New Study: Don’t Take Calcium Supplements! 


Calcium supplements have been linked to heart attacks according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal last year. Researchers found a 24-27% increased risk of heart attacks for those who took 500 mg of elemental calcium a day. Americans consume an enormous amount of calcium already from cow’s milk and its products per person than most populations in the world.  There are many women who were told by their physicians to take calcium supplements for stronger bones.  We have the highest rates of heart disease and osteoporosis (bone disease) now.  Another study highlights the issues American women aged fifty and older face from consuming calcium from dairy and supplements. These women have one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world. For example, in countries such as India, Japan, and Peru where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. recommendation for adults, ages 19 to 50), the incidence of bone fractures is quite low.  Shouldn’t it be the opposite?  “Drink milk for calcium and strong bones”, they say.  But why are we still suffering from bone lose, fractures, and now calcium supplements linked to heart attacks?  

The United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) actively promotes dairy products — it administers the National Milk Processor Board that gave us the ubiquitous “Got milk?” media campaign.   I don’t know not one person who doesn’t know that stupid slogan. Really!! Get this! Did you know that consuming animal products also decreases bone health and causes excess metabolic acid load in the body? (I’ll link the studies for these below.)  Animal products causes our bodies to be more acidic. A more acidic body leads to diseases/toxicity/inflammation.  Now according to The China Study, the body does not like this acidic environment, so in turn, our bodies fight it. In order for the body to neutralize the acid, the body secretes calcium from our bones, and then calcium loss weakens the bones, thus causing the greater risk for fractures. There’s no win-win situation here. The higher the consumption of animal products, including dairy and meat, may lead to an acid overload and weakened bones.  

I DO NOT recommend taking calcium supplements or eating dairy for calcium.  However, I do believe consuming a whole food plant-based diet is the best option.  A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.  Foods like green leafy vegetables, including spring greens, cabbage, watercress, kale, broccoli and parsley are excellent sources of natural calcium.  Then there’s oranges, beans/legumes, nuts and seeds. These foods are also filled with vital vitamins and minerals our bodies depend on for healthy bones, teeth and strong muscles. The plant-based diet is healthier and better for our bodies to digest and absorb nutrients.  To learn more about adapting a whole food plant-based diet visit Nutrition Studies website.  


Resources:

Study: The effect of dietary sulfur-containing amino acids on calcium excretion.

Study: The dietary protein, Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), skeletal health axis.

Study: Estimation of net endogenous noncarbonic acid production in humans from diet potassium and protein contents.

Must Reads: Getting Clarity About Calcium, The 4 Keys to Strong Bones

Website to visit:  Vegan Society


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5 Sweet Pomegranate Facts


Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Here’s a young pomegranate growing. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. The pomegranate tree is actually a pretty small tree growing 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft) high, the pomegranate has multiple spiny branches, and is extremely long-lived, with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years. The fruit is considered a berry, a gigantic berry if you really think of it with tiny juice filled seeds on the inside.  The pomegranate fruit offers beneficial healing properties. These are some highlights:

  • Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Pomegranate has anti-angiogenic properties, meaning that they may help to stop tumors from acquiring a blood supply, preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger.
  • Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors. This means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk. 
  • After treatment for prostate cancer, two studies have shown that pomegranate juice or supplements slowed the increase in PSA.
  • Protects Against Heart Disease. Consume the pomegranate juice to reduce oxidative stress.  The pomegranate reduces LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development). 


References 

How to cut a pomegranate?

Fruit Facts: Pomegranate 

Aviram M, Dornfeld L: Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001, 158:195-198.

Aviram M, Volkova N, Coleman R, et al: Pomegranate phenolics from the peels, arils, and flowers are antiatherogenic: studies in vivo in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein e-deficient (E 0) mice and in vitro in cultured macrophages and lipoproteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2008, 56:1148-1157.

Wolf B: Pomegranates: Jewels In The Fruit Crown. 2006.

Panchal SK, Ward L, Brown L: Ellagic acid attenuates high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Eur J Nutr 2012.

Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, et al: Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2006, 54:980-985.

Khan N, Afaq F, Kweon MH, et al: Oral consumption of pomegranate fruit extract inhibits growth and progression of primary lung tumors in mice. Cancer Res 2007, 67:3475-3482.

Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al: Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003, 6:121-128.

A Healthy Sweet Snack

Here’s another awesome snack for people who are always looking for the next best on-the-go food.  Sugar snap peas are easy to tote around, very sweet, and healthy. They are a cross between the garden and snow pea, which have plump pods with a crisp snappy texture.  The pods of snap peas are edible. Peas are one of the few members of the legume family that are commonly sold and cooked as fresh vegetables. The other members of the legume family, including lentils, chickpeas, and beans of all colors are most often sold in dried form. They are all loaded with amazing nutrients, iron and protein. A favorite amongst vegans and vegetarians. 

I prefer to eat my sugar snap peas raw because of the sweetness. To me, when they’re cooked, it loses that delicious sweet aspect. Plus when they’re raw, the skin is very crunchy. If you didn’t see me eating them but heard me, you would think I was eating cheese doodles. That’s how loud they are.  Not only are they fun to eat, sugar snap peas are great for tossing them in my salads. They add a wonderful dimension to stir fried too. For amazing healthy information about the green peas and legumes family, visit whfoods site for up-to-date scientific studies, recommended dietary guidelines, and easy recipes. 

Try some today, and let me know if you like’em. 

Healthy Eating!!! 
 

EWG: Healthy Thanksgiving Tips 

The Environmental Working Group has five amazing tips for you to keep in mind when preparing for a healthy Thanksgiving feast. 

  • Stuffing is always a holiday favorite, but did you know that store-bought stuffing mixes often have 30 or more ingredients, including preservatives from EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of food additives? More than half of the stuffing rated on Food Scores are likely to contain ingredients of high or moderate concern, so we recommend making your own or using EWG’s Food Scores to pick one of the top-scoring products.
  • Turkeys are often fed antibiotics and growth promoters in their feed to encourage development of lean muscle instead of fat. (No wonder they look the way they do!) Consider going organic and antibiotic-free this year and check out our guide to decoding turkey labels to help you choose a better bird this Thanksgiving.

However and whatever you choose to buy or eat, the most important thing to remember, is to be happy and Thankful. 
Resource: Environmental Working Group (EWG)

7 Warning Signs You Must Not Ignore

  
Have you ever heard of the term “thin-fat syndrome?” Well, Dr. Mark Hayman says, “it means you are under lean but over fat – not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).”  Diabetes does not discriminate.  It doesn’t matter if you are skinny or obese, you could be at risk.  Type 2 diabetes is growing rampant in the United States and you need to learn about the signs.  Type II is called “adult onset diabetes” or “non-insulin dependent diabetes” because it most often affects people over forty years old. 

See if you’re vulnerable and what to do next. 

  1. Waking up often during the night to pee
  2. Feeling unusually thirsty
  3. Unexplained weight loss or gain
  4. Frequent yeast infections
  5. Blurry vision
  6. Tingling in the hands and feet
  7. Cuts that don’t heal well or infections that are difficult to get rid of

If you notice even one of these symptoms of diabetes, it’s worth bringing it up with your doctor and asking for a blood test (usually the A1C) to check your blood sugar levels.  The best approach to avoid or reverse it is exercise and diet, which is key regardless of how much you weigh.  Rochelle Naylor, MD, an endocrinologist of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center recommends cardio and strength training, which can both improve insulin sensitivity. Aiming for 30 minutes a day at five times a week is the minimum requirement.  Curbing the processed foods and simple carbohydrates is important. Not to mention, adding more fiber-rich foods and vegetables into your diet will give you the right balance. I’m a huge advocate for a whole-food plant-based diet.  

Eat clean and get physical! 

More resources: Early symptoms of diabetes and typical medical treatment

SNACK ON THIS BEFORE YOU SHOP

 
 Can an apple a day really keep the doctor and the pounds away?  Possibly! A study was conducted at the research center of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab on the effects of apples and food control. Researchers found that people who ate an apple sample before going grocery shopping bought 28 percent more fruits and vegetables than those who ate cookies, and 25 percent more than those who went snack-free. “Having a healthy snack right before you walk through the supermarket doors will put you in a healthier frame of mind and lead you to make smarter choices”, explains study co-author Aner Tal, PhD.   

From Hudson Vally
 

The lesson here is, just eat an apple everyday because you’ll shop more healthier, and don’t forget it also keeps the doctor away.  I also recommend it being an organic apple.  Apples in the United States are unfortunately strayed with a cocktail of pesticides. It’s also ranked as one of the highly sprayed fruits on the Environmental Working Group’s list.  

Choose wisely, live wisely. Know your facts!

Dr. Campbell’s recommendations for Dietary Guidelines

 

Submitted to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on April 30, 2015.

In 1980, the first report by the Dietary Guidelines (DG) Advisory Committee was authored by two friends of mine, the late Harvard School of Public Health Professor Mark Hegsted PhD (representing the McGovern Committee and the USDA) and Allan Forbes MD, formerly FDA Chief of Nutrition. I have remained keenly interested in the 5-year reports ever since.

Unfortunately, I have gradually lost much of my early enthusiasm for this advisory committee. During the past 35 years, I have seen little if any progress toward a better understanding of diet, nutrition and health. This is regrettable because these reports serve as guidelines for health education, government school lunch, WIC (women, infants and children), and other important public programs. I do not see how this report is any more progressive or insightful than its predecessors. Previous reports have included new words and phrases which unfortunately did not lead to any real change.  Click here to continue reading original article. 

Fresh is best! 

  
There’s nothing better than reaping fresh vegetables from your garden, especially broccoli. Broccoli is one of those vegetables that needs to be eaten right away because it losses the nutrients after it’s been picked. Whether you enjoy your broccoli raw or cooked, harvesting from your garden or buying from the farmers market is your best option. Don’t rely on the store-bought versions.  They’re soft and almost limp. Here I am displaying my harvest above, and I ate some raw and cooked that very same day. There’s a huge difference in the taste.  This crucifer was crisp, subtly sweet and utterly tender. 

Broccoli is a good source of the carotenoids lutein, vitamins C, A, K, folate, and fiber, and a very good source of manganese, tryptophan, potassium, b-vitamins, magnesium, omega 3’s, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin E.  All of which are important for cancer prevention and other degenerative diseases. 

Last year, I planted broccoli for the first time but I was not successful.  My timing was way off.  I sowed the seeds too late and by the time the plants matured, snow came. This year, I purchased six seedlings from my farmers market and transplanted them mid-spring. I harvested one already last week, so this is my second harvest thus far.    

Here’s a before picture. That’s my uncles hand there. The plant is humongous. The bigger you space them from one another, the bigger the broccoli heads basically. It’s amazing and very rewarding growing your own vegetables. The benefits are endless.  I’ve already started on my fall crops, and I’m including cauliflowers this year. 

Wish me luck!

Strawberries Are Back 

Strawberries are back and in full-swing of things at the Union Square Green Market.  They’re super sweet, juicy, and delicious!  You’ll never find these beauties at your supermarket.  What also sets these beauties apart from the regular store-bought brands is there texture. The strawberry from the local farmers are much more tender and delicate, thus making them more juicy.

They’re in season now so stop by your local farmers market and get’em while you can.  To find your local farmers market click here.  Nutritional information on strawberry can also be found here

Enjoy😋

Summertime, and Risk Grows for Kidney Stones

X-rays are commonly used to diagnose kidney stones, which can cause severe pain. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Who knew the summertime is a big season for kidney stones? 

Doctors say more people suffer from the condition when the weather is hot and dry and people become dehydrated. That can encourage minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys. When the so-called stones move to other parts of the urinary tract they can cause severe pain depending on their size.

About 9% of U.S. adults will develop kidney stones, a rate that has nearly doubled over the past 15 years, according to a 2012 study in the journal European Urology. The reason for the increase isn’t entirely clear, but it is believed to be connected to rising obesity rates. Men are more likely than women to get kidney stones, though a recent study found the gap has been narrowing.

 

Kidney stones are made of crystallized minerals and salts. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
 
For people who have suffered a kidney stone, the chance of having another is high. Doctors say there are steps to help prevent a recurrence, mainly through changes in diet, such as drinking lots of water and avoiding sugary sodas. Other prevention tips may depend on what type of kidney stone you had. For a common type of stone, doctors might recommend avoiding spinach and consuming moderate levels of dietary calcium, for example.

KIDNEY STONE FACTS

  • About 9% of U.S. adults will develop kidney stones, a rate that has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. In men, the rate is 11% and in women it is 7%. But the gap between the genders is narrowing.
  • Calcium oxalate stones make up the majority of cases. Other types of kidney stones include calcium phosphate, uric acid and struvite.
  • A family history of kidney stones increases your risk. One in four people with a stone reports having a relative with them.

Click here to continue reading the article. 

Source: By SUMATHI REDDY (WSJ)