31 December, 2008

3 Sheets to the Wind - No NSAIDS

This is from Jenny Thompson of Health Sciences International:

If you're headed out for some New Year's festivities tonight, here's a fun fact you can use to entertain your fellow revelers: "three sheets to the wind" is a nautical term.

As every sailor knows, the ropes that secure the lower corners of sails are called sheets. If three sheets should come loose in a stiff wind, the sails flap wildly, and the boat lurches like, …yep, …a drunken sailor.

So if you should arrive home tonight feeling three sheets to the wind, here's my tip for a happy New Year: Don't take acetaminophen or aspirin.

To get past a hangover, alcohol has to be fully processed and eliminated from your body. But both of these analgesics can delay the process, extending the period of your hangover and getting your year off to a rough start. Even worse, your liver can be dangerously stressed when alcohol and acetaminophen are combined.

Also, if you can, wait until you're sober before going to sleep. Your metabolism slows during sleep, so it takes longer for your body to accommodate the alcohol.

But hopefully you won't have any of these concerns tonight, and all of your "sheets" will stay securely fastened to your sails.

To start receiving your own copy of the HSI e-Alert, visit this site.

A Riddle as We Contemplate Our New Year Resolutions

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest asset or heaviest burden.
I will push you up to success or down to disappointment.
I am at your command.
Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me,
For I can do them quickly, correctly, and profitably.
I am easily managed, just be firm with me.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of a
machine and the intelligence of a person.
You can run me for profit, or you can run me for ruin.
Show me how you want it done. Educate me. Train me.
Lead me. Reward me.
And I will then...do it automatically.
I am your servant.
Who am I?
I am a habit.

Nutritional Profile of Moxxor Omega 3 Supplement

I received this report from Mike Adams today:

Nutritional Profile of Moxxor with explanation

We finally have the nutritional profile numbers ready for you.

Keep in mind as you review this information that the nutritional numbers only reveal the tip of the iceberg on this. Numbers by themselves don't tell the whole story. For example, you know that 50 grams of carbohydrates from a fresh, raw apple have a very different effect on your health than 50 grams of carbohydrates from processed, bleached, refined white sugar. Yet they both state "Carbohydrates: 50 grams" on the label.

Labels are useful, but they can be deceiving if you limit your comparison to a one-dimensional analysis of the numbers alone. That's why here, I'll be listing the numbers followed by an explanation of the qualitative differences between Moxxor and low-grade fish oil products.

It's also important to remember what's NOT in the bottle! Many low-grade fish oil products are contaminated with heavy metals (mercury) or dangerous chemicals that are now polluting the ocean waters near virtually every coastline in the world. Farmed fish oil products are notoriously contaminated with heavy metals due to low-quality fish feed, but even wild-harvested fish can be contaminated depending on where they're caught.

An important advantage that Moxxor delivers is the pristine aquatic environment from which the oils are derived. This, combined with the lab tests showing zero contamination with heavy metals, pesticides or other dangerous chemicals, makes Moxxor qualitatively superior to other products even when the nutrition facts may appear identical. Notably, heavy metals and chemical residues do NOT have to be listed on any nutritional supplement labels!

The good fats:

Each serving of Moxxor is 300mg (two small capsules). In that 300mg of Moxxor, there are 212.2mg of marine lipids (fats), derived from the green-lipped mussel oil and the hoki fish oil.

The green-lipped mussel oil by itself (excluding the fish oil), has the following lipid profile:

(EPA) Eicosapentaenoic C20:5n-3: 4.7%
(DHA) Docosahexaenoic c22:6n-3: 3%
Palmitic C16:0: 14.2%
Myristic C14:0: 0.9%
Myristoleic C14:1: 0.1%
Pentadecanoic C15:0: 0.1%
Hexadecenoic C16:1: 2.9%
Margaric C17:0: 0.2%
Heptadecenoic C17:1: 0.1%
Stearic C18:0: 2.5%
Oleic C18:1n-9: 52.8%
Linoleic C18:2n-6: 12.1%
Octadecadienoic C18:2: 0.8%
Alpha Linoleic C18:3n-3: 1.0%
Arachidic C20:0: 0.2%
Eicosenoic C20:4n-9: 0.7%
Eicosatetraenoic C20:4n-3: 0.1%
Arachidonic C20:4n-6: 0.3%
Heneicosapentaenoic C20:5n-3: 0.1%
Docosanoic C22:0: 0.1%
Docosapentaenoic C22:6n-3: 0.3%
Tetracosanoic C24:0: 0.1%

We don't have the lipid profile of the hoki fish oil, but we have the total EPA and DHA figures for the Moxxor formula, below. The beauty of the Mozxor formulation is that it combines green-lipped mussel oil with hoki fish oil, which just happens to complement the green-lipped mussel oil with supportive levels of EPA, DHA and other elements (see below), making the overall formula superior to green-lipped mussel oil all by itself.

Considering the entire Moxxor formula (both the green-lipped mussel oil and hoki fish oil), there are 212.2mg of marine lipids (fats) in every 300mg serving (two small capsules). Even though most people tend to take double, triple or quadruple that amount in a day, we are describing these nutrients on a "per serving" basis, based on two small capsules.

Nutrient profile per 300mg serving:

Total Fat: 212.2mg
EPA: 32mg
DHA: 39mg
Vitamin D3: 5.1 IU
Vitamin A: 350.4 IU
Saturated Fat: 49.7mg
Mono Unsaturated: 64.2mg
Poly Unsaturated: 96.4mg
Trans Fat: 1.9mg
Cholesterol: 21.1mg
Protein: 5.5mg
Carbohydrate: 60mg
Sugars: 4.1mg
Moisture: 1.6mg
Ash: 5.9mg
Calcium: 0.1mg
Phosphorous: 0.7mg
Vitamin E: 0.1mg
Sodium: 0.2mg
Potassium: 1.5mg

(Lab results by: AsureQuality, Auckland, New Zealand, Dec. 22, 2008, signed certificates of analysis available on request)

So how does Moxxor measure up? There are THREE things to consider when evaluating any marine lipid product:

1) What's IN the product (DHA, natural vitamins, etc.)
2) What's NOT in the product (mercury, pesticides, etc.)
3) The QUALITY of the oils in the product.

On the first point, it's easy for many companies to produce low-grade fish oil products that look good on the label (with high EPA and DHA numbers), but this is often misleading. A high EPA or DHA number is easily accomplished by increasing the serving size, boosting it to 1000mg or even 2000mg. Thus, even a fish oil supplement that isn't very high in DHA can appear to have a DHA number of 200mg or more simply by adjusting the serving size to a larger number.

What's actually important here is to look at the DHA on a per-gram basis: How many milligrams of DHA are in a full gram of the oil? Moxxor contains 130mg of DHA per gram of the formula. DHA levels of human breast milk are typically only 3.4mg per gram, so on a gram-per-gram basis, the DHA in Moxxor is actually 38 times higher than the DHA typically found in breast milk.

Notably, lactating women who consume fish oils have higher levels of DHA in their breast milk, indicating that DHA is one of the nutrients passed from mother to baby. This is likely one of the many reasons why Moxxor is being consumed by so many expectant mothers (and why I personally believe that babies raised on Moxxor-enhanced milk will experience an abundance of nutritional benefits).

I could write an entire article on DHA and infant formula -- and why Moxxor is so vastly superior. Without going into too many details, one thing all moms need to know is that the DHA used in most infant formula products is actually derived from algae, not fish oil, and it is extracted using a highly explosive chemical called HEXANE, which is also used in gasoline refining. It is believed by many that hexane contamination of the DHA in infant formula is what's causing so many babies to experience severe diarrhea when they first switch from breast milk to DHA-fortified formula.

Getting back to the three points mentioned above, the second point is also very important: What's NOT in the product.

It is well documented that many fish oil products (especially salmon oil from farmed salmon) are contaminated with trace levels of heavy metals and toxic chemical residues. Many of these elements are extremely toxic to the nervous system. Mercury, for example, promotes autism, dementia, Alzheimer's disease and other neurological conditions. Yet there is no requirement that fish oil products be free from mercury, PCBs or other chemical residues before being sold to consumers. There is also no requirement that such chemical contaminants be listed on the labels of fish oil products.

Thus, the fish oil marketplace is, in many ways, one of "consumer beware." With so many fish oil products coming from questionable sources, it is often difficult for consumers to know which products they can truly trust. The better-known brands of fish oils (such as Nordic Naturals or Carlson Labs) engage in rigorous testing, of course, and I've considered both of those companies to be trustworthy. But some discount brands or popular retailer brands may not meet the same quality standards.

Buying fish oils grown and harvested in the waters near New Zealand is a very smart choice. The New Zealand environment is ideally suited for contaminant-free aquafarming that simply isn't possible in ocean waters anywhere else. Clean ocean water is a rarity on the planet these days (at least water near any coastline), so being able to produce marine lipids in a truly clean, pristine environment offers a significant advantage of purity to the companies that embrace this natural advantage.

The third point mentioned above is the QUALITY of the oils in the product, and this is where things become somewhat complex.

You see, another important thing that's not mentioned on the label of a fish oil product is the processing methodology of the oil. A typical low-cost fish oil product is heat-processed and chemically extracted in a way that destroys many of the delicate molecular structures of the fatty acids, in much the same way that using corn oil in a frying pan destroys the integrity of the corn oil and actually introduces dangerous molecular changes that turn the oil into a health detriment.

It is widely known by olive oil consumers, for example, that the highest quality olive oil is "extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil." Many consumers don't know WHY, however, that extra virgin cold-pressed is better than, say, refined olive oil. The reason is that heat processing olive oil destroys much of its nutritional benefit, practically nullifying the oil's health benefits and altering its taste. (The term "extra virgin" mostly refers to the final acidity of the oil, which must be under 0.8% to qualify.)

And yet much like in the fish oil business, there are many cheaters in the olive oil business. More than half of the cold-pressed olive oil sold on the market today likely contains counterfeit oil that's actually refined with heat. In early 2008, seven olive oil factories in Italy were closed down (and the founders arrested) for adding chlorophyll to sunflower oil and selling it as olive oil (the greenish color fools consumers).

What this demonstrates is that when there's money to be made from adulterating oils, con artists will always step up to the plate and try to cash in. The fish oil supplements business sadly has its own share of con artist companies and producers who blatantly lie about the quality of their fish oil. Sometimes the raw material supplier of the fish oil lies to the supplement company, so that company believes it is selling high-quality fish oil, but in reality it may be unknowingly selling heat-processed, adulterated fish oil. (Good intentions don't make up for bad fish oils.) This is why Moxxor has another unique advantage: It owns and operates all the aquaculture farms, processing facilities, and marketing and delivery functions. It is a truly end-to-end operation that oversees the quality and purity of the product from the ocean to the consumer.

In contrast to many fish oil products, Moxxor is cold processed. They don't even use heat to remove the mussel shells. All this makes Moxxor a more expensive, premium marine oil, but it also protects the integrity of the fatty acids.

As a result, Moxxor fatty acids contain a higher percentage of so-called "polar" fatty acid molecules. No, this has nothing to do with the South Pole (where much of the water flows from that feeds the green-lipped mussels in New Zealand); it has to do with the structure of the fatty acid molecules found in Moxxor. "Polar" fatty acids are chemically able to form bonds with surrounding tissues more easily than non-polar fatty acids, making them more bioavailable.

This is why such a small capsule of Moxxor has such a profound and noticeable effect on health. It's not unusual to hear a new Moxxor distributor saying they've been using fish oil products for years and never noticed any real benefits, but when they switched to Moxxor, they noticed remarkable benefits almost immediately, even though the serving size was a fraction of the fish oils they used to take!

The quality of the lipids retained in Moxxor is no accident: It requires the mindful, well-planned and higher-cost extraction of delicate oils combined with the right packaging to ensure they are not easily oxidized (hence the opaque bottles that keep out the light).

The bottom line on all this is that while there are many fish oil products with apparently more impressive numbers on their labels, and there are certainly cheaper fish oil products on the market, Moxxor remains vastly superior to any competing product due to the careful preservation of its bioactive lipids, the unique ratio of its various omega-3 fatty acids, and its remarkable purity derived from its pristine aquaculture environment. Add in the sustainable aquaculture aspects of its operations and its commitment to advance the state of the art in marine lipid harvesting, extraction and delivery, and you have an innovative company with a product that's simply unmatched anywhere in the world.

- Mike Adams

Editor, NaturalNews.com

30 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day - digestion

Maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal system is crucial for optimum health. A stressful lifestyle may affect digestive enzyme production, reduce gastrointestinal motility, and interfere with overall function of the gastrointestinal system.

Your body will be unable to properly absorb nutrients if you eat in a hurry or are in an angry or stressed out state. A moment of silence before meals will prepare your body to accept the nutrition from the foods you eat. To center and calm yourself before eating, take several slow deep breaths and express gratitude for your food and for your health, in whatever state it is. Be sure to chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

29 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day - Brain Power

Here are some Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Brain:

☻ Sleep well - Research indicates that long-term memory is built during sleep. Your brain goes through 4 cycles of sleep repeatedly through the night. The fourth stage of rapid eye movement (REM) is the dreaming phase. During REM, your mind replays images of your experiences of the previous day. The repeated playbacks program your subconscious mind to store these images and other related information. Absence of REM sleep has been linked to psychotic behavior. Antidepressants suppress REM sleep.

☻ Eat a light meal at night - A heavy meal at night causes tossing and turning and prolonged emotional stress while at sleep. The body expends energy to digest the food instead of resting and dreaming. It is wise to eat your heavy meal in the middle of the day when your body is in motion. Eating a light meal with some fruits allows you to sleep well. A good night's sleep strengthens your brainpower.

☻ Reduce Sugar intake - Sugar is a non-food. It is a simple carbohydrate that sends your body on a roller coaster ride. You may initially feel a surge of energy and mood, only to head on a downhill slump once the initial burst wears off. Excess intake of sugar is known to cause claustrophobia, memory loss and other neurotic disorders. Eat food without adding sugar. Stay away from sweet drinks or excess consumption of caffeine with sugar.

☻ Eat Almonds - Almonds are believed to improve memory. Soaked almonds are easier to digest. Almond milk is made by soaking 1/2 cup almonds for 12 to 24 hours. Add 2 cups of water and blend. You can add 2 dates or 2 tablespoons of honey. Soaking sweetens the nuts, so you might find sweetener unnecessary.

☻ Drink Apple Juice - Research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) indicates that apple juice increases the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, resulting in an increased memory power. Drink unfiltered (cloudy) apple juice for best benefits.

☻ Eat whole wheat rather than white flour products – The whole wheat germ contains lecithin. Lecithin helps ease the problem of the hardening of the arteries, which often impairs brain functioning.

☻ Take Vitamin B-complex - Vitamin B-complex strengthens memory power. Eat fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin B-complex. Stay away from starchy food or white bread, which depletes the Vitamin B-complex necessary for a healthy mind.

☻ Enjoy simple Pleasures - Stress drains your brainpower. A stress-ridden mind consumes much of our memory resources to leave us with a feeble mind. Make a habit to engage yourself in few simple pleasures everyday to dissolve stress from your mind. Some of these simple pleasures are good for your mind, body and soul.

☻ Enjoy music you love - Music stimulates the brain at a very deep level. Classical music is noted for being structured and providing fuel to build brain power. Folk music has survived because of its benefits. Loud music with harsh sounds and a driving beat can be stimulating, but too much can overstimulate your brain, resulting in added stress.

☻ Interact with and appreciate others - Volunteer. Studies show that people who are socially active are less likely to develop dementia or succumb to it later in life.

☻ Play with your children. Have you noticed that children have far superior brainpower than an adult does? Children have playful minds. A playful mind exhibits superior memory power.

☻ Get moving - Run, bike, or swim. Exercise increases the circulation throughout your body, including the brain. In addition, exercise increases your breathing, which brings more oxygen to energize those brain cells.

☻ Practice Yoga or Meditation - Yoga or Meditation relives stress, lowers blood pressure, slows and deepens respiration, slows metabolism, and releases muscle tension. All of these factors contribute significantly towards increases in our brainpower.

☻ Exercise your mind - Just as physical exercise is essential for a strong body, mental exercise is equally essential for a sharp and agile mind. Engage in activities that require your mind to remain active and playful.

☻ Play scrabble, do sudoku, or crossword puzzles.
☻ Start a new hobby such as blogging, reading, painting, bird watching
☻ Learn new skill or a foreign language

☻ Develop imagination - The Greeks mastered the principle of imagination and association for memorization. This technique requires you to develop a vivid and colorful imagination that links new information to a known object. If you involve all your senses - touching, feeling, smelling, hearing and seeing in the imagination process, you can remember greater details of the event.

☻ Control your temper - Bleached food with excess starch, in particular, white bread can lead to a nerve grating effect. This results in violent behavior and depression. Eat fresh vegetables. Drink lots of water and meditate or practice yoga to relieve these toxic emotions of temper and stressful mood swings.

27 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Regular physical activity promotes health and improves the functioning of the digestive system, stimulates lymphatic flow which promotes elimination of toxins from the body and supports the immune system.

If you feel your energy dropping in the middle of the day, take a drink of filtered water, get up and go for a short walk or do some jumping jacks or other physical activity. This will re-energize you instead of reaching for caffeine or sugary snacks.

A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low intensity exercise such as bicycling, walking, or swimming, can increase the speed at which the body utilizes excess fat. If you overindulge on high fat food during the holidays or while on vacation, make sure to keep doing your low intensity exercise. So, after that big dinner, go for a 15 to 30 minute walk instead of taking that nap.

26 December, 2008

Baked Spiced Apples with Oats


1 12-16 oz. pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries
3 c. rolled oats (extra thick ones work especially well)

Cut into wedges and core:
6 large apples

Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Grind together:
2-3 Tbs. Chia Seed
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1 Tbs. fenugreek
1 Tbs. Dulse or kelp flakes
2 tsp. Coriander Seed
1 tsp. dried ginger
6 Cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom)
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Layer apples, cranberries, oats, and spices in crockpot. Cook on low for 2 hours. You may cook them in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with plain yogurt or the grounds left from making nut milk.

25 December, 2008

5 lessons about the way we treat people

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

'What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?'

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if The last question would count toward our quiz grade.

'Absolutely,' said the professor. 'In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello.'

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:3 0 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 60s'.. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached..

It read:
'Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away.. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.'

Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

'How much is an ice cream sundae?' he asked.

'Fifty cents,' replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

'Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?' he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

'Thirty-five cents,' she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

'I'll have the plain ice cream,' he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, 'Yes I'll do it if it will save her.' As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.

He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, 'Will I start to die right away'.

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her but he had chosen to save her anyway.

23 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day - Water

Your body is made up of approximately 70% water. When the body does not move, the water in them becomes stagnant, creating a breeding ground for disease. As you move your body with exercise, you stir the water, refreshing your body, renewing your energy and regaining strength.

Dehydration may show up as a headache, tiredness, lightheadedness, nausea or anxiety. If you experience any of these symptoms, drink 1 to 2 glasses of pure water and notice if you feel better. Avoid caffeinated beverages such as black tea, coffee and soft drinks as well as alcohol-they can actually rob your body of water. To jazz up a plain glass of water, add a twist of lemon or lime or even a splash of fruit juice.

18 December, 2008

Fish Oils Reduce Risk of Eye Disease

(NaturalNews) A high intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil significantly decreases the risk of vision loss in old age, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Melbourne and published in the Annals of Ophthamology.

Researchers analyzed the results of nine prior studies on a total of 88,974 people, more than 3,000 of whom suffered from age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In AMD, the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, thins and bleeds, leading to a progressive loss of the ability to see detail. In some cases, the loss of vision in the center of the eye is so severe that sufferers can be declared legally blind, although they retain some peripheral vision. AMD mostly strikes those over the age of 60, and cannot be cured or reversed.

The researchers found that those who ate fish twice per week had a lower risk of developing AMD, with those who consumed the most omega-3s experiencing a 38 percent lower risk than those who consumed the least.

Prior research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in oily fish, can improve heart and brain health. The fatty acids are known to be important in the structure of the retina, and lead researcher Elaine Chong suggested that a low omega-3 intake might lead to breakdown of the macula.

A spokesperson for the vision charity RNIB welcomed the results, but called for more research rather than encouraging everyone to eat more fish.

"The analysis of the existing evidence confirms that smoking is the only proven avoidable risk factor for AMD," the spokesperson said. "We would welcome randomized controlled trials on the role that omega-3 fatty acids and fish consumption may be able to play in preventing AMD. In the interim, we would encourage the government to do more to raise awareness of the link between smoking and blindness."

Sources for this story include: news.bbc.co.uk.

One of the best sources of Omega 3 oils I have found: Moxxor.

17 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Research shows that eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables protects you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and the effects of aging. Experiment with a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Think of the rainbow when putting together a salad or vegetable tray.

A great way to ensure you receive your daily vegetable requirements is to fill your plate 1/2 full with fresh raw vegetables or a salad and eat it before the rest of your meal. For midday snacks, think of apples, oranges and pears rather than cheese and nuts. A one inch cube of cheese can have 100 calories and can be 70% fat, while an apple has about 20 calories, almost no fat and is rich in fiber.

For quality fresh fruits and vegetables select locally grown produce, as they are higher in nutritional content and taste better. To learn more about finding local and organic produce near you, go to Local Harvest.

13 December, 2008


How You are part of Health Justice.

(Citizens for Health)The framers of our republic were obsessed with avoiding what they called dependency. But what they meant by this word is likely lost on most Americans today. Most of us think of dependency as addiction – to alcohol, to drugs, to foreign oil. The framers had a much more basic idea: A citizen was considered dependent when he was not free to act in the public good because his own well-being depended on a particular result. "Nondependency" meant being able to choose what was right, without worrying about personal consequences – no agenda other than a democratic one.

Of all the things that have not gone according to the framers' plan, perhaps this is the most significant. . . [The] losers are the future; the winners, the past. And it takes an extraordinarily perverse view of progress to think that protecting the past is the best path to the future.

-Constitutional & Technology lawyer Lawrence Lessig in Wired Magazine, November 2006

Our small 3-part series on Health as a Commodity is only the tip of the iceberg, designed to impress upon you the very existence of the iceberg – nothing more, nothing less. It’s an iceberg with which we must contend if true health care reform is going to take place.

We’ve paid a large price for a broken healthcare system. The symptoms are well known. We own the most expensive healthcare system in the world, by a large margin. Yet, by all conventional measurements, we own one of the least effective systems among “modern” nations. And in reference to all the features of Health Justice – freedom, choice, cost and access – our system is failing.

Discrete legislative and policy battles over specific products, modalities and regulations are part of our mission. We will continue to alert you about, and fight with you on, these fronts. However, we are prepared to embark with you on a systemic challenge, a mission to bring natural health to the table of health care reform now.
2009: The Year of Natural Health – Challenges & Opportunities

You’ve heard all about the “changes” that are coming. We want to reframe that conversation. What’s coming are challenges and opportunities. We’ve alerted you to some of the challenges that are right around the corner. We want to meet those challenges, and turn them into opportunities by declaring 2009 to be the Year of Natural Health. Many of you have suggested this. It’s a great idea whose time is now.
Your Role in the Innate Healing of the Body Politic

We’ve said before that the same natural health principles that create healing for us individually apply to the health of The Body Politic. It is time to bring those same innate resources to the reform of our health care system.

In a democracy, silence = agreement. Now is not the time to remain quiet in the promotion of natural health as a fundamental piece of health care reform. Without you, there is no Citizens For Health. Without you, there will be no healing of the Body Politic. Without you, there will be no sustainable health care reform that incorporates natural health principles.

It’s true, of course, that your donations keep us going. But we need something even more valuable than your money over the coming days and months. We need your action, in two ways. First, we need you to respond to the upcoming Action Alerts without fail. Second, just as important, we need you to share these Actions with as many people as you possibly can.

The Two Most Important Action Alerts We’ve Ever Issued

Over the next 10 days, we will announce and explain two unique Action Alerts, both designed in very different ways to establish the strength of our voice and the power of our numbers. We will need your help with these Alerts like never before. We urge you to act, and share our message with as many friends and family as possible.

Above all, we thank you for your support, and for your recent encouraging emails and donations. Godspeed!

Donate here

11 December, 2008


(Citizens for Health)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Whoever coined that phrase didn’t have healthcare in mind, but it certainly applies, especially when it comes to the role of orthodox science and law. We gave you one piece of the puzzle last time with the story about soap. Here’s another piece of the puzzle, more complex and compelling:

Imagine that for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, you and your ancestors used nature for your health. You grow and use plants and other life forms for healing. You share with friends and family. Perhaps you even trade with or sell to others. In fact, through the wisdom and experience handed down over the years, you’ve become quite an expert on the healing properties of herbs, foods and other properties of nature. You are devoted to helping humankind with a method of healing that has been proven with time and experience.

Not everyone resonates with what you offer, but many do. Many are helped, some a great deal. Few, very few if any, are ever harmed. And the cost of what you offer is reasonable.

Your neighbor is a scientist. Her work is also in the healthcare field. She is also devoted to helping humankind. She does not draw from nature, per se, but from new discoveries in science, biochemistry and technology. The success of her work is not based on centuries of experience and use, but rather on the novel outcome of objective measurements and testing. Many are helped, some a great deal.

Her work carries a different set of risks and rewards than your work. Not better or worse – though certainly different. Indeed, you are both in the healthcare field. But that’s where the similarities end.

Your neighbor can get a patent on her work. You cannot. Patents are only available for “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter.” Nature does not qualify, nor should it.

Because your neighbor can get a patent, she has an exclusive monopoly for her healthcare product for a significant period of time. You do not. That exclusive monopoly allows your neighbor to collect what are often called “monopoly rents” for her products (a/k/a “darn high prices”). You cannot. You work in a marketplace where competition is the rule.

But it’s not just competition that rules in this story. There’s also a deeper perception that’s become locked in place. We’ve been largely blind to it, but the consequences are becoming evident.

Let’s explore further:

The reason your neighbor gets that exclusive monopoly, according to the system of law and public policy, is because it costs her so much to make her product and to get it approved. Those scientific tests and measurements are very expensive. American policy says that your neighbor and people like her need the incentive of patent protection. That incentive will motivate her to invest the large amount of money it takes for R&D and the Regulatory Approval process.

Law and public policy place a lot of value on the R&D process, as well as the Regulatory Approval process. That’s probably a good thing, especially considering the unique risks and rewards attendant with your neighbor’s product.

In any case, let’s restate the obvious: without patent protection for your neighbor’s health care products, no one could afford to make them, study them, sell them or improve them.

Once your neighbor has a patent, for the duration of the patent, she owns the healing property of her product, in a manner of speaking. Within reason, she can say anything and everything that is truthful about the healing property of her product, especially if it’s been proven in the lab and approved by the government. She also has to disclose any known risks.

In this case, we see more complex features of how healing becomes a commodity. For large parts of our health care system, healing is a patented commodity. Is this right or wrong? Fair or unfair? In many ways, the law and public policy that governs your neighbor’s product makes sense. But let’s compare your neighbor’s situation with your own situation in this hypothetical.

Unlike your neighbor, you can’t talk about the healing property of your natural product. You’re breaking the law if you share the generations of knowledge and experience that you’ve gained about your product. Oh, you can talk about the general “healthy” nature of your products, but you cannot talk about specific health claims like your neighbor can.

Well, actually that’s not quite true. You could talk about specific health claims for your products if you go through an R&D process and gather “significant scientific agreement” about the health claims of your products. But you’ll never get the same patent protection that your neighbor gets. And so, absent a large very large trust fund or massive donations from the public, there’s little chance you can ever afford to conduct the R&D necessary to speak about the healing properties of your products, or to speak about their history and their effectiveness as proved from hundreds or even thousands of years of experience. You certainly cannot speak in the same way as your neighbor can.

And in a world where so much information, perception and even meaning is communicated by the media and by advertising, this difference between you and your neighbor is pretty stark. Go read the Soap Story again.

The knowledge and experience attendant with natural products does not have the same value in our system of law and public policy as does technical R&D for patentable products. This is because ownership of health care as a commodity is more valuable than health itself.

Read that sentence one more time: ownership of health care as a commodity has become more valuable than health itself. Not by a lot, but by enough to create a systemic flaw in our system that’s becoming more evident and relevant day by day.

This is not just a question of health freedom and health choice. This is also very much a question of health access and health cost. These components - health freedom and health choice, health access and health cost - together constitute what we call health justice.

What do you think?

More on the question of Health Justice in Part III soon.


(Citizens for Health)What we spend on health care now represents 17 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. It is the single largest sector of the U.S. economy. The Congressional Budget Office says that health care costs will reach 25% of GNP by 2025 under current trends.

Health wasn’t always such an article of commercial consumption. Once upon a time, health was less a “thing”, and more of a deeply personal, even spiritual practice. In many realms of natural health, these features remain today.

We’re curious about how health became such a fundamental commodity in the marketplace. As silly as it may seem, let’s consider the history of soap as a metaphor of sorts that sheds some light on how this happened.

Beginning with the American Revolution, and continuing with the westward move across the continent, the American spirit was fiercely independent and self-reliant. An especially simple example was that family soap was made and used almost exclusively at home through most of the 1800’s. In a sense, soap-making was one of the simplest forms of autonomous health care.

Advertising changed this. Few people know that the soap business was one of the first industries to use large-scale advertising beginning in the late 1800’s. Soap manufacturers set out to mold the American experience so that consumers needed to buy – not make their own – soap. They built an advertising strategy centered on the connection between physical health and spiritual wellness, with an embedded message that only industrially-produced pure soap could provide that connection. For instance, one early advertisement featured cherubs bathing with a large bar of soap. Another included a testimonial from the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher in 1870: “If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then surely soap is a means of grace.”

The rest is history. Now, we’re not suggesting that we return to the days of making our own soap as a way of escaping the advertising matrix. Yet, this story shows how advertising deeply penetrated one of the simplest forms of personal health care and transformed it forever. It also reveals that the fundamental goal of advertisers is not just to sell a product. It’s to create a need, to establish that commerce holds the expertise to meet that need, and to maintain consumer dependence on that expertise.

This is Advertising 101. In fact, next time you’re watching t.v. or flipping through a magazine, keep an eye out for health care ads – drugs ads especially. The basic method hasn’t changed much. Instead of cherubs washing, you’re apt to see people waltzing through pristine fields. It’s just another way of connecting physical health to inner wellbeing.

We’re all for the connection between physical health and inner well-being. But we serve ourselves by paying better attention to whose hand controls that connection. And we have to ask whether turning health into a commodity is the best way to foster that connection.

The advertising business hasn’t accomplished the task of turning health into a commodity all by itself. Orthodox law and science have helped. We’ll explore that in Part II coming up soon.

In the meantime, be well.

10 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Salad dressing can significantly increase the calories and fat content of salad. For a tasty no fat dressing; blend 1 Cup Fresh Tomatoes (in chunks), 1 Cup mango (flesh only), 1/4 cup water and 2-3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.

Instead of using butter, margarine, or mayonnaise, dress-up veggies and salads with plain yogurt and herbs.

09 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day - Wonders of Fiber

The National Cancer Institute recommends at least 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily. Fiber is essential to aid the digestive system in elimination of toxins and waste. It promotes healthy regular bowel movements, moving food quickly through the digestive tract to minimize the time that potential carcinogens are in the intestines. Because of this, fiber has been shown to prevent some forms of cancer.

A study by Harvard researchers, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that heart disease can be slashed by 10 to 30 percent for each 10 grams of fiber you eat a day. Fiber--found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and cereals--has long been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

There are 2 kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble (water soluble). Both are essential for proper elimination.

You can get soluble fiber from all sorts of fruits, oats, barley, legumes, and root crops. Soluble fiber encourages the growth of healthy organims (probiotics) that aid in digestion and improve your immune function.

Insoluble fiber is the "crunchy" kind of fiber. You can get this from whole grains, brans, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables (such as celery and green beans, but especially those leafy greens). They pass from one end of the digestive tract to the other end virtually unchanged. This type of fiber does "a clean sweep" of your digestive tract. It helps to cut down on flatulence as well.

Aside from improving colon function, fiber also has other roles:

☻ Fiber slows down the rate at which proteins move through the digestive tract. It improves protein metabolism. Your body can maximize its protein absorption capabilities, helping you to build more muscle.
☻ When digestion of carbs slows, the body is able to metabolize them more efficiently. Soluble fiber helps carbohydrates to be used for energy production rather than stored as body fat. Slow delivery of carbs into the bloodstream keeps insulin levels from spiking too high: another way that fiber prevents the storage of fat.
☻ Fiber can trap bile acids that might otherwise be absorbed and converted into cholesterol.
☻ Fiber builds immunity. By providing your body with plenty of fiber, you help it remove harmful bacteria, viruses, and allergens that may otherwise enter your body. It also encourages the growth of friendly intestinal flora and fauna (probiotics) which keep those harmful agents under control.

Gradually increase your fiber intake, adding two to three grams per day each week, to avoid intestinal distress. At the same time, increase your water consumption since fiber works more effectively with liquids.

If your current fiber intake is at 10 grams per day, begin taking in 12 grams on Week 1. Increase to 14 grams on Week 2, 16 grams on Week 3... Continue in this manner until your daily intake is at 30 grams or more.

By taking in more fiber, you increase your chances of staying healthy at all times. Moreover, you also get to eat the right kinds of food to energize you.

08 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

The key to attaining better health is to develop a strategy to incorporate healthy decisions, and ultimately habits, into your daily life. Focus your mind on health. See yourself as healthy, fit, and energetic. When you reach for something to put into your mouth, remember: nothing tastes as good as looking and feeling good feels. Anything you put in your mouth (or on your skin) will either help or harm you in the long run. There is no in between.

To truly achieve vibrant health you must know why you want it. Take time today to write down at least 10 reasons why vibrant health is important to you. Review your list every day. Add new reasons as they come to mind.

An excellent way to motivate yourself to achieve your goals is to write them down. Post your goals where you will see them often. As you accomplish your health goals, set new goals to keep moving you forward towards optimal fitness and well-being.

Write your goal on a small card, then laminate it. Keep this card next to your drivers license so you’ll never forget where you’re going. (thanks to Daily Joey)

"Being aware of how you want to feel in any activity makes it more likely that you will perform well and enjoy the activity, that is, make it a positive experience." (Jay Kimiecik)

07 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day - Stress Reduction

Stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, accelerated aging and type 2 Diabetes.

Many people cope with stress by binging on junk food or harboring other addictive habits. Remember, the cause of a habit is repetition. To break a bad habit, substitute something more fruitful.

To decrease the effects of stress:

☻ Make sure you get enough sleep. Get to bed early enough that you can wake without an alarm clock. You won’t miss much going to bed earlier.
☻ Drink plenty of water. Dehydration may show up as a headache, tiredness, lightheadedness, nausea or anxiety. Caffeinated beverages only increase stress.
☻ Lower your fat intake. Reduce especially trans fats and saturated fats. Instead, eat foods rich in essential fatty acids. Eat a handful of raw, soaked nuts instead of a donut....
☻ Increase your consumption of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies. Grab some baby carrots instead of chips....
☻ Surround yourself with supportive people. Choose friends who are upbeat, rather than those who drag you down.
☻ Exercise regularly. Take a walk in the evening instead of playing couch potato.

06 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Do you spend long hours sitting at a desk during your work day? Do you find yourself sitting in your vehicle for long periods of time?

Sitting for extended periods of time restricts the circulation in the lower half of your body. To make matters worse, you may cross your legs or prop one foot on your knee. Since blood does not move freely, this can lead to problems like varicose veins, inflammation in nerves or other tissues of the legs, or - in extreme cases - blood clot formation.

To improve your circulation when sitting down, develop the habit of stretching your legs back and forth instead of crossing them.

05 December, 2008

The World's Top Five Superfoods for Silky Smooth Skin

(By Mike Adams of NaturalNews) When it comes to healthy-looking skin, nutrition beats cosmetics hands down. Creating radiant, glowing, youthful-looking skin can best be accomplished by focusing on what's inside, not by covering up the skin with artificial colors that try to paint a new face on the outside. But which superfoods, exactly, are best for supporting healthy skin in the first place?

In this article, I reveal the five best superfoods and health supplements I know of for creating youthful-looking skin with the power of nutrition. All of these supplements are available right now. Below, I'll tell you how and where to get them.

Superfood #1: Astaxanthin

What's astaxanthin, you ask? It's a deep-red microalgae that's a fat-soluble antioxidant. That means it can be delivered to the fat molecules of your body, and that includes your skin, of course, which is primarily made of fat and water (by weight).

Astaxanthin is one of my top nutrients of all time. It even protects the skin from sunburn, eliminating the need to use toxic sunscreen lotions. In addition, astaxanthin protects the brain from Alzheimer's disease, the eyes from UV light damage and the entire nervous system from oxidative damage.

You can get astaxanthin at Nutrex-Hawaii or Vitacost

Read my article on astaxanthin.

The best way to take astaxanthin is with a dietary source of healthy fats (see below). That's because astaxanthin binds to fats during digestion and is carried with those fats throughout your body where it protects organs and cells from free radical damage. There is probably no stronger fat-soluble antioxidant in the world than astaxanthin.

Superfood #2: Ocean-Derived Omega-3 Oils

As hinted above, the best way to take astaxanthin is with high-quality omega-3 oils. Ocean-derived omega-3 oils are legendary for their ability to support the body's healthy response to inflammation, meaning that many people are finding marine omega-3s to be a safer, more natural and far more affordable alternative to dangerous NSAIDS and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Vioxx, which is well known for doubling the risk of heart attacks and stroke)*.

While there are lots of sources of omega-3 oils to choose from, the ocean-derived omega-3s are far more potent than plant-derived omega-3s such as flaxseed oil or chia seeds. The two best omega-3 products I know of are Moxxor, made from green-lipped mussel oil, and LivingFuel Super Essentials, made from sardines and anchovies (wildcrafted, not farmed).

NaturalNews has no financial relationship with Living Fuel. Its Super Essentials product, which combines a small amount of astaxanthin with fish oils, is available here.

NaturalNews is a distributor of Moxxor, and over 1,000 NaturalNews readers have now joined in distributing Moxxor's green-lipped mussel oil, which is grown in eco-friendly aquaculture farms off the coast of New Zealand. The mussels feed on marine phytoplankton and are completely free of heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs and other chemicals. The product can be purchased here.

Or you can get the product at a discount by joining the NaturalNews Moxxor team, explained here.

Marine omega-3 oils not only support healthy skin, they also support and enhance the health of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and many other functions of the human body, including moods and balanced brain function.

Superfood #3: Raw foods and fresh juice

Raw vegetable juice does wonders for healthy skin. There's something about daily juicing that just brings out the most radiant, youthful-looking skin in people.

Live foods, of course, support living, vibrant skin. Dead foods cause skin to age rapidly, and eating fried foods or animal products may cause your skin to break out with acne, eczema or various rashes. Consuming raw vegetable juice on a daily basis is a powerful way to support healthy skin. You'll notice the different in 30 days or less!

Read my article on juicing to learn which juicer I recommend, and what recipe to start with.

Or learn about "Juice Feasting".

Superfood #4: Shellfish, Pumpkin Seeds and Zinc

Zinc is an essential nutrient for skin repair and injury repair (it's also really important for prostate health). If you're deficient in zinc (and probably 70% or more of Americans are), your skin will never look as good as it could. Zinc gives your cells the ability to properly construct and maintain their physical integrity, and it speeds the regeneration of new skin following injuries such as scrapes, scratches or cuts.

Shellfish and pumpkin seeds are good natural sources of zinc. It can also be taken as a nutritional supplement. A good low-cost source is VitaCost.

A high-end source is Wellness Resources' "Strengthener Plus," which also happens to contain MSM, a sulfur derivative that belongs near the top of anyone's list of skin-supporting nutritional supplements. I highly recommend Wellness Resources products, as the company was founded by Health Freedom champion Byron Richards. Here's the product page.

Superfood #5: Clean Water

Okay, I know water doesn't technically count as a superfood, but perhaps it should! Adequate hydration is essential for optimum skin health. Far too many consumers are chronically dehydrated, and as a result they suffer systemic dehydration of their skin, which makes it look older, more wrinkled and less smooth.

Drinking adequate water is crucial for supporting your skin health, but you've got to drink clean water to accomplish this, not tap water.

The cleanest water, of course, is natural spring water. If you're lucky enough to live near a spring, bottle up your drinking water from it (test it for contamination first, of course), and consume that.

Don't buy bottled water as it creates a mountain of waste (plastic bottles). Furthermore, the Bisphenol-A in the plastic bottles has been proven so toxic that it was recently banned from baby bottles in Canada.

So what's the next best choice for your drinking water? Bottle your own. Get yourself an Aquasana water filter, which is, in my view, the No. 1 consumer water filter on the market today. NaturalNews is an affiliate of Aquasana, so your purchase helps support our network. To pay you back, we negotiated a discount for NaturalNews readers on Aquasana products, including the countertop unit, under-the-sink unit, and the highly-recommended shower filter unit which I personally take with me everywhere I travel (it protects you from the toxic chlorine in public water supplies).

Get your Aquasana products at a discount here.

Nutrition is the key to healthy skin

In summary, nutrition and hydration are the keys to healthy skin. Consume omega-3 supplements on a regular basis, take astaxanthin, drink plenty of clean water, and drink fresh juice on a regular basis. Also be sure to take in plenty of trace minerals through sources like sea salt. Healthy salt allows your skin and body to hold on to water, lubricating joints, boosting nervous system function and smoothing out the skin. Good sources for healthy see salt are MountainRoseHerbs or TransitionNutrition.

At the same time, here are some foods to avoid if you want healthy skin:

• Avoid MILK and DAIRY products. See: Four Ways Milk Causes Acne.

• Avoid FRIED foods, including fried snack chips.

• Avoid pharmaceuticals, since many of them cause skin hypersensitivity to sunlight, and that can lead to skin damage (especially if you're not taking astaxanthin).

• Avoid DEAD foods (manufactured foods or processed foods), as they contain chemical additives, unhealthy oils and nutritionally-depleted ingredients (like white flour) that strip the skin of nutrients.

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the products mentioned here are intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.

Health Tip of the Day - Recipe

Since we read about the benefits of apples, here is a recipe for an apple spread.

My 9 year old had this on his birthday cake. Now he wants it whenever I make a cake.

Applesauce ‘Frosting’

2 Tablespoons Astragalus Root Powder (optional, for extra immune support)
1Tablespoon flax seed
1Tablespoon chia seed (or add an extra Tbs. of flax)
1 Tablespoon fennel seed
1 Tablespoon fenugreek seed
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon green stevia, to taste (optional)
2 large or 3 medium apples, cut into half inch chunks (scrub well, core and leave peels on)

Grind seeds and spices together in blender. Add apple chunks and blend on high until you have a smooth, consistent texture.

Use large rubber spatula to spread on cooled cake.

04 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

A sign of healthy skin is not a lack of wrinkles but a good elasticity. Healthy skin has a glow to it. As we age, we lose collagen and elasticity.

Use natural products so that skin pores will not become clogged. Coconut oil has many benefits for your face. It moistens skin without leaving a greasy feel after the first few minutes. It has been found to have anti bacterial and anti tumor effects. On the other hand, alcohol dries skin and may lead to changes in the DNA of skin cells.

To improve skin elasticity and look younger:

☻ Ensure you are well hydrated with fresh water. Check here to find out how much water you should drink each day.
☻ Consume healthy fats such as fish oil, flax oil, or olive oil. Saturated and trans fats accumulate throughout the body. This can lead to clogging up of pores.
☻ Do daily facial movements (move all the muscles of your face). Raise and lower your eyebrows. Open your eyes wide, then close them tightly. Move your mouth into all sorts of shapes. Have fun being a kid making funny faces for a few minutes.

03 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day -Food as Medicine

Apples are an important source of phytonutrients. These plant-derived chemical compounds are associated with positive health effects. Many of the phytonutrients found in apples are strong antioxidants, fighting free radicals. When people in the United States consume fruits, 22% of antioxidant compounds (also called phenols) come from apples. This makes apples the greatest source of phenols in the American diet.

You have heard the old saying: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." The original version of that is actually: "An apple before going to bed makes the doctor beg his bread." In our day with out-of-control health 'care' costs, the picture this saying evokes is an attractive one (not that we wish anyone ill).

Apples have many benefits. They are not hearty suppliers of many of the well known nutrients, like vitamin C or folic acid. However, they are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. In fact many old herbalists recommended apple cider vinegar precisely for the benefits of its potassium content.

They are an excellent source of antioxidants (phenols). Compared to many other commonly consumed fruits in the United States, they have the second highest level of antioxidant activity. Perhaps more importantly, they have the highest ratio of free phenols. Free phenols are not bound to other compounds in the fruit. That allows them to be more available for absorption into the bloodstream.

Whole apples, especially with their peels, have been found to have a number of powerful antioxidant effects. The total antioxidant activity of 100 grams of whole apple is equivalent to the antioxidant effect of about 1500 mg of vitamin C. However, 100 g of apples has only about 5.7 mg of vitamin C. Clearly, the antioxidant activity of apples comes from other nutrients like quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid.

Studies have found numerous health benefits related to the consumption of apples:

★ Apple's two types of fiber help regulate the movement of the bowels – in both directions. Both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber (pectin, found primarily in the skins) help relieve constipation. The insoluble fiber works like roughage, sweeping debris from the digestive tract. Pectin acts as a stool softener, drawing water into the stool, increasing stool bulk, and making it easier to pass. On the other hand, because pectin firms up an excessively loose stool, it's also used to treat diarrhea.
★ Both soluble and insoluble fibers in apples have cancer-protective activity since they relieve constipation and send potentially toxic substances out with the stools. Pectin grabs toxins (heavy metals like lead and mercury), and flushes them out of the body.
★ Researchers found a positive relationship between apple consumption and lung functioning, showing lower incidence of asthma and reduced risk of smokers developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
★ Quercetin (a flavinoid or pigment which gives apples their color) from apples has shown in studies to inhibit growth of cancer cells in the lungs, breast, prostate, liver, and colon.
★ British researchers found that ½ to 1 liter of apple, grapefruit, or orange juice daily, increased urinary pH value and citric acid excretion. These factor significantly decrease the risk of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones.
★ Finnish epidemiologists (scientists who study the effects of substances on large populations) concluded that high consumption of flavonoids and fiber from apples, tea, onions, and broccoli were directly associated with the lowest risk for coronary disease mortality and thrombic stroke. Again, apples were featured as the most closely associated with these benefits.
★ Animal studies show that apples lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol. At the same time, they raise beneficial HDL cholesterol. The laboratory animals studied produced less cholesterol. They also excreted more cholesterol in their feces when fed apples, pears and peaches. Apples, however, had the greatest cholesterol-lowering effect.
★ Daily consumption of quercetin from apples and cloudy apple juice may help reduce the damage caused by the "bad” type of cholesterol and protect against heart disease by slowing the oxidation process involved in the build-up of arterial plaque.
★ The two types of fiber in apples provide a double whammy on cholesterol. Insoluble fiber latches onto LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract, sweeping it out of the body. Its soluble fiber (pectin) reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver.
★ Apples’ antioxidants protect VLDL and LDL ("bad") cholesterol from oxidation. Adding just one large apple (about 2/3 of a pound) to the daily diet has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol 8-11%. Eating 2 large apples a day has lowered cholesterol levels by up to 16%!
★ Apples derive most of their natural sweetness from fructose (not the same as in high fructose corn sweetener). Natural fructose is a simple sugar, but one which is broken down slowly. This property, especially when combined with apples' hefty dose of fiber, helps to keep blood sugar levels stable for type 2 diabetics.
★ Phenols in the skin of certain cultivars of apples (Braeburns fared better than Granny Smiths) may provide a hefty dose of UV-B protection.

Choose organically grown apples whenever possible. Most of the apple's fiber is contained in its skin. The skin also stores the majority of its quercitin. Unfortunately, conventionally grown apples contain pesticide residues which accumulate in apple skin. Petroleum-based waxes, used to keep the apples looking fresh, also add toxic residues. Peeling apples results in the loss of flavonoids and most of its valuable fiber. Purchasing organic apples allows you to eat the whole apple without throwing away a major portion of its nutrition.

Eat the whole fruit instead of simply drinking apple juice, eating peel-free applesauce or taking fiber supplements. Single nutrients are not found in whole, natural foods. There is a beneficial synergy between the many healthful compounds found in apples. They act in together for your greater benefit. The complete system, designed by God, is the source of their effectiveness in promoting health.

★ When researchers put together a mixture containing only the currently identified bioactive compounds in apple juice (chemicals like proanthocyanidins and quercetin). The chemical mixture was ineffective in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells.
★ Quercitin, one of the most important antioxidant flavonoids in apples, was tested by itself in laboratory animals. It had no protective effect.
★ Apple flesh and apple juice were tested separately. They provided less than a tenth the benefit of the whole apple.
★ A combination of apple pectin and apple phenols lowered cholesterol and triglycerides to a much greater extent than either apple pectin or phenols alone in recent studies.

A review study looks at the results of many other studies. One such study published in Nutrition Journal analyzed 85 studies. Apples appeared most consistently linked to reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes as compared to other fruits and vegetables. Eating apples was also associated with increased lung function and increased weight loss.

Apples' protective effects against free radical damage to cholesterol reach their peak at three hours following apple consumption and drop off after 24 hours, providing yet another good reason to eat a whole fresh apple a day. In many studies, apples worked in a dose-dependent manner: the more apples eaten, the more protection. So add an apple (or two, or even three) to your daily regimen and reap the benefits.

02 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Your body will be unable to properly absorb nutrients if you eat in a hurry or are in an angry or stressed out state. To center and calm yourself before eating, take several slow deep breaths and chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

01 December, 2008

Health Tip of the Day

Most people breathe rapidly and shallowly. Shallow breathing is associated with fear and anger. Breathing slowly is a great portable stress reducer. Deep breathing is a great way to calm yourself and energize your body. When you breathe deeply and slowly, your heart rate will probably slow down and your stress level will likely be reduced.

To increase your oxygen intake during the day, practice one or more of these:

Take time to inhale and exhale slowly from the belly 10 times a day.

Take at least one big deep breath every hour. Notice how much better you feel.

A good deep breathing technique is to sit comfortably, breathe in for 5 counts, hold your breath for 5 counts, and breathe out for 5 counts. Do this for 1-2 minutes.