Blood Pressure. EMBO Molecular Medicine, May 2014

But FGF23 regulates our health in another way as well. Another study has found that FGF23 controls levels of calcium in the blood. Like sodium, when FGF23 levels are high, calcium is reabsorbed back into the body when filtered by the kidneys. Too much FGF23 leads to vascular calcification of the blood vessels responsible for atherosclerotic plaque formations, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Again, when too much phosphate is consumed from processed foods, phosphate and FGF23 levels increase, leading to sodium and calcium retention the body is unable to handle in a safe manner. This is a dangerous spiral brought on by additives found in processed foods that until very recently, no one was aware.
FGF23 promotes renal calcium reabsorption through the TRPV5 channel. The EMBO Journal, 2014

Playing ion the ParkOlena Andrukhova, leading author of the two above studies, states, “The focus in science is increasingly shifting from αKlotho [a protein] to FGF23. The level of FGF23 in kidney patients can even indicate their life expectancy. The inhibition of FGF23 or its pathway could be a possibility to bring cardiovascular disease and vascular calcification under control.”

In a 2012 German study, its abstract stated, “Recently, a high-normal serum phosphate concentration has also been found to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality in the general population. Therefore, phosphate additives in food are a matter of concern, and their potential impact on health may well have been underappreciated.”

In the 2012 study conclusions, the authors wrote, “In view of the high prevalence of CKD [Chronic Kidney Disease] and the potential harm caused by phosphate additives to food, the public should be informed that added phosphate is damaging to health. Furthermore, calls for labeling the content of added phosphate in food are appropriate.”
Phosphate Additives in Food – a Health Risk, Dtsch Arztebi Int. January, 2012
bpa-bps-infographic
Additional contaminants involve not one, but two toxins that are not an “additive” per say, but are found in many processed foods as well as many other man-made industrial sources. The first and most ubiquitous is BPA or Bisphenol A, a synthetic estrogen that behaves as a hormone disrupter and has been discovered in the plastic lining found in nearly all canned goods. BPA is also found in many plastic bottles and in the ink of thermal papers on the receipts you receive when shopping at the store. As research continues, a growing body of research finds BPA binding to estrogen receptors within the body, with chronic exposure to BPA linking it to hypertension, autism, obesity, diabetes, and hormone-related cancers.

Even though data has been mounting about the toxic effects of BPA, the FDA continues to allow its use even though they have banned its use with baby bottles and Sippy cups, as well as infant formulas. Obviously that is a great move on the FDA’s part, but I must ask, why are we only taking baby steps to protect our babies and not our children as well as ourselves? Canada has also declared BPA a toxic substance and in 2010 banned it, like the U.S., for use in any children’s products.

japanese-elder-blue-zoneAn associate professor with Harvard Medical School and a BPA expert, Dr. Karin B. Michels comments on the findings of a 2014 BPA study saying, “I think this is a very interesting and important study that adds to the concern about Bisphenol A. It raises a lot of questions. We have such a high rate of hypertension in this country, which has risen, and we haven’t really thought of Bisphenol A and its use in cans as one of the causes of that. ”

Dr. Michels goes on, “A new study shows that a common chemical in the containers can seep into beverages and raise blood pressure within a few hours. The study found that when people drank soy milk from a can, the levels of BPA in their urine rose dramatically within two hours – and so did their blood pressure. But on days when they drank the same beverage from glass bottles, which don’t use BPA linings, there was no significant change in their BPA levels or blood pressure.”

The study found within two hours of drinking the soy milk from a can, their levels of BPA rose about 16 TIMES HIGHER, while the subjects that drank from glass bottles continued to have low urinary levels of BPA. As BPA levels rise, so does systolic blood pressure, creating yet another dietary source of potential hypertension from a toxic chemical that does NOT belong in the body for any reason whatsoever.

Dr. Yun-Chul Hong, one author of the study and the director of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Seoul National University said, “Clinicians and patients—particularly hypertension or cardiovascular disease patients—should be aware of the potential clinical problems for blood pressure elevation when consuming canned food and beverages.”
Exposure to Bisphenol A from Drinking Canned Beverage Increases Blood Pressure, Hypertension, December 8, 2014.

unnamedIn the U.S. there has been growing concerns about the health effects of BPA, so some manufacturers have developed “BPA free” bottles and containers to avoid any negative associations from BPA. But the new products contain yet another chemical that is very similar to BPA, called Bisphenol S or BPS. Yet another study found that “BPA free” plastic products continue to leach chemicals as endocrine disruptors with some of these new chemicals being more potent than the BPA they were made to replace!

Dr. Michels not only avoids eating or drinking canned foods or liquids from plastic bottles because of the BPA, she also avoids containers saying “BPA free.” “It doesn’t have Bisphenol A, but on the other hand I worry that the new chemical they put in there may also be a problem. Exchanging one chemical for another doesn’t make me feel comfortable.” The message here is stop contaminating our foods with man-made chemicals that have potentially serious consequences to our health. On the other hand, REAL, unprocessed foods bought in the produce and frozen areas of our grocery stores are free of all of these 3,000 to 14,000 chemical additives, but we do have to COOK these foods before sitting down to enjoy our meals.

One further additive that must be addressed with regard to hypertension is all the salt or sodium that is added to the vast majority of processed foods, but there is difference between the two terms. Salt is approximately 40% sodium, and sodium is another substance that causes blood pressure to rise. Sodium is also present in other food additives such as monosodium glutamate or MSG, so when sodium is listed on the Nutrition Facts label of the processed food, it often does not include all the sodium found in the processed food. Americans, by far, get more than 75% of their sodium from, you guessed it, processed foods and fast-foods – not from the salt shaker. But the human body does NOT NEED all that sodium as our craving for foods high in sodium is strictly a modern, cultural aberration brought upon us by the processed food industry.

UNE-Living-longer-but-living-better-says-Danone-Nutricia-GMs-for-Healthy-AgingThe American Heart Association states on their website, “Most sodium in the diet comes from packaged, processed foods. Eating these foods less often can reduce your intake of sodium and can help lower your blood pressure or prevent HBP from developing in the first place,” and recommends consuming less than 1500 mg of sodium per day – much less than the 4,000 mg. consumed in the SAD. Their reasoning is that excess sodium increases blood pressure leading to heart disease and stroke. But Americans continue to “THRIVE” on processed foods and fast-foods, the very man-made created foods that are killing them. All this excess sodium works on your kidneys causing them to retain water. The extra water that is stored causes blood pressure to rise, placing an extra strain on the kidneys, arteries, heart as well as your brain. Again, all from man-made processed foods and fast-foods. Have you ever looked at the enormous amounts of sodium found in these foods? Stop eating these foods and you will ELIMINATE all the extra phosphates, all the extra sodium, and ALL the BPA and BPS working to destroy your health.

But this awareness to improve your health through dietary habits is not just about the three offenders just discussed, but about the 3,000 to 14,000 man-made chemical additives that simply do not belong in your body. Together these additives work against your health – they do nothing to improve it. The sooner you understand this and DO something about it, the healthier you and your family will be. Here is a VERY, VERY short list of some common additives found in these processed foods – not found in REAL foods.
hersheys-candy-food-label-ingredientsImageArtificial Flavorings
Artificial Food Dyes
Artificial Sweeteners, i.e. Aspartame
Astaxanthin
Calcium phosphate
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Trans fat)
Phosphoric acid
Potassium Bromate
Sodium Benzoate
Sodium Sulfite
Sodium Nitrate
Sodium Nitrite
Sodium phosphate
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
Sulfur Dioxide

The best way to get away from toxins is to completely eliminate them from your dietary habits, and the best way to eliminate them is to remove 95% of the processed foods from your dietary habits, while replacing them with Nature’s REAL foods. Our bodies are living, breathing, biological organisms designed by Nature, made to run on Nature’s energy – REAL food. It should be no surprise that our bodies suffer when stuffed with even minute amounts of man-made chemicals that do not belong within us. Put half a cup of sugar into your $50,000 new car’s gas tank, and see what happens. Your body is the same; many milligrams or teaspoons or half cups of these ingredients thrown into your body, causes your health to CRUMBLE. Yet, the people of the Blue Zones are able to protect their health as they should. When we are able to apply their customs to our own dietary and Lifestyle behaviors, we too, will see dramatic vanishings on the epidemic levels of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease that we bring upon ourselves. It’s that simple.

downloadIn another 2104 study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital defined healthy aging as reaching age 70 or older while being free of major, chronic diseases and being in good mental and physical health. The 5 year, 14,000 participants study on women found that a diet composed of MORE FLAVONOIDS – more phytochemicals only found in PLANT FOODS, was THE strongest link to achieving healthy aging. Participants with the highest 20% intake of flavonoids from REAL plant foods were those most likely to experience healthy aging over those with the least amount of flavonoids.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December, 2014

The Mediterranean diet is now being recommended as an anti-aging, highly desirable way to eat because it too is composed of REAL foods. Dr. Connie Bales with the department of Duke medicine and Dr. Kathryn Porter Starr with the Duke VA Medical Center endorse the Mediterranean diet because “The positive findings about the interaction of the Mediterranean diet pattern with aging is very much in line with the other known health benefits of this diet. Long-term consumption of a Mediterranean diet has been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, dementia, and overall mortality. . . Finally, it is important to note that the health benefits provided by a Mediterranean diet pattern are also the result of reducing the consumption of some commonly consumed food categories, such as saturated and trans fats, refined sugars, and processed foods.”
Duke Medicine Health News, Doctor Perspectives on the Medical Headlines, March, 2015

healthy-living-for-children-3hdaz2qrNow THINK about what is taking place here and elsewhere throughout the world. In the United States, we have more than 100 million Americans afflicted by hypertension, threatening heart disease and vascular dementia despite being one the most technologically advanced nations as well as having the best, well-equipped medical resources in the world. Yet found in societies around the world live people that are FREE of hypertension because they CHOOSE to live their lives the way life should be lived – low in stress, rich in family and social relationships, and protected by REAL foods. Is this really a choice for those that wish to see their children grow up safe and healthy?

 

 

Vegan Pizza (Gluten Free!)

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A friend of mine sent me a recipe for a quinoa pizza dough that I thought it was interesting to share. But because I’m not good at following instructions, I made it with millet which is cheap and healthy. It is a good source of copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Millet has lots of fiber and protein, it is an alkaline whole grain that digests easily and protects the health of your colon. To learn more about Millet, keep reading  http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-health-benefits-of-millet.html

In addition, I made the vegan mozzarella based on a very easy recipe! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients (natural tomato sauce)

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 big ripe tomato, peeled and finely chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Procedure

In a pan, heat the olive oil at medium heat.

Cook the garlic and onion for about 4 minutes or until light brownish.

Seasoning and add the tomato.

Cook for 4 more minutes or until “puree” texture.

tomatosauce

Ingredients (vegan mozzarella cheese)

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 + 1/4 tbsp. tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (onion powder is also good!)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Note: For this recipe you need a powerful blender!

Procedure

It’s so easy to make this mozzarella if you have a nice high speed blender.

Put all the ingredients in a blender.

mozzarella1

Blend all together for about one minute or until really homogeneous.

Pour the mixture in a small saucepan.

Cook it over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thick and smooth.

Use a whisk to stir it constantly.

mozzarella3

You will notice that after a couple minutes the mixture starts to thicken

and change its consistency.

Keep stirring energetically!

When it gets thick and smooth, remove it from the stove.

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With a spatula pour the mixture in a small bowl to give it a mozzarella shape.

Let it cool and place it in a plate.

It’s ready to cut!

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Note: For more details… http://www.survivorsway.com/2015/09/vegan-mozzarella-cheese/

Ingredients (Dough)

  • 3/4 cup millet, soaked overnight
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • baking paper

Procedure

Preheat the oven 370F.

Soak the millet overnight, rinse several times and drain well.

millet

In a food processor, put the millet with a little bit of water (3-4 tbsp.)

Processes it and then, add sea salt, black pepper and baking powder.

Cover an oven tray with baking paper and pour the millet mixture.

pizza

Bake it for 15 minutes, turn it over and add the tomato sauce.

millet.pizza

Bake for 5 more minutes.

Add slices of vegan mozzarella and fresh tomato slices.

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Put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

Your vegan pizza is ready, decorate it with fresh basil and black olives!

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