My After Work Cocktail!!

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My favorite after work cocktail followed up with a shot of freshly squeezed orange juice to chase. I love it but hate the chalky taste it leaves in my mouth. The OJ helps that! Wheatgrass is a powerhouse juice that contains all amino acids, a wide spectrum of minerals, and lots of vitamins, including B12. It is rich in the blood-boosting chlorophyll, and acts to oxygenate and nourish the blood.

It also contains antioxidants like superoxide disumtase, or SOD, and cytochrome oxidase. These powerhouse antioxidants work to bind up free radicals and release more oxygen into the blood. Oxygen kills cancer and disease. Wheatgrass juice oxygenates the blood, erases disease, boosts health, and is cheap to grow and make

Research: Curcumin Is A Triple Negative Breast Cancer Killer

A former model named Jessica Richards’ battled with cancer. In her book The Topic of Cancer, Richards explains how following a strict metabolic diet and receiving high-dose intravenous (IV) injections of vitamin C has helped successfully reverse the progression of her breast cancer, to the shock of many conventional doctors. Vitamin C is natural and there’s a lot of controversy surrounding it with the FDA because they’re not able to patent it. Why? It’s natural! They cannot make billions off of it. Now, I’m a believer in healing the body with food and this is a remarkable story.

I came across a study on Curcumin conducted by Xiao-Dong Sun, Xing-E Liu and Dong-Sheng Huang in China that I had to share it with you all. I’m amazed whenever I see studies like these that utilizes natural spices, fruits, and vegetables to heal our body of aliments. Well if you didn’t know both the ancient Chinese and Indians system of medicine have recognized curcumin’s beneficial properties for thousands of years, and now modern research is showing it may be one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.

In this study the compound found in turmeric known as curcumin, which gives the spice its characteristic saffron-like color, is capable of inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) within triple negative breast cancer cells. For those suffering through or recovering from treatment right now, or trying to decide what to do with a new diagnosis, this latest Chinese study is promising. This spice can be used in many recipes and it’s very delicious.


This is what it looks like when it’s uprooted, dried, and then pounded into a powder form.

In India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers — colon, breast, prostate and lung — is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to the curcumin in turmeric.

Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:

Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
Decrease inflammation
Enhance liver function
Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth
And according to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers.

The spice actually stops laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating and pushes the cancer cells to commit suicide by shutting down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce abnormal inflammatory response that leads to an assortment of disorders such as arthritis and cancer.

To get the full benefits that curcumin has to offer, you will want to look for a turmeric extract with at least 95% curcuminoids that contains only 100% certified organic ingredients.

For many this is a more convenient method to obtain the potential health benefits, especially if it is from a high-quality organic source, and also if you don’t particularly enjoy the taste of curry. As an aside, curcumin is not only beneficial for osteoarthritis … research is also emerging showing it may play a beneficial role in the following diseases:

Cystic fibrosis
Type 2 diabetes
Crohn’s disease
Psoriasis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Cataracts
Gallstones
Muscle regeneration
Inflammatory bowel disease

I use curry and turmeric to cook with all the time for my family. We love the taste and it’s very healthy for you as you can see here.

If you are able to find turmeric rhizomes in the grocery store, you can make your own fresh turmeric powder by drying and then grinding it into a fine consistency.

Resources

More on tumeric – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/662.html
Osteoporosis – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21194249
http://www.ift.org/food-technology/daily-news/2011/january/11/curcumin-may-relieve-pain-inflammation-for-osteoarthritis-patients.aspx
Alzheimer disease – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18204357?dopt=Abstract
Anti -inflmmatory – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12067569?dopt=Abstract
Chinese Study –http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23023821

Superfood Highlight: Black Rice the “forbidden rice”

Black rice is so rich and tasty, I don’t think it receives enough publicity. It has quickly become known as a ‘super food’ and it’s also known as the “forbidden rice” according to the history books.

In ancient times, Emperors reserved this wonderfully nutty rice for their own consumption because it was thought that it would extend their lives; actually, it seems they weren’t that far off the mark.

Black rice does provide many health benefits, including conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and others. The Emperors were pretty smart people, it is surely a great way to extend the length and quality of your life.

Black rice natural healing power consists of antioxidants, Vitamin E, Fiber, and valuable anti-inflammatory properties, this special rice is truly extraordinary in its abilities. What’s really incredible about Black Rice is the fact that it contains even more antioxidants (per serving) than blueberries; which are famous for their anti-aging properties according to the American Chemical Society.

Vitamins, Minerals And Fiber
Black rice is a healthy source of minerals, especially iron. It contains vitamin E and is lower in sugar than berries that have similar phytochemical qualities. Black rice is fiber-rich and nutritionally similar, though not identical, to whole grain brown rice.

Antioxidants
Brown rice and black rice are antioxidant-rich, but only black rice contains anthocyanins, the purple and dark red pigments that color and add valuable nutrients to blueberries, grapes, blackberries, dark cherries, raspberries and acai berries. Anthocyanin antioxidants are associated with health benefits, such as memory improvement and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.

One spoonful of black rice bran provide the same amount or more anthocyanins than a spoonful of blueberries according to 2010 study examining the influence of anthyocyanins on some chronic health conditions. The results of this research were published by Zhimin Xu, Ph.D. and presented at the 240th National Meeting of American Chemical Society in Boston. The antioxidants in black rice may help fight heart disease and reduce blood levels of “bad” cholesterol, which is low-density lipoprotein or LDL.


Inflammation
Black rice contains a higher concentration of anthocyanins than any other food including blueberries and tart cherries. The consumption of anthocyanins can be effective in reducing inflammation. A study published in August 2004 in the “Behavioural Brain Research” journal revealed that the presence of anthocyanins were not only effective in reducing inflammation, but also effective in reducing the pain associated with inflammation. Therefore, black rice is an effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

Cancer
The anthocyanins contained in black rice have anti-oxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that anthocyanins also have chemotherapeutic properties. A study published in December 2009 in the “International Journal of Oncology” revealed that the presence of anthocyanins inhibited growth and, in some cases, destroyed human colon cancer cells. This research is encouraging for the use of anthocyanins and substances that contain anthocyanins as effective chemotherapeutic agents.

Asthma
Current research has also revealed that anthocyanins can also be an effective treatment for asthma. A study published in August 2007 in the “Food and Chemical Toxicology” journal showed that anthocyanins effectively counteracted several free radicals that induce airway inflammation and mucous secretion, which decreased the symptoms associated with asthma. This research proves that black rice, with its rich anthocyanin concentration, would effective at treating the symptoms associated with asthma.

Resources:

  1. PubMed.gov: Induction of Apoptosis in Human Colon Cancer HCT-116 Cells by Anthocyanins Through Suppression of Akt and Activation of p38-MAPK
  2. Linus Pauling Institue at Oregon State University: The Possible Health Benefits of Anthocyanin Pigments and Polyphenolics
  3. PubMed.gov: Anthocyanins Inhibit Airway Inflammation and Hyperresponsiveness in a Murine Asthma Model

How Much Broccoli Is Needed for Cancer Prevention?

Recent studies have also provided us with a much better idea about the amount of broccoli that we need to lower our cancer risk. At the lower end of the spectrum, it looks like an average of 1/2 cup of broccoli per day—only 22 calories’ worth of broccoli!—is enough to provide some measurable benefits. Few people have broccoli on a daily basis. But a 2-cup serving twice a week would still meet this minimum average amount. It’s important to remember how little this amount actually in within the context of one week’s food. A person eating 2,000 calories per day would be consuming 14,000 calories per week. A 2-cup serving of broccoli twice a week would provide about 178 calories—only 1% of the total weekly calories! At the higher end of the spectrum, studies show that more broccoli might be needed to accomplish other cancer-preventing tasks.

For example, one study showed significantly higher urinary excretion of potential carcinogens from well-done, grilled meats given daily consumption of broccoli in the range of 9 ounces (250 grams) per day. That gram amount corresponds to approximately 1.6 cups of broccoli on a daily basis. We’ve also seen a study showing that “generous” amounts of broccoli can help optimize levels of antioxidants in the blood, especially beta-carotene and lutein. (Optimal antioxidant levels can help lower the risk of oxidative stress in healthy cells, which also helps lower their risk of becoming cancerous.) In this study, the term “generous” was used to describe consumption of broccoli in the amount of 3 cups daily. Once again, that amount would not be ridiculously high in terms of calories—3 cups would provide about 132 calories, or 6-7% of a 2,000-calorie diet. But it might be a greater amount that many people would want to consume on a regular basis.

Description

Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, and is closely related to cauliflower. Its cultivation originated in Italy. Broccolo, its Italian name, means “cabbage sprout.” Broccoli’s name is derived from the Latin word brachium, which means branch or arm, a reflection of its tree-like shape that features a compact head of florets attached by small stems to a larger stalk. Because of its different components, this vegetable provides a complex of tastes and textures, ranging from soft and flowery (the florets) to fibrous and crunchy (the stem and stalk). Its color can range from deep sage to dark green to purplish-green, depending upon the variety. One of the most popular types of broccoli sold in North America is known as Italian green, or Calabrese, named after the Italian province of Calabria where it first grew.

Other vegetables related to broccoli are broccolini, a mix between broccoli and gai-lin (Chinese broccoli), and broccoflower, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. Broccoli sprouts have also recently become popular as a result of research uncovering their high concentration of the anti-cancer phytonutrient, sulforaphane.

Nutritional Profile

Broccoli is an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin C, anti-inflammatory vitamin K, and heart-healthy folate. It is a very good source of free-radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoid phytonutrients), enzyme-activating manganese and molybdenum; digestive-health-supporting fiber; heart-healthy potassium and vitamin B6; and energy-producing vitamin B2 and phosphorus. It is a good source of energy-producing vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, protein, and iron; bone-healthy magnesium and calcium; and antioxidant-supportive vitamin E and selenium.

Broccoli is also concentrated in phytonutrients. In one particular phytonutrient category—glucosinolates—broccoli is simply outstanding. The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from broccoli’s glucosinolates are the key to broccoli’s cancer-preventive benefits.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Broccoli.

References

  • Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009.
  • Angeloni C, Leoncini E, Malaguti M, et al. Modulation of phase II enzymes by sulforaphane: implications for its cardioprotective potential. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5615-22. 2009.
  • Banerjee S, Wang Z, Kong D, et al. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane enhances chemosensitivity of multiple chemotherapeutic agents in pancreatic cancer. 3,3′-Diindolylmethane enhances chemosensitivity of multiple chemotherapeutic agents in pancreatic cancer. 2009.
  • Bhattacharya A, Tang L, Li Y, et al. Inhibition of bladder cancer development by allyl isothiocyanate. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Feb;31(2):281-6. 2010.
  • Bryant CS, Kumar S, Chamala S, et al. Sulforaphane induces cell cycle arrest by protecting RB-E2F-1 complex in epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Molecular Cancer 2010, 9:47. 2010.

Kale Very High in Vitamin K – Anti-Cancer Fighting Properties

Anti-Inflammatory Health Benefits

We have yet to see research on kale’s omega-3 content and inflammation, but we would expect this kind of research to show the omega-3s in kale to be an important part of kale’s anti-inflammatory benefits. It only takes 100 calories of kale to provide us with 25-35% of the National Academy of Sciences’ public health recommendation for the most basic omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA). We suspect that this amount will be plenty to show direct anti-inflammatory benefits from routine kale intake.

We also have yet to see specific research on inflammation and kale’s vitamin K content. But we know that kale is a spectacular source of vitamin K (one cup of kale provides far more micrograms of vitamin K than any of our 135 World’s Healthiest foods) and we also know that vitamin K is a key nutrient for helping regulate our body’s inflammatory process. Taken in combination, we expect these two facts about vitamin K to eventually get tied together in health research that shows kale to be an exceptional food for lowering our risk of chronic inflammation and associated health problems.

Glucosinolates and Cancer-Preventive Benefits

What we have already seen in the health research on kale is ample evidence that its glucosinolates provide cancer-preventive benefits. Kale is a top food source for at least four glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. Kale’s glucosinolates and the ITCs made from them have well-documented cancer preventive properties, and in some cases, cancer treatment properties as well. At the top of the cancer-related research for kale are colon cancer and breast cancer, but risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer have all been found to decrease in relationship to routine intake of kale. The chart below presents a summary of the unusual glucosinlate phytonutrients found in kale, and the anti-cancer ITCs made from them inside the body.

Nutrients in Kale 1.00 Cup Cooked (130.00 grams)

Nutrient %Daily Value

vitamin K 1327.6%

vitamin A 354.1%

vitamin C 88.8%

manganese 27%

fiber 10.4%

copper 10%

tryptophan 9.3%

Antioxidant-Related Health Benefits

Like most of its fellow cruciferous vegetables, kale has been studied more extensively in relationship to cancer than any other health condition. This research focus makes perfect sense. Kale’s nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas: (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.

Resources:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2

Superfood Highlight: Avocado

I love avocado! It’s perfect with salads, sandwiches, dips, eggs, and don’t forget the guacamole (yummy, yummy guacamole). My favorite way of eating avocados is in a salad. It’s so simple and easy and it’s the best way to incorporate healthy fats in your diet. The avocado has many nutritional benefits, ranging from cholesterol management and high fiber content to alleviating arthritis and potentially lessening the side effects of chemotherapy[1][2]. Here are a few key reasons avocado is the way to go:

Monounsaturated fat: Yup, that’s the “good” fat. Monounsaturated fats can improve cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and can benefit brain activity and locomotion[3][4][5].

Vitamin E: Vitamin E packs an antioxidant punch, protecting body tissue from damage by disabling free radicals (groups of unpaired atoms in the body that can lead to cancer or heart disease)[6]. It’s also vital to red blood cell formation — another plus, since these cells are responsible for circulating oxygen and getting rid of waste.

Vitamin B6: Among other awesome functions, Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) assists with the body’s formation of glycogen (back-up fuel that’s stored in the liver and muscles) and promotes skin health (suddenly those moisturizers make more sense…)[7][8].

Carotenoids: When eaten together, avocados may increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids from other healthy foods like fruits and vegetables[9]. Carotenoids are high in Vitamin A and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye degeneration[10].

Now, the rule of thumb for picking a good avocado is to buy the fruit when it’s firm, and let it ripen for a few days before eating. To know when the avocado is ready to eat, squeeze it lightly. It should still be somewhat firm, but with enough give that a knife could smoothly cut through it. Just keep in mind that there can be too much of a good thing. Due to the fruit’s high-fat content (roughly 85% of the avocado’s calories come from fat), most experts recommend consuming no more than roughly half of a whole fruit per day.

What’s your favorite way to eat avocados? Have you incorporated avocados into your normal eating routine? Share your experiences in the comments!

Reference:

Chlorophyll Benefits: Eating More Provides Nutritional Benefits to the Body!

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Chlorophyll: Refers to the phytochemical that gives plants their green color and pigmentation. This chemical is responsible for absorbing solar energy to facilitate photosynthesis, a process in which plants convert energy from sunlight into sugars. You can get chlorophyll from green vegetables or through liquid supplementation purchased from vitamin stores. Chlorophyll provides nutritional benefits to the body and helps keep you healthy.

 

Benefits of Chlorophyll:

Healthy Bones:  Important minerals considered essential for keeping your bones healthy include calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.  When you eat green plants, you take in a high concentration of magnesium, because of their chlorophyll content.  According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, chlorophyll contains large amounts of magnesium, helping keep your bones strong. In the body, about 50 percent of magnesium is in the bones, and the remaining 50 percent is distributed in the cells, tissues and organs.

Vitamin K: Eating green, leafy vegetables affords you a good supply of vitamin K, an important component that your body needs for your blood to clot properly. Vitamin K deficiency can result in excessive bleeding. If you do not eat enough green, leafy vegetables, such as turnip greens and spinach, you can purchase a liquid supplemental form of chlorophyll over the counter.

Strong Muscles: The magnesium in chlorophyll also helps your muscles contract and relax and remain strong. Not eating chlorophyll deprives you of a huge supply of magnesium, and deficiency can make your muscles weak. MedlinePlus recommends you not overcook green vegetables, which can reduce the amount of natural chlorophyll.

Blood Pressure:  One of the many benefits chlorophyll provides is maintaining normal blood pressure. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that people who take chlorophyll, with its large supply of magnesium, have lower blood pressure compared to those who do not. Taking chlorophyll can also help you if you have Raynaud’s phenomenon, a rare disorder that affects the blood vessels in your fingers and toes and results in loss of blood flow to those areas. The magnesium component of chlorophyll appears to help maintain blood flow in these patients.

 

References:

Wheatgrass Tip

Wheat Grass Tip

Whenever I drink a shot or two of wheatgrass I like to chase it with a lemon or an orange slice. The wheatgrass leaves a chalky taste in my mouth and an orange refreshes my pallet.

Benefits of Wheatgrass

WHEATGRASS JUICE…

 Increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. It cleanses the blood, organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass also stimulates metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body.

Stimulates the thyroid gland, correcting obesity, indigestion, and a host of other complaints.

Restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood. It can be used to relieve many internal pains, and has been used successfully to treat peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, and other complaints of the gastrointestinal tract.

Is a powerful detoxifier, and liver and blood protector. The enzymes and amino acids found in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants.

Fights tumors and neutralizes toxins. Recent studies show that wheatgrass juice has a powerful ability to fight tumors without the usual toxicity of drugs that also inhibit cell-destroying agents. The many active compounds found in grass juice cleanse the blood and neutralize and digest toxins in our cells.

Contains beneficial enzymes. Whether you have a cut finger you want to heal or you desire to lose five pounds…enzymes must do the actual work. The life and abilities of the enzymes found naturally in our bodies can be extended if we help them from the outside by adding exogenous enzymes, like the ones found in wheatgrass juice. Don’t cook it. We can only get the benefits of the many enzymes found in grass by eating it uncooked. Cooking destroys 100 percent of the enzymes in food.

Has remarkable similarity to our own blood. The second important nutritional aspect of chlorophyll is its remarkable similarity to hemoglobin, the compound that carries oxygen in the blood. Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara, president of the Hagiwara Institute of Health in Japan, is a leading advocate for the use of grass as food and medicine. He reasons that since chlorophyll is soluble in fat particles, and fat particles are absorbed directly into the blood via the lymphatic system, that chlorophyll can also be absorbed in this way. In other words, when the “blood” of plants is absorbed in humans it is transformed into human blood, which transports nutrients to every cell of the body.

When used as a rectal implant, reverses damage from inside the lower bowel. An implant is a small amount of juice held in the lower bowel for about 20 minutes. In the case of illness, wheatgrass implants stimulate a rapid cleansing of the lower bowel and draw out accumulations of debris. Externally applied to the skin can help eliminate itching almost immediately.

Will soothe sunburned skin and act as a disinfectant. Rubbed into the scalp before a shampoo, it will help mend damaged hair and alleviate itchy, scaly, scalp conditions.  Is soothing and healing for cuts, burns, scrapes, rashes, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, insect bites, boils, sores, open ulcers, tumors, and so on. Use as a poultice and replace every two to four hours.  Works as a sleep aide. Merely place a tray of living wheatgrass near the head of your bed. It will enhance the oxygen in the air and generate healthful negative ions to help you sleep more soundly.

Enhances your bath. Add some to your bath water and settle in for a nice, long soak.

Sweetens the breath and firms up and tightens gums. Just gargle with the juice.

Neutralizes toxic substances like cadmium, nicotine, strontium, mercury, and polyvinyl chloride. Offers the benefits of a liquid oxygen transfusion since the juice contains liquid oxygen. Oxygen is vital to many body processes: it stimulates digestion (the oxidation of food), promotes clearer thinking (the brain utilizes 25% of the body’s oxygen supply), and protects the blood against anaerobic bacteria. Cancer cells cannot exist in the presence of oxygen.

Turns gray hair to its natural color again and greatly increases energy levels when consumed daily.

Is a beauty treatment that slows down the aging process when the juice is consumed. Wheatgrass will cleanse your blood and help rejuvenate aging cells, slowing the aging process way down, making you feel more alive right away. It will help tighten loose and sagging skin.

Lessens the effects of radiation. One enzyme found in wheatgrass, SOD, lessens the effects of radiation and acts as an anti-inflammatory compound that may prevent cellular damage following heart attacks or exposure to irritants.

Restores fertility and promotes youthfulness.

Can double your red blood cell count just by soaking in it. Renowned nutritionist Dr. Bernard Jensen found that no other blood builders are superior to green juices and wheatgrass. In his book Health Magic Through Chlorophyll from Living Plant Life he mentions several cases where he was able to double the red blood cell count in a matter of days merely by having patients soak in a chlorophyll-water bath. Blood building results occur even more rapidly when patients drink green juices and wheatgrass regularly.