Archive for October, 2008

Food Supplements

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Are food supplements necessary to live? NO!

Are food supplements necessary for a healthy life? YES!

Here’s a short tale.

Food gets it’s nutrients from the ground where it is planted. Depleted soil cannot provide the necessary nutrients.

There are 16 elements, which are necessary to a plant’s growth and survival. They are divided into two main groups, mineral and non-mineral.

The non-mineral nutrients are hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and carbon (C), which are found in the air and water.

The 13 mineral nutrients, which come from the soil, are dissolved in water and absorbed through the plant’s roots. When there is a shortage of nutrients farmers and gardeners use fertilizers. Now these fertilizers can become a problem – based on what they’re made from. (That’s for another topic.)

The primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Since plants use such large amounts for growth these nutrients are usually lacking in the soil.

The secondary nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Under normal conditions there is sufficient quantities of these minerals.

Recycling organic matter such as grass clippings and tree leaves provides micronutrients and macronutrients to growing plants.

 

You have probably seen, maybe even in your own garden, scrawny plants. That’s because the soil is lacking something or there is not enough water or sun.

Even with the best of times there are certain supplements our body needs in addition to good food.

When you buy a supplement make sure you get it from a reputable source. Usually health food stores with fully informed employees could lead you in the right direction. Here in Minnesota I can go to the Wedge (a health food store) and get good advice. Unfortunately some over the counter supplements are made with poor synthetics and cannot be absorbed by the body.

 

Don’t be fooled

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Don’t you love it? I bought a loaf of bread that said it had omega-3. When I read the ingredients it was flax seed. Okay! That’s fine! I know flax seed doesn’t have a lot of omega-3 compared to fish oil. But the kicker was that the flax seed hadn’t been ground. The whole flax seed was on the bread. Flax seed is so small that our system cannot digest flax seed and it just passes on through the body.

So it’s not false advertising. It’s misleading advertising. They said omega-3 is in the bread. They’re right. It’s just that the body can’t use it. So it’s a waste of flax seed and misleading to the consumer who thinks they can get omega-3 for their body.

So now we find not only is it necessary to read ingredient labels it’s also necessary to dig and little deeper and see if the body can use it or does the body just become a canal where the ingredient goes in one end and comes out the other unscathed?

To your health!

Omega-3 powder for infants

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Having a grandson who celebrate his first birthday next month this ad was interesting to me.

DSM Nutritional Products of the Netherlands introduced a new omega-3 powder for infants. Global compliance, microbiological purity and safety are guaranteed with their new infant nutritional blends. In the process they tightened the specifications for microbiological purity.

A common problem of some omega-3 products is that they taste fishy. And this is the result of oxidation in the process. Their formula is so advanced that the powder does not absorb oxygen. It is a very stable formulation and is also tasteless. They also have North American outlets so if you are interested check out their website www.dsm.com or email them infant.nutrition@dsm.com

Decision News Media (SAS)
Le Belem
355, rue Vendémiaire
Montpellier 34000
France.

Palm Oil

Monday, October 27th, 2008

We are just starting to hear about companies using palm oil for baking in the United States. Already in 2002 the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia published a study showing that palm oil is an excellent choice for food manufacturers because of its nutritional benefits and versatility. It contains predominately oleic acid which gives it beneficial effects. The oil quality and nutritional benefits are assured and can be used with other oils while remaining without trans fat. The crop is a perennial crop in Malaysia and the cost is low. It is as healthful as olive oil and better for baking. Some of the important benefits of palm oil is generally reducing blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides while raising the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Virgin palm oil also provided  carotenes that have high antioxidants.

More information can be found at: Food Nutrition Bulletin, 2002, March 23, pp.11-22.

Superfoods

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Each time you sit down to eat you are making life and death decisions. O you may not know it at just that moment. But if we were asked we would always say we’re making decisions for life. But look at that menu in front of you. Many fast foods have been shown to be harmful. Thankfully most restaurants are getting away from using trans-fat today. But a lot of them are still using hydrogenated oils. When fast food entered the scene obesity became commonplace among many people.

Imagine a superfood – not a drug – strong enough to lower your cholesterol, reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Also this food could put you in a better mood. And, oh, there are no side effects.

Even people who are healthy can make a few changes and see an even better life.

Look at some superfoods to build your life-giving meals.

We’ve always heard that spinach is good for us. And it’s true.Another good green vegetable is broccoli.

And we’ve know that oranges are good for us. But have you thought about blueberries? They’re high in antioxidants and phytoflavinoids as well as potassium and vitamin C. They also help because they’re anti-inflammatory. And inflammation is a key ingredient in chronic disease. Organic are better but all blueberries are good for us.

We think about pumpkin for the holiday season but it would also be good to eat it more often. Turkey is not just for the holidays. In fact turkey come in many ways today. Soy and yogurt are also good.

Now a handful of walnuts are also a good superfood. Make your beverage of choice green tea which has been in the news quite a lot lately. Some say five cups a day are extremely beneficial .And thenthere are some people who prefer black tea.

Then there’s salmon. There is a double problem here: a) finding wild salmon that isn’t tainted by toxins, and, b) almost all farm-raised salmon are not fed algae and small fish. Farm raised salmon are usually fed soy and corn which doesn’t give these salmon any omega-3. And we know that omega-3 lowers the risk of heart disease and helps with Alzheimer’s and memory loss.

We’ll round this out with beans and tomatoes as Superfoods.

Some also considers whole grain bread a superfood. But it needs to have at least three grams of fiber to be a superfood. And remember whole wheat is not the same as whole grain.

Tart cherries reduce belly fat

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Thankfully for us homo sapiens we have an animal that reacts very closely with us – the rat.

In a study by the University of Michigan researchers found that after 12 weeks, rats fed cherries had 54 percent body fat compared with 63 percent for rats fed a “Western diet.”

Tart cherries have the potential to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation thus lowering the risk of heart disease.

Inflammation is a normal function of the body but chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease.

Tart cherries are sold in dried, frozen or juice form.

More study will be conducted on this but it looks promising.

Complete story at: www.foodnavigator-usa.com October 22, 2008

No Flu shots for Children under the age of 5

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

A design case study of children 6 months to 59 months was done in the counties of Rochester, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio for influenza. Influenza causes much illness among young children so doctors studied the 2003-2004 and the 2004 – 2005 flu seasons. The results showed no benefit from getting the flu shots.

The down side is that flu shots contain something called adjuvant. This is a neurotoxic stimulant that is designed to boost the immune-activation properties of the vaccine. Exposing young children to so many toxins at a young age increased the risk for adverse side effects in their developing nervous system.

Yet the government stresses that every child need to be vaccinated with the flu shot. If it doesn’t do any good and one out a 100 children have serious side effects is it worth the risk?

L-Carnitine and the Liver

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

L-carnitine is derived from the lysine and the methionine amino acids and is mainly synthesized in the liver and the kidneys. From there is has to be transported to other body tissues to be used. Mainly it goes to the tissues that use fatty acids as the main fuel, such as skeletal and cardiac muscles.

One of the key uses of Acetyl L-Carnitine is in helping burn unwanted body fat. Fatty acids are one of the key energy sources the body uses, and oxidation is the process by which they’re broken down to create energy. The fatty acids cannot penetrate the inner mitochondia membrane, where it is needed, so the key role for L-carnitine is to transport fatty acids across the mitochondra membrane to allow for oxidation of the fats.

Carnitine plays a fundamental role in energy production and is used to support all bodily functions that need high levels of energy. It is present in the foods we eat. Higher concentrations are found in red meats like beef and lamb and lower concentrations in white meat and vegetables.

As a person become obese  it puts added stress on the liver. More and more fat is stored in the liver and there is inflammation and free radical damage. The liver is the metabolic brain of the body, the workhorse that processes, stores and distributes every calorie consumed. The liver also cleans out the toxins in the body. When the liver function deteriorates so does our health.

So it is important to take care of our body – it’s the only one we have.

Increase Vitamin D for Infants

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

 

First I found a local doctor’s prescription for taking vitamin D supplements especially in northern climates. My blog of Oct. 10, “The Wonder Cure: Vitamin D.”Now I find this article in www.nutraingredients-usa.com October 20, 2008. For the full story go to their website.

 

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its advice on vitamin D intake by children and infants to 400 IU per day, on the basis of clinical evidence for the prevention of rickets and deficiency – and possible links with diabetes and cancer prevention.

“Vitamin D is naturally occurring in some foods and is also synthesized by the human skin on exposure to sunlight. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause rickets – a disease that causes the bones to soften and can lead to fractures and deformity. Although rickets can also affect adolescents, the incidence tends to peak between the ages of three and 18 months.

“Despite this knowledge, there have been concerns that current intake levels are insufficient, particularly in people who live in less-sunny climates, and those with darker skin tones.

“In a clinical report published in Pediatrics, lead authors Carol Wagner and Frank Freer of the Academy note that decreased sunlight exposure is reported in the US; in addition, excess exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of skin cancer; and in any case, it is hard to determine just how much of the vitamin individuals are able to synthesise through their skin.

“Their new advice, which updates that issued in 2003 and covers all infants (including those who are exclusively breastfed), children and adolescents, involves supplementation of the diet. This is because vitamin D occurs naturally in very few foods – mainly fish and those purposefully fortified with it, such as milk and breakfast cereals.”

Biofeedback with Children

Monday, October 20th, 2008

There are five types of brain-wave patterns

1)    Delta brain waves (1-4 cycles per second) very slow and mostly during sleep

2)    Theta brain waves (5-7 cycles per second) slow, daydreaming, relaxation

3)    Alpha brain waves (8-12 cycles per second) mostly during relaxed states

4)    SMR (sensorimotor rhythm ) brain waves (12-15 cycles per second) occurring during focused relaxation

5)    Beta brain waves (13-24 cycles per second) fast brain waves during concentration or mental work

Over the last dozen years researchers including Joel Lubar, Ph.D. have demonstrated the effectiveness of a powerful tool to treat ADD problems: EEG biofeedback.

In evaluating over 6,000 children with ADD, Dr. Lubar found that the basic problem with these children is they lack the ability to maintain “beta” concentration for sustained periods of time. Through the use of EEG biofeedback, Dr. Lubar found that children could be taught to increase the amount of “beta” brain waves and decrease the amount of “theta” brain waves.

More research needs to be done but studies have shown that autistic children have also been helped by studying these different brain waves.

CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, CHANGE YOUR LIFE, Dr. Daniel Amen, M.D., p.144