New Guidelines: Early Exposure to Peanuts May Decrease Allergies 


     A new study published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, suggest giving infants peanut power within the first 6 months of their lives.  This early exposure can possibly prevent peanut allergy through introduction of peanut-containing foods beginning in infancy.  Recorded data from 1999, peanut allergy was estimated to affect 0.4% of children and 0.7% of adults in the United States, and by 2010, peanut allergy prevalence had increased to approximately 2% among children in a national survey, with similar results reported in a regional cohort. 

     Peanut allergy is the leading cause of death related to food-induced anaphylaxis in the United States, and although overall mortality is low, the fear of life-threatening anaphylactic reactions contributes significantly to the medical and psychosocial burden of this disease.  Many families who have a love one with a peanut allergy knows this onus personally.  Simple family activities can be stressful, like eating out at a restaurant or going to a friends birthday party. As a parent you have to be extra careful at home and more importantly, in public.  I’m so blessed none of my three children have food allergies. I know many families that endure a lot of heartache dealing with children with serious food allergies, and it can be extremely daunting. 

To continue reading more about this study click here. 

Resources:  Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: Report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases–sponsored expert panel

Peanut Allergy Overview 

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Beet This Fact


     Beets are incredibly delicious, easy to grow, and extremely healthy for you.  Did you know that beet roots has cancer fighting properties?   Beets have long been know as a healthy source of nutrients, but scientific evidence also validates their significance as a defense against cancer. Some research even shows cases of remission in cancer patients who were given high concentrations of beet root. I grew my own this year.  There’s nothing better than picking fresh beets and preparing them as you like. 


     This root vegetable is a good source of iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur  magnesium, iodine, and a number of trace minerals. However, it is the synergy between certain elements found only in specific combinations and concentrations within the beet that give it its cancer-fighting power.  The leaves are also eatable and holds valuable nutrients. While other foods contain iron, the human body is able to assimilate it from the beet root more readily than from almost any other food.  Researchers suspect that there is a catalyst in the beet root that helps the body more easily use the available iron. 

     Beet juice powder is one of the most concentrated forms of the root, with a typical serving size being a teaspoon or two added to 8 ounces of water plus 8 ounces of fresh vegetable juice. Larger dosages may be necessary for those with a cancer diagnosis.  I’ve always enjoyed juicing, eating and cooking with all varieties of beets.  After researching beet powder, I am interested in trying it out. The benefits outweighs the taste, especially if you’re looking for healthy alternatives. I grew up seeing my mother with this red vegetable that made a huge mess. I loved handeling it, but I was one of the haters as a young child.  In my family, there were no excuses, I had to eat it.  Now I’m a mom and I’ve included beets in our diets of course, just more creatively. Beets have an earthy taste. Some people like it or hate it. My advise for the non-likers, smoothies and fresh juices are the best ways to consume vegetables. I juice it and blend it in smoothies for my children. Knowing how to combine the different vegetables to off-set the tastes helps tremendously. 

Here are my favorite beet juice recipes. 

Beet Juice – Granny Dearest 

  • 1 Green Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Inch piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 Medium Carrots 
  • 1 Large beet, peeled
  • 1 Medium orange peeled 

 Beet Juice – Energizer 

  • 1 Large beetroot
  • 1 Medium Gala Apple 
  • 1/2 Piece fresh ginger
  • 2 Cucumbers 
  • 1 bunch of parsley 

Smoothie – Beet Powerhouse 

  • 1 Large beetroot (Juiced) 
  • 2 Ripe bananas 
  • 1 Cup strawberries 
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh/frozen kale
  • 1 Cup ice
  • 1 Cup of coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp of raw honey

I hope you enjoy my recipes, and try to come up with your own combinations. Be adventurous and don’t be intimidated to try new things. 

Resources:  Adapted from “Benefits of beets documented to defeat cancer,” by Johnathan Landsman, at http://naturalhealth365.com


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


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.

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)

Diabetes Linked to Developing Alzheimer’s 

 

Dr. David Holtzman in his lab at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, is among the researchers studying links between blood sugar and the brain. PHOTO: ROBERT J. BOSTON/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
 
Two recent studies show blood-sugar levels can affect the brain—-adding new evidence that diabetes might be a significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found in a study of mice that raising blood sugar to abnormally high levels corresponded with increased production in the brain of amyloid beta, a protein thought to be an important factor in Alzheimer’s disease. In a separate study of middle-aged people, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, those with Type 1 diabetes had significantly more brain lesions, and slower cognitive function, than people without the disease. 

 

Click to continue reading!

Source: By JOSEPH WALKER (WSJ)

Why Consume More Plants?

  

Weight control
Weight gain is generally correlated with high daily calorie intake, and eating a small amount of nutrient-dense foods full of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain foods typically provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories, compared to other types of foods. Putting more of these kinds of plants on the plate makes it easier to manage appetite and maintain body weight.

High dietary fiber
Only plant foods contain fiber. Dietary fiber is a complex form of carbohydrate. Several decades of studies have confirmed the health benefits of eating a fiber-rich diet. Specifically, diets rich in foods containing fiber — such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and improve regularity. A healthy elimination system allows bodies to get rid of toxins. Beans and legumes contain more dietary fiber than almost any other food, so they are an integral and versatile part of a balanced diet. The dietary fiber in legumes is both soluble — which is especially useful in helping control cholesterol levels to lower heart disease risk — and insoluble — which improves regularity. Beans are also filling, so they help promote weight management by satisfying hunger.

Chronic disease management
Consuming a diet featuring more plants is good for your health —today and tomorrow. Complex carbohydrates are easy to digest, and the antioxidants in plants help strengthen your body’s immune system. Dramatic results have occurred with the adoption of a more plant-based diet. Many people with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and various autoimmune diseases have been able to alleviate their symptoms by eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and consuming fewer solid and added fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

In a recent study, scientists finds that plant-based diets, without counting calories, leads to greater weight loss. The only way to succeed in a plant-based diet is to cut certain foods out of your diet.  Sounds easy right?  Well, everything in moderation, I like to say. Giving up cold turkey may be harder for some people.  

Resource: Nutrition StudiesPlant-Based Diet & Obesity Study 

Food Revolution Day: Jamie Oliver 

 Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation was founded in 2002 with a mission to “shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and contribute to a healthier world by providing better access to food education for everyone.”   Every year around this time, Jamie hosts Food Revolution Day, which is a day of action where thousands of people all over the world make a stand for the right to make healthy food and essential cooking skills mandatory.  This year’s Food Revolution Day falls on Friday, May 15th, and this time he’s making it all about the kids. 

“By educating children about food in a practical, fun and engaging way, we can provide them with the knowledge and skills they so urgently need to lead healthier, happier lives. We need to make practical food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum across the world, and that’s why I’ve launched a petition calling on all G20 countries to action this. With enough support from millions of people around the world, I truly believe that we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to make governments take action.” Jamie Oliver

  
Read more and sign his petition and support the Food Revolution


EXERCISE-IMAGE BOOST

Exercise can help people feel thinner and more attractive even if their bodies don’t visibly change. Women who reported feeling social anxiety related to their body’s appearance were assigned a regime of either strength training or aerobics.  After two  months, both groups demonstrated proved body satisfaction, despite scant change in size or shape; eespecially, the erobic exercisers. Aerobics may be more associated in women’s minds with weight loss and “a thinner ideal, even when the scale doesn’t say so,” says lead study author Kathleen A. Nartin Ginis, a professor of health and exercise psychology at McMaster University in Ontario. 

Another study conducted in 1984 showed women who participated in an aerobic-exercise training program showed greater reduction in dression than did those who participated in relaxation training or in a no-treatment control condition (Holmes et al).  Seems like aerobics may be the answer for feeling great about yourself. 

Regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better, keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key ingredient for losing weight. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, being physically active on a regular basis:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
  • Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
  • Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
  • Improves sleep

Resources:

Study: Aerobic Fitness and the Redponse to Psychological Stress 

 Allure – May 2015 Issue

Article: Why can too much protein be a problem?