SuperFood News /superfoodsnews SuperFood News - SuperFood Information Sun, 29 Jan 2017 04:17:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Stunning scientific discovery finds that gut bacteria control your brain chemistry, altering moods and more /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-new-study-finds-how-microorganisms-living-in-thehuman-gut-could-affect-your-physiology.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-new-study-finds-how-microorganisms-living-in-thehuman-gut-could-affect-your-physiology.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-new-study-finds-how-microorganisms-living-in-thehuman-gut-could-affect-your-physiology.html Researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School and University of Zaragoza in Spain have uncovered a new way that the community of microorganisms symbiotically living in the human gut may contribute to helping regulate brain chemistry. The remarkable study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

The human gut alone hosts approximately 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes of many different species, which are collectively known as the gut microbiome or microbiota (our body’s overall microbiome also includes microbes living on the skin and in other parts of the body). Studies have shown that the gut microbiome plays a key role in regulating everything from digestion and metabolism to immune function and even mood, but the mechanisms of this action remain largely a mystery.

Microbes manipulate serotonin levels

Prior research has shown that a disrupted microbiome may contribute to the development of inflammatory disease, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Research has also confirmed that people with IBD have a different gut microbiome composition than healthy people.

The current study was funded by the Foundation for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Aragón, Spain (ARAINF), in order to further study this connection. The researchers focused their investigations on a protein known as TLR2, which is a key marker of the presence of certain microbes in the intestines. Studies have also suggested that IBD may be triggered by the failure of TLR2 to function correctly.

In experiments conducted in cell cultures and in living mice, the researchers found that TLR2 actually helps regulate levels of the chemical serotonin. Although perhaps most well-known as a neurotransmitter that carries signals for the brain, serotonin also plays a key role in regulating bowel function.

The findings suggest that certain gut microbes can, through the action of TLR2, modulate levels of serotonin and therefore directly influence human physiology and brain chemistry.

Could the gut microbiome also modify serotonin levels to cause changes in mood or brain function? A 2014 review of the evidence into whether gut microbes can influence human emotions and behavior, published in the journal BioEssays, concluded that there is strong theoretical support for the idea but that evidence remains circumstantial. For example, studies suggest that some microbes can release chemicals that change the activity of the vagus nerve, which runs from the gut to the brain. Another study showed a different makeup of gut microbes in people who regularly crave chocolate, regardless of what they had recently eaten.

“Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good,” said senior author Athena Aktipis. (RELATED: Find more news about scientific discoveries at Scientific.news.)

Far-reaching effects

A 2015 study published in the journal Nature found another mechanism by which gut microbes might influence human physiology. That study showed that the common industrial food ingredients known as emulsifiers (detergents used to improve food’s texture and shelf life) produce changes in the gut microbiome that lead to more of the inflammation associated with IBD and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of physiological symptoms linked with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It is associated with high levels of systemic inflammation. IBD, in turn, is characterized by abnormal inflammation of the digestive tract. Both conditions have dramatically increased since the time period that saw the widespread adoption of chemical food additives.

Inflammation is an immune response, thus suggesting at least one mechanism by which gut microbes interact directly with the immune system.

Another recent study linked the gut microbiome with the development of Parkinson’s disease, while others have linked a disrupted microbiome with the development of autism.

Sources:

MedicalXpress.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

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Stay healthy by eating these potassium-rich foods /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-stay-healthy-by-eating-these-potassium-rich-foods.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-stay-healthy-by-eating-these-potassium-rich-foods.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-stay-healthy-by-eating-these-potassium-rich-foods.html Do you get enough potassium in your diet? The overwhelming majority of American citizens fail to get enough of this valuable nutrient on a daily basis. In fact, some estimates indicate that 98 percent of people in the United States aren’t getting enough potassium from the food they eat, thanks to the infamous average American diet.

Less than 2 percent of the population is getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Most people in the US are potassium deficient purely because they do not eat enough plants; this comes as no surprise in the fast food nation, but it is still quite worrisome. Potassium is an essential nutrient that is needed for a variety of cellular processes, maintaining electrolyte balance, and is imperative to the function of important organs like your heart and kidneys. [RELATED: Keep up with the latest nutrition headlines at Fresh.news]

Simply put, potassium is a vital nutrient that most of us aren’t getting enough of for ideal health. So, what can you do to help boost your intake of this essential mineral? Here are six potassium-rich foods that you can eat to help you meet your body’s potassium needs:

1. Avocado

One whole avocado contains an average of 1,068 milligrams of potassium. A 50-gram serving of this delectable fruit provides about 254 milligrams, or six percent of your daily potassium needs. Avocados also boast many other health benefits, like being rich in healthy fats and fiber.

2. Spinach

A one-cup serving of spinach can provide you with approximately 824 milligrams of potassium; this equates to about 24 percent of the RDA. Spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green that is also quite low in calories. A one-cup serving is only 41 calories, making it an ideal choice for anyone watching their energy intake.

3. Sweet Potato

In just one medium-sized sweet potato, you will find about 952 milligrams of potassium, reeling in about 27 percent of your daily potassium needs. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber and vitamin A. A simple baked sweet potato topped with some fresh herbs is a great way to serve up this tasty tuber.

4. Coconut Water

Coconut water is all the rage lately, and for good reason. One cup of coconut water can boast up to 600 milligrams of potassium, and contains an average of about 13 percent of the suggested daily amount of this vital nutrient. Many people turn to coconut water as a low-calorie, natural alternative to quench their thirst and bolster their intake of potassium.

5. Banana

Bananas are known for their potassium content. A medium-sized banana will contain about about 12 percent of your daily potassium needs, averaging around 422 milligrams. Bananas are also rich in vitamin B6, manganese and vitamin C. They are also a good source of fiber. Bananas are a great addition to packed lunches and make for a great snack.

6. Yogurt

One eight-ounce serving of low-fat plain yogurt boasts a beneficial 380 milligrams of potassium. That provides about 11 percent of your daily needs. However, the same serving of full-fat yogurt provides a bit more potassium, with 420 milligrams, or 12 percent of the RDA. Greek yogurt tends to contain a bit less potassium due to the way it’s made; a six ounce serving only contains about 250 milligrams.

Potassium can be found in varying amounts across the spectrum of foods. Most fruits and vegetables contain a noteworthy amount of potassium, though certain kinds obviously contain more than others. Even meats and other types of dairy products feature this valuable mineral. [RELATED: Learn more about what is in your food at Ingredients.news]

The human body uses potassium for a number of different functions, including muscle-building, metabolism, heart function and muscle function. Studies have even shown that increasing your potassium intake can help to reduce your risk of stroke. Overall, potassium is a very important nutrient.

If you’re concerned about your potassium intake, you should speak to a naturopathic doctor, especially if you have any other health conditions.

Sources:

RealFarmacy.com

NutritionFacts.org

WHFoods.com

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After decades of pushing low-fat quackery, scientists now admit cheese and cream are good for your heart, can help prevent diabetes /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-after-decades-of-pushing-low-fat-quackery-scientists-now-admit-cheese-and-cream-are-good-for-your-heart-can-help-prevent-diabetes.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-after-decades-of-pushing-low-fat-quackery-scientists-now-admit-cheese-and-cream-are-good-for-your-heart-can-help-prevent-diabetes.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-28-after-decades-of-pushing-low-fat-quackery-scientists-now-admit-cheese-and-cream-are-good-for-your-heart-can-help-prevent-diabetes.html Foods high in saturated fat, such as cheese and cream, may actually improve health and reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Bergen, Norway, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The findings contradict previously held wisdom — that a diet high in saturated fat increases the risk of obesity and metabolic diseases — but are in keeping with more recent research on the topic. (RELATED: Learn more about the health impacts of food ingredients at Ingredients.news)

“There is a tremendous focus on avoiding high-fat foods for weight control but this study challenges the notion that saturated fats have a strongly negative impact on health and weight,” researcher Simon Dankel said.

“The men on a high fat diet not only lost weight but also became slimmer and had lower cholesterol levels.”

Weight and fat levels dropped

The study was conducted on 38 men with abdominal obesity, who were assigned to follow a diet either rich in fat or in mostly unrefined carbohydrates. Researchers measured the participants’ cardiovascular risk factors, along with fat around the abdomen, liver and heart.

Both diets contained similar amounts of calories, protein and polyunsaturated fats (from vegetable oils other than olive oil). Both diets were very low in refined sugar. Fats in the study came mostly from minimally processed sources such as cheese, cream, butter and coconut oil. Neither diet contained highly refined oils, margarine or trans fats.

Men in both groups lost weight and showed dramatic reductions in the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. This contradicts official dietary advice, which predicts that the unrefined carbohydrate group would show health improvements, whereas the health of the high-fat group would worsen.

“The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases,” researcher Ottar Nygård said.

Specifically, the men in the high-fat group saw reductions in their blood pressure, insulin, blood glucose, blood lipids, and ectopic fat storage.

All the improvements were seen even in men who increased their total calorie intake.

Eat high-quality foods

The findings suggest that nutrition science may have been missing the point in its focus on individual nutrients, the researchers said.

“Our findings indicate that the overriding principle of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates, but the quality of the foods we eat,” said researcher Johnny Laupsa-Borge.

The scientists emphasized that the men’s health improved because they were eating a good diet made up of real, unprocessed foods. It’s possible–but would need to be confirmed–that prior studies found that saturated fat was bad for health because they were studying people with an unhealthy diet overall.

“We here looked at effects of total and saturated fat in the context of a healthy diet rich in fresh, lowly processed and nutritious foods, including high amounts of vegetables and rice instead of flour-based products,” researcher Vivian Veum said. “The fat sources were also lowly processed, mainly butter, cream and cold-pressed oils.”

Also contradicting conventional nutritional wisdom, there was no increase in levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol among those on the high fat diet. Levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol did increase.

“These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy,” Ottar Nygård said.

A number of studies in recent years have begun to undermine the previous consensus on saturated fat. A National Institutes of Health study published in the British Medical Journal in early 2016 showed that people who replaced saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat showed no change in heart disease risk.

This echoed the findings of a 2015 British Medical Journal review into 50 studies into the connection between saturated fat, trans fats and health outcomes. That study showed no evidence that saturated fats were bad for health. In contrast, it showed overwhelming evidence that trans fats (an industrially manufactured product) are highly dangerous.

Read more news about scientific studies at Scientific.news.

Sources:

Express.co.uk

ScienceDaily.com

NaturalNews.com

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Yet another study confirms the holistic approach to health: Diet cures disease, NOT drugs /superfoodsnews/2017-01-26-yet-another-study-confirms-the-holistic-way-diet-cures-diseases-not-drugs.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-26-yet-another-study-confirms-the-holistic-way-diet-cures-diseases-not-drugs.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-26-yet-another-study-confirms-the-holistic-way-diet-cures-diseases-not-drugs.html A groundbreaking study, conducted by a doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology has demonstrated for the first time that dietary intervention alone can cause complete remission of symptoms in many cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

“For decades or longer, medicine has said diet doesn’t matter, that it doesn’t impact disease,” researcher and gastroenterologist David Suskind said. “Now we know that diet does have an impact, a strong impact. It works, and now there’s evidence.” (RELATED: Learn more about nutrition for disease prevention at Prevention.news)

IBD is a cluster of related diseases characterized by pathological inflammation of the digestive tract. The two most common forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). The causes of IBD are unknown, but it is believed to arise from an interaction of genetic factors, abnormal composition of the gut microbiome, and immune dysfunction. It is typically treated with steroids or immune-suppressing drugs, both of which can result in lifelong side effects.

Neither treatment addresses the underlying causes of the condition. The new study consisted of an analysis of a small group of pediatric Crohn’s and UC patients at Suskind’s clinic whose parents consented to their treatment solely with an experimental dietary treatment for IBD.

For 12 weeks, participants were placed on a diet called the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), which is designed as a nutritionally balanced diet based around natural, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and nuts, but does not contain any grains, dairy, sugars (except honey) or processed foods. No other treatment was given. (RELATED: Learn more about the healing properties of natural foods at Fresh.news)

At the end of the study period, eight of the 10 patients were in remission, showing no further IBD symptoms. “This changes the paradigm for how we may choose to treat children with inflammatory bowel disease,” Suskind said.

More studies will be needed before the medical establishment is willing to embrace the SCD as a treatment for IBD. But no further proof is needed for Nicole Kittelson, whose daughter Adelynne was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age eight. At the time, Suskind offered a variety of treatments, and Kittelson opted for the SCD.

“Today, Adelynne has been in clinical remission for more than two years,” Kittelson said. “She’s a healthy, happy and thriving 11-year-old girl. “I can’t believe how far we’ve come. When we first walked into Seattle Children’s, she was an 8-year-old girl who was barely heavier than our 4-year-old. Now, she’s growing and foods are no longer an enemy.”

Kittelson says that adjusting to the SCD was hard at first, but that following the diet is now relatively effortless and automatic. “Her lunch doesn’t look much different than other kids at school,” said Kittelson. “There are so many options out there. We haven’t felt like we’ve had to sacrifice. We’ve even adjusted holiday traditions to fit into our new lifestyle. Instead of candy for special occasions, we swap them for other things.”

The implications of Suskind’s findings are potentially far reaching. The study is the first to demonstrate clinically that dietary change alone can be a safe and effective method for treating IBD. “Each person’s disease is unique, just as each person is unique,” Suskind said. “SCD is another tool in our tool belt to help treat these patients. It may not be the best treatment option for everyone, but it is an effective treatment for those who wish to try a dietary therapy.”

If further, placebo-controlled studies back up the effectiveness of the SCD, it may lead to treatments for other chronic inflammatory conditions — which includes most chronic diseases that plague modern civilization, including cancer and heart disease.

Because foods are more complex than drugs and don’t make profit for drug companies, medical research has been slow to research dietary intervention. Perhaps the new study will help that pattern start to change. “I don’t have the words to thank Dr. Suskind for what he did for us,” Kittelson said. “To have a doctor that is willing to explore other options and is willing to try new things, it’s incredible.”

Sources for this article include:

TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Pulse.SeattleChildrens.org

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Over 7,000 studies confirm turmeric’s health-protective effects /superfoodsnews/2017-01-23-over-7000-studies-confirm-turmerics-health-protective-effects.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-23-over-7000-studies-confirm-turmerics-health-protective-effects.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-23-over-7000-studies-confirm-turmerics-health-protective-effects.html Turmeric is known for its rich, yellow color and its myriad of culinary uses.  The old-world spice has been coveted for centuries, with evidence indicating that it may have even been part of ancient Chinese medicine a thousand years ago.

Recently, however, this traditional culinary staple is gaining recognition for its amazing health benefits.  Some 7,000 studies have been conducted, and much of the research shows that turmeric is a powerful healing agent with a wide variety of applications. Antibacterial, antimutagenic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties are just some of the things that make turmeric so special. It’s also loaded with micronutrients like vitamins C, E and K, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium.

(Related: Learn more about nutrient-rich superfoods at Fresh.news)

Research demonstrates the power of turmeric

Several studies have shown that turmeric even has the ability to help fight against certain types of cancer. For example, a 2015 review published by the journal Molecules states that curcumin — a key component of turmeric — can inhibit the initiation, progression and metastasis of a number of different kinds of tumors. The review authors also note that curcumin halts disease progression by inducing apoptosis, or cell death.  The team notes that at the time their review was completed, some 6,850 studies of turmeric had been published, noting that many of these were indicative of the spice’s potential health benefits.

In their conclusion, the authors write, “A plethora of in vitro and in vivo research together with clinical trials conducted over the past few decades substantiate the potential of curcumin as an anti-cancer agent.” The team notes that curcumin is limited by its bioavailability, but states that regardless of potential draw backs, curcumin is a “safe and promising molecule for the prevention and therapy of not only cancer but also other inflammation-driven diseases.”

Another recent study, also published in 2015, was indicative of curcumin’s anti-cancer effects. (Discover more news about natural cures at Cures.news.) The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Emory University’s Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and was published by the joural, PLOS One. The team sought to investigate how curcumin exacts its apoptosis-inducing effects in cancer cell lines of the upper aerodigestive tract, which refers to the lungs and bronchus, larynx, pharynx and oral cavity. After treating cancerous tissue samples with curcumin, the team examined the effects. From their findings, the team surmised that curcumin’s apoptosis-inducing effects were prompted by its ability to simultaneously turn on a tumor-suppressor gene and down-regulated anti-apoptotic proteins.

Essentially, this means that their data indicate curcumin turns on cancer suppression, and turns off the production of proteins that prevent cell death. Together, these effects result in cancer cell apoptosis.

Other health benefits

Fighting cancer, of course, is not the only benefit that turmeric can provide — though it surely is an impressive one. For example, a randomized double-blind, placebo controlled study found that turmeric supplements could help support a more balanced mood. The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that just eight weeks of turmeric supplementation boosted participants’ scores on depression and anxiety tests. All of the participants in the turmeric group exhibited substantial improvement compared to the placebo group.

Studies have also indicated that turmeric can help to relieve physical discomfort, too. A 4-week study published in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging found that turmeric worked as well as ibuprofen at relieving osteoarthritis pain — and that it worked even better than the pharmaceutical when it came to relieving joint stiffness. A previous study, published in 2011, also found that turmeric helped to relieve pain. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Surgical Endoscopy found that turmeric supplements relieved post-operative discomfort in gallbladder surgery patients better than placebo. In 3-week intervals, patients taking the supplement reported significantly less pain and discomfort than the placebo patients.

Turmeric has many other health benefits. It has been used to promote wound healing, soothe tissue irritation, relieve stomach aches, and boost heart health. Turmeric is truly a miraculous substance that continues to astound researchers across the globe.

 

Sources:

DietOfLife.com

MDPI.com

Journals.PLOS.org

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GMOs are not only dangerous but unnecessary-just look at India’s organic rice revolution /superfoodsnews/2017-01-22-gmos-are-not-only-dangerous-but-unnecessary-just-look-at-indias-organic-rice-revolution.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-22-gmos-are-not-only-dangerous-but-unnecessary-just-look-at-indias-organic-rice-revolution.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-22-gmos-are-not-only-dangerous-but-unnecessary-just-look-at-indias-organic-rice-revolution.html Things are finally turning around for the better in India after more than a decade of progressive crop failures, bankruptcies, and even suicides resulting from the country’s unfortunate adoption of biotechnology. Going against the grain of mainstream thought, many Indian farmers are deciding to ditch the GMOs and chemicals and go completely organic — and the results thus far have not only been astounding, but entirely contradictory to industry claims that GMOs are somehow necessary to feed the world.

Some news outlets are calling it India’s “rice revolution” — a unique method of growing this long-prized grain that involves using variant planting methods and less water. Farmers like Sumant Kumar, who was recently featured in a piece published by the The Guardian, have been utilizing this novel technique to grow rice in relatively small land plots without pesticides, herbicides, or other synthetic additives — and you wouldn’t believe how much they’re producing.

Kumar, who cultivates rice in India’s poorest state, Bihar, is reportedly able to produce an astonishing 22.4 tons of rice per season on just one hectare (about 2.5 acres) of land, using only manure that he gathers from his farmyard. This exceptionally high volume is a world record, topping even the most “advanced” growing methods touted by international international humanitarian organizations as producing the highest yields. (RELATED: Learn more about how to grow your own food at home naturally.)

“It beat not just the 19.4 tonnes achieved by the ‘father of rice,’ the Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, but the World Bank-funded scientists at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and anything achieved by the biggest European and American seed and GM companies,” wrote John Vidal for The Guardian.

Growing crops naturally is the best way to produce the highest yields of healthy food

Fortunately for India, Kumar isn’t alone in his endeavors. Many of his friends, neighbors, and even rivals in nearby states are adopting the natural growing methods that he uses after observing their success, which is unmatched by anything else in modern agriculture. Numerous other farmers have reported yields topping 17 tons of rice per hectare, which in some cases is more than double what they were producing using other methods such as biotechnology.

Kumar’s successes have been so great that he’s on occasion been accused of “cheating.” Even the state’s head of agriculture, a rice farmer himself, had his doubts — he actually came out to Kumar’s village to personally verify that he had, indeed, produced the 22.4 tons of rice on one hectare that he’d claimed.

The process Kumar and his friends are using to grow rice with this high level of success is known as the System of Rice (or root) Intensification, or SRI. It is being used to grow not only rice, but also wheat, potatoes, sugar cane, yams, tomatoes, garlic, aubergine, and a host of other crops at yields far higher than anything biotechnology or so-called “Golden Rice” has to offer.

“Instead of planting three-week-old rice seedlings in clumps of three or four in waterlogged fields, as rice farmers around the world traditionally do, the Darveshpura farmers carefully nurture only half as many seeds, and then transplant the young plants into fields, one by one, when much younger,” The Guardian explains about how it works.

“Additionally, they space them at 25cm intervals in a grid pattern, keep the soil much drier and carefully weed around the plants to allow air to their roots. The premise that ‘less is more’ was taught by Rajiv Kumar, a young Bihar state government extension worker who had been trained in turn by Anil Verma of a small Indian NGO called Pran (Preservation and Proliferation of Rural Resources and Nature), which has introduced the SRI method to hundreds of villages in the past three years.”

Sources:

WakingTimesMedia.com

TheGuardian.com

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Anti-aging ‘Holy Basil’ herb supports natural detoxification /superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-anti-aging-holy-basil-herb-supports-natural-detoxification.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-anti-aging-holy-basil-herb-supports-natural-detoxification.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-anti-aging-holy-basil-herb-supports-natural-detoxification.html Holy basil, also known as tulsi, Ocimum sanctum or Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a sacred plant to many Hindus, and is used in a wide variety of religious contexts. It is also an important herb in Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine. Although the plant has been used in Ayurveda for centuries, Western herbalists and scientists are only just beginning to understand the powerful benefits of this anti-aging, detoxifying herb.

In Ayurveda, holy basil is used to support immunity, aid detoxification, modulate stress and slow aging. In Western herbalism, the plant is known as an “adaptogen,” or a plant that increases the body’s resistance to a wide variety of environmental stressors, rather than having only a few specific effects (such as lowering blood pressure, for example).

Adaptogens are so named because they adapt their function to the needs of the body, thus helping maintain balance. (Learn more about natural medicine for preventing disease at Prevention.news)

Soothing stress, slowing aging

According to Ayurveda, holy basil can be used to boost mood, stamina and endurance by filling the body with a calming energy. It can help speed up slowed digestion or free up suppressed emotions.

Studies suggest that some of holy basil’s benefits come from its ability to help the body regulate its levels of cortisol, which is sometimes called the “stress hormone.” Released during times of stress, cortisol activates many components of the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” response. While this response is important in times of crisis, it is hard on the body over time, and cortisol has been linked to many of the negative health effects of chronic stress.

Holy basil’s effects on cortisol may partially explain its traditional use in Ayurveda to soothe emotional and digestive upset. Cortisol can also suppress the immune system, a condition holy basil is also used to treat.

The herb’s much-lauded anti-aging effects may come in part from its high antioxidant activity. Researchers believe that many of the effects of aging come from cell and DNA damage caused by chemicals known as free radicals; antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body.

Science beginning to explore effects

Holy basil’s antioxidant effects likely make it a powerful cancer preventive, as cancer is one of the many health conditions linked to free radical damage.

A 2007 study from the Journal of Medicinal Food further suggests that holy basil may also exhibit direct anticancer activity. In that study, cancer was induced in rats, who were then treated with varying doses of holy basil leaf extract. At concentrations of 300 mg per kg of body weight, the extract reduced cancer cell formation, oxidative damage to proteins and fats, and levels of enzymes responsible for producing further toxic effects in the body.

Another study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2008, found that holy basil might help reduce the effects of nerve degeneration (neuropathy), a common side effect of injury and many diseases, such as diabetes. Researchers severed sciatic nerves in the paws of rats, then treated them with holy basil extract for ten days. They found that over the course of the treatment, the nerve degeneration was reduced, and nerve sensitivity and motor control increased. Rats treated with holy basil extract also showed decreased oxidative stress and higher levels of calcium and glutathione. (RELATED: Learn about more natural remedies at Remedies.news)

Holy basil may also be good for the skin, perhaps due to potent antimicrobial activity. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2006 compared the effects of holy basil, sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum, the type commonly used in Western cooking), and hoary basil (Ocimum americanum) on bacteria believed to be the cause of acne. The researchers found that both holy basil and sweet basil showed significant antimicrobial effects.

Sources:

YogaJournal.com

NaturalNews.com

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Garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar: Powerful natural mixture against indigestion, obesity /superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-garlic-honey-and-apple-cider-vinegar-powerful-natural-mixture-against-indigestion-obesity.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-garlic-honey-and-apple-cider-vinegar-powerful-natural-mixture-against-indigestion-obesity.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-21-garlic-honey-and-apple-cider-vinegar-powerful-natural-mixture-against-indigestion-obesity.html Science is supposedly looking for miracle cures for all sorts of ailments, yet nature consistently provides the most powerful remedies anywhere on the planet. These solutions are also typically far safer and cost pennies on the dollar compared to steep costs for conventional medical treatments. Better yet, these down-to-earth treatments are usually simple and accessible to all people. The mixture of garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar is certainly no exception to those principles. It is a powerful remedy that you can make in the comfort of your own home with ingredients you probably keep on hand.

Benefits of this naturally healthy remedy

The combination of the three ingredients yields specific advantages to anyone who mixes then drinks them. It can help to prevent and treat gastrointestinal symptoms such as indigestion, and it has also been shown to ward off weight issues like obesity. With the obesity rate climbing ever higher, having people take a few minutes to prepare this drink can certainly provide a solution to a growing problem.

Taking a look at the benefits of the three individual ingredients gives some clues as to what makes them so powerful when combined:

  • Garlic is high in allicin, which is anti-inflammatory and anti-aging. It offers a world of miraculous benefits, and when taken internally, it can be helpful for treating all sorts of infections.
  • Honey contains high levels of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and it’s an excellent antiseptic.
  • Apple cider vinegar may provide the secret sauce in the garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar combination because of the sour-tasting liquid’s anti-obesity and indigestion-fighting properties.

You can imagine what a powerhouse you are creating when you combine the three items, in light of their individual properties and benefits even when used alone. (RELATED: Learn more news about the healing power of superfoods at Superfoods.news)

How to make this powerful mixture

Preparing for yourself a healthy drink of these three wonderful ingredients could not be easier or quicker. Simply measure out one cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of honey and ten cloves of freshly minced garlic. Thoroughly combine the ingredients in a blender, and pour the mixture into a glass jar. Refrigerate that. Take two tablespoons of the mixture each day in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. The mixture keeps for five days, and after that it will not provide the same powerful benefits. If you would like to improve the flavor some, add a small amount of water or organic juice such as apple juice.

Tips for maximum effectiveness

To get the most healing power out of the garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar mixture, make sure you follow certain rules. First, preferably use only organic ingredients. Also, garlic should be as fresh as possible or even grown in your own garden. Avoid using garlic that feels spongy or has dried out. Honey needs to be raw and preferably local, and avoid at all costs the “fake” honey that has become more prevalent in recent years. It is a “mystery” concoction of additives masquerading as a healthy food. Use raw apple cider vinegar that contains particles, also known as the “mother,” that settle to the bottom of the bottle. Before pouring out some vinegar, shake the capped bottle vigorously to thoroughly mix the particles in with the liquid.

Additional benefits include reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, cancer treatment and diabetes improvement. What if one of the cures for those dreaded ailments is right in your kitchen? So cheers to your health, and enjoy the rewards that come from setting aside a few minutes daily to take care of yourself by drinking this remedy.

Learn more about natural remedies at Remedies.news.

Sources:

PinoyHealthGuide.com

SteptoHealth.com

LPI.OregonState.edu

FoodSafetyNews.com

FoodRenegade.com

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Researchers: Eating organic provides much greater nutritional intake vs. conventional foods /superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-eating-organic-high-nutritional-intake.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-eating-organic-high-nutritional-intake.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-eating-organic-high-nutritional-intake.html Despite propaganda put out by the pesticide and genetically modified organism (GMO) industries, the evidence is clear: organic food has a higher nutrient content than food produced with GMOs and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

The issue is only increasing in relevance as consumers continue to turn to organic rather than conventionally produced foods. From 2014 to 2015, the amount consumers spent on packaged organic products went from $12.8 billion to $13.4 billion. That doesn’t include sales of organic produce, bulk dried goods, meat, or meals at organic restaurants.

Yet you’ll still hear certain scientists, along with pesticide and GMO company spokespeople, claim that organic food is no better for you than “conventional” food. What’s the truth? (RELATED: Discover more news about healthful vs. harmful food ingredients at Ingredients.news)

Dramatically higher antioxidant content

The evidence for organic foods’ superior nutrient content just keeps getting stronger. In 2011, the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences published what was, at that time, one of the most sophisticated analyses of the prior research comparing nutrient content of organic and conventional foods. They found that in general, organic foods tend to be higher in antioxidants (including vitamin C) and phenolic acids, but may be lower in protein and vitamin A.

They hypothesized that the main difference between the foods is the excessive use of synthetic fertilizers in conventional agriculture, which adds much more nitrogen to the plants’ diets. This leads to a reduction in stress, causing the plants to produce fewer defense-related secondary metabolites, such as vitamin C and other antioxidants. But it may cause the plant to accumulate more nitrogen in the form of protein, and to increase the content of secondary metabolites unrelated to defense, like vitamin A.

The researchers found that the levels of secondary plant metabolite-based nutrients in organic fruits and vegetables were about 12 percent higher in organic than in non-organic produce. Defense-related secondary metabolites in particular were 16 percent higher.

“This subset encompasses most of the important, plant-based antioxidants that promote good health,” the researchers wrote.

In 2014, an even more comprehensive analysis reviewed the findings of 343 prior peer-reviewed studies on the same topic. This paper, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, was the largest such analysis ever performed.

The researchers found much stronger results than the analysis from three years prior. They found that the antioxidant content of organic fruits and vegetable was between 19 and a shocking 69 percent higher than that of non-organic produce. This difference was large enough that shifting to an all-organic diet could provide the same nutritional benefit as eating an extra two servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Organic food lower in poisons

Higher nutrient content isn’t the only reason that organic food is better for your health, of course. Organic food is guaranteed free of GMOs, which have been linked to organ and reproductive problems.

It is also free from the residue of dangerous pesticides that have also been linked to problems across the health spectrum.

According a study published in the journal Environmental Research, switching to an organic diet can reduce an adult’s overall pesticide exposure by 90 percent. Another study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, showed the same effect over the long-term. It found that study participants who reported eating a higher proportion of organic produce showed evidence of significantly less organophosphate pesticide exposure than participants who ate mostly conventional produce.

This translates into real health benefits. According to a letter published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, you can reduce your pesticide-related health risk by 94 percent just by eating only organic forms of the top six most pesticide-intensive fruits (currently strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, grapes and cherries).

Despite the growing popularity and increasingly strong case for organic foods, farmers have been slow to convert their farmland to organic production. Several major food companies are now offering monetary incentives to help farmers make the switch.

Sources:

Collective-Evolution.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

NaturalNews.com

EWG.org

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Doctor sells practice in New York; buys New Jersey farm to offer plant-based medicine /superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-doctor-buys-farm-in-new-york-sells-practice-to-offer-plant-based-medicine.html /superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-doctor-buys-farm-in-new-york-sells-practice-to-offer-plant-based-medicine.html#respond Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://162.244.66.231/superfoodsnews/2017-01-19-doctor-buys-farm-in-new-york-sells-practice-to-offer-plant-based-medicine.html After 25 years of treating patients in the conventional manner, Dr. Ronald Weiss has sold his West New York practice to establish New Jersey’s first farm-based medical facility on a 348-acre plot of land in Long Valley.

The community-supported Ethos Health agricultural program Weiss has founded is based on the principle that food is medicine, and that diet can be more effective than pharmaceutical drugs in the prevention and treatment of disease. (RELATED: Read about food as medicine to prevent disease at Prevention.news)

“Plant-based whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners — more powerful than any drugs or surgeries,” Weiss told NJ.com. “I am talking about treating and preventing chronic disease — the heart attacks, the strokes, the cardiovascular disease, the cancers … the illnesses that are taking our economy and our nation down.”

The 348-acre ‘farmacy’ feeds 90 families

Weiss’s undergraduate degree in botany has no doubt come in handy in setting up his “farmacy.” And with the assistance of two local farmers, the project is now producing fresh organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for 90 families.

In turn, the families pay a membership fee and perform volunteer work on the farm, such as picking produce or pulling weeds. This helps people take a greater interest in the foods they eat – an awareness that is the foundation of good health, according to Weiss.

“Human health is directly related to the health of the environment, the production of food and how it is grown,” Weiss said. “I see this farm as an opportunity for me to take everything I’ve done all my life, all the biology and chemistry of plants I have studied, and link them to the human biological system.”

Although many mainstream medical practitioners continue to express skepticism regarding the “food as medicine” philosophy, there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that it really works, and some of Weiss’s patients are good examples.

‘More than a miracle’

For instance, 90-year-old Angelina Rotella was able to recover from chronic heart disease and diabetes by switching to Weiss’s plant-based dietary prescription.

Rotella was confined a wheelchair and suffering from congestive heart failure when she first visited Dr. Weiss. Eight months later, after changing her diet, she had lost 40 pounds and was able to get around without the wheelchair.

Her daughter, Angie Rotella-Suarez, called it “more than a miracle,” and after witnessing their mother’s dramatic improvement, Rotella-Suarez and her sister also switched to Weiss’s vegan diet plan, enabling them both to also lose 40 pounds and reverse their pre-diabetic status.

Weiss is encouraged by those within the medical profession who advocate a plant-based diet, such as Kim A. Williams, former president of the American College of Cardiology, who has written essays on the subject and spoken out about his own experiences. Williams has said that he succeeded in lowering his cholesterol levels on a vegan diet after failing to do so on a low-fat diet.

Other health experts remain critical of the concept, labeling all-plant diets as “still experimental.”

Whether or not a strict vegan diet is superior to one that includes some protein obtained from meat is open to debate, but what does seem clear is that primarily consuming fresh organic fruits and vegetables is the true prescription for good health.

It doesn’t take a medical degree to understand that what you put in your body not only affects but actually determines your state of health – and in fact, a conventional education in medicine tends to steer people away from that realization.

One of the reasons that plant-based medicine is still considered “fringe” appears to be that the medical establishment feels threatened by an approach that might put them out of business.

Big Pharma and the cancer industry would simply cease to exist if plant-based therapies and remedies became mainstream. Stay informed about the healing benefits of fresh foods at Fresh.news.

Sources:

HealthyHolisticLiving.com

NJ.com

AltHealthWorks.com

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