Food Facts: Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a very good source of folate and vitamin K.

According to whfoods website cauliflower is high in vitamin K, which act like as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response. In addition, one of the glucosinolates found in cauliflower—glucobrassicin—can be readily converted into an isothiocyanate molecule called ITC, or indole-3-carbinol.

I3C is an anti-inflammatory compound that can actually operate at the genetic level, and by doing so, prevent the initiation of inflammatory responses at a very early stage.

Like chronic oxidative stress and chronic weakened detox ability, chronic unwanted inflammation can significantly increase our risk of cancers and other chronic diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).

Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. These vegetables should be included in your daily meal plan to help facilitate detoxification.

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Resource:
For a more in-depth understanding of the benefits of cauliflower read it here at whfoods.com.

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Are You Drinking Your Greens?

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Green Juice Provides us with Enzymes

Enzymes’ that we need to cleanse, detoxify and renew at a cellular level. Enzymes are also needed to digest food. We cannot have amazing health without enzymes.

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Cooking and processing of any type destroys all enzymes, so raw foods, especially greens, is absolutely essential to maintain healthy enzyme levels. A daily green juice is a sure way to maintain enzyme levels.

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Resources:
Health Benefits of Drinking Green Juices

Update – Weekend Raw Food/Juice Cleanse

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My vegetables I juiced for the second half of my Saturday. Its very green. I juiced kale, apples, a broccoli stem, rainbow chard, celery, lemon, ginger, and some curly parsley. I kept more of the lemon peel on for more zing this time around.

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My juice this morning held me pretty well. I started drinking it after 9:45am and finished some time after 11:00am.

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My Blender Bottle was very helpful because I was able to tug my juice all over town today without a spill. It snaps tightly so there’s no spillage at all. I love this bottle. I also had an organic apple around two o’clock so that kept me going until just now. I was feeling hungry so I decided to juice. This will hold me over until later. I did a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s run today, so I’m stocked for the week ahead.

Thanks for the support!

Why Vitamin K2 is Crucial if You Take Vitamin D and Calcium …

Vitamin K2 engages in a delicate dance with vitamin D; whereas vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it — i.e., your organs, joint spaces, and arteries. As mentioned, a large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”

Vitamin K2 has also actually been found to decalcify certain tissues undergoing pathological (also known as ectopic) calcification. Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries.

In other words, without the help of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D so effectively lets in might be working AGAINST you — by building up your coronary arteries rather than your bones. This is why if you take calcium and vitamin D but are deficient in vitamin K, you could be worse off than if you were not taking those supplements at all.  

Top 10 Vitamin K Rich Foods List

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables (Kale) – ½ c: 444 mcg (over 100% DV)
  2. Natto (fermented soy) – 2 oz: 500 mcg (over 100% DV)
  3. Spring onions (Scallions) – ½ c: 103 mcg (over 100% DV)
  4. Brussels Sprouts – ½ c: 78 mcg (98% DV)
  5. Cabbage – ½ cup: 82 mcg (over 100% DV)
  6. Broccoli – ½ c: 46 mcg (58% DV)
  7. Dairy (fermented) – ½ c: 10 mcg (10% DV)
  8. Prunes½ c: 52 mcg (65% DV)
  9. Cucumbers – 1 medium: 49 mcg (61% DV)
  10. Dried basil – 1 Tbsp: 36 mcg (45% DV)

Try consuming 2-3 of these vitamin k rich foods daily. 


Sources

Vitamin D Cofactors

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A Healthy diet is important for receiving vitamin D’s cofactors.

Nutrients act in a synergetic way in the body. Absorption and metabolism of a particular nutrient will be affected, to a greater or lesser degree, by the other nutrients available to the body. This is also true with vitamin D.

In order to receive the most health benefit from increased levels of vitamin D, the proper cofactors must be present in the body. Vitamin D has many cofactors, but the ones listed below are the most important. Magnesium should be considered the most important one of all.

Magnesium
Vitamin K
•Vitamin A (coming soon)
Zinc
Boron

Source:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/16/vitamin-k2.aspx?e_cid=20121216_SNL_Art_1

Superfoods

What is a superfood? I believe a superfood is any food that has the following characteristics: High nutritional density and low calories, high fiber, high in omega-3 fatty acids, loads of antioxidants and has to be rich in phytochemicals.

Green superfoods help to regulate metabolism and burn fat. They are also high in minerals and vitamins. Drinking and eating raw green vegetables is the optimum way to receive these nutrients. chlorophyll is a substance that gives plants green color; green superfoods are high in chlorophyll. It increases the amount of hemoglobin and oxygen in the blood. Here are some of my favoirite green superfoods:

My favorite…

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Kale: Kale has been known to be the “new beef” and “queen of greens”. Just one cup of kale has 5 grams of fiber, 40% magnesium, 15% calcium, 36 calories, 180% vitamin A, 200% vitamin C, 1,020% vitamin K. Kale is also a high source of minerals such as iron, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. It also has anti-cancer fighting properties such as carotenoids, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

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Broccoli: Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli.

Just one cup of raw broccoli has an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin C 135.2%, anti-inflammatory vitamin K 115.5%, and heart-healthy folate 14.3%.

It is a very good source of free-radical-scavenging vitamin A 11.3% (through its concentration of carotenoid phytonutrients), enzyme-activating manganese 9.5% and molybdenum 6%; digestive-health-supporting fiber 9.4%; heart-healthy potassium 8.2% and vitamin B6 8%; and energy-producing vitamin B2 6.4% and phosphorus 6%. 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.

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Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is one of the main vegetables used when detoxifying through juicing. Although bitter, wheatgrass is a powerful healing and detoxifying ingredient that is loaded with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, biophotons, and amino acids. It gives you the nutrients that accelerate and facilitate detoxification, particularly in your liver. 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,

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.

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Blue-Green Algae (BGA): Spirulina, Chlorella and more
The single-celled plants known as blue-green algae (BGA) are sold in health food stores as superior sources of protein, chlorophyll, carotenoid antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and disease-preventive phytonutrients. There are several types of BGAs, the most popular being spirulina and chlorella. These vegetables are watercress, parsley, cilantro, leek, chard, endive, mustard sprouts, spinach, algae and cabbage.

The existing research, while lacking in many regards, suggests that BGAs exert some significant and perhaps unique preventive-health effects, most likely due to their polysaccharides, antioxidants, nucleic acids, and peptides. Preliminary evidence suggests that they have the following benefits:

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  • Spirulina inhibits the infectious power of many viruses—including HIV, flu, mumps, enterovirus, measles, and herpes—probably because a sulfated polysaccharide called calcium spirulan prevents viruses from entering human cells
  • Chlorella helps prevent cancer and the growth of tumors, probably because its glycoproteins enhance the migration of T cells to tumor sites
  • Chlorella binds to toxic heavy metals and dioxin and helps eliminate them from the body
  • Chlorella protects the intestinal lining against peptic ulcers

    Resources:

    http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=26
    http://www.squidoo.com/what-is-chlorella-good-for?
    http://www.healingcancernaturally.com/cancer-diet-and-nutrition.html
    http://www.oprah.com/health/Can-a-Plant-Based-Diet-Cure-Cancer

  • 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

    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: