Posts Tagged 'greens'

Excellent Documentary

Please view this documentary.  It is an excellent example of finding out where your food supply comes from and demanding it be better.

Deconstructing Food

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Food is not Medicine

Or is it?  The article does not address the benefits of whole foods.  However, it is good to see this subject matter becoming more mainstream.

Don’t be misled by these food label tricks.

C’mon, fill your lungs with free radicals.

We have all been bombarded with advertisements and media reports about antioxidants in various forms being heralded as everything from the fountain of youth to protection from our own bad habits.  Along with the news on antioxidants comes the message that free radicals (what antioxidants neutralize) are evil and we should do everything we can to stop their production.  Stopping the production of free radicals in your body is easy.  So easy in fact, that all you have to do is stop breathing forever… it’s that easy.  Obviously we are not supposed to completely stop the production of free radicals, so this must be one of those situations where a delicate balance must be achieved.

So why all the hype?  First, free radicals are substances that have an unpaired leectron which enables them to be highly reactive and in some biological situations, highly damaging.  Antioxidants are substances that have reduction capability and thus end the free radical chain reactions and in effect neutralize the radical intermediates of oxidative reactions…blah blah blah.  All that big chemistry talk means is that if free radicals are a fire spreading out of control, then antioxidants are the water used to control and eventually put the fire out.  Free radicals happen every day during normal chemical reactions in our bodies; their production is accelerated during times of stress, illness, exercise or toxic exposure.  A healthy, varied diet of whole, raw, live foods, espeically with a rainbow of colors, should be all that is needed to provide an ample dose of antioxidants to combat a normal production of free radicals.  Few of us however, live a life devoid of stress, illness, and exercise or toxic exposures.  These necessitate a supplemental increase in our antioxidant intake.  Most of us also do not consume a rich and varied diet of brightly colored raw foods on a regular basis.  The market is saturated with the next big miracle antioxidant.  What we have to realize is that certain antioxidants work in certain circumstances and under certain conditions to neutralize certain free radicals.  We need a variety of antioxidant nutrients from a variety of sources to combat all the free radical variables (i.e., ones we ingest, breath, absorb, etc).  It’s not enough to take a big load of Resvertatrol and think that it is taking care of all your antioxidant needs.  As the saying goes “variety is the spice of life.”  An antioxidant supplement that is whole food based and provides many different types of antioxidants is the best bet to combat the free radical onslaught of daily life.

It’s not candy. It’s candida.

Yeast Reduction Diet: An all too common and frustrating health issue these days is Candida or yeast overgrowth in our bodies. It’s a fungus that steals our nutrients and therefore our energy then leaves us with toxic, even carcinogenic waste material to deal with. Our immune systems have a very hard time dealing with this type of infection because of the cell walls that yeast have; we are underequipped to penetrate those walls. There are a variety of treatments available to combat the yeast and break it down allowing our immune systems to clean out the waste and get rid of the toxic buildup. Those options are for another article, however it is always conducive and sometimes necessary to not only kill the yeast but also alter our diets so that we do not continue to feed the yeast and thus continue the problem. Yeast eat sugar and other small carbohydrates, the simpler and more refined the carbohydrate the more likely it will have an exacerbation effect on the yeast. This can be a variable target to hit as everybody will respond differently to dietary changes and treatment options. Removing all processed sugar, starch, dairy, and alcohol is a great start and one that most people would benefit greatly from. If more strictness is needed for individual cases then even whole foods like fruits and all but the most fibrous of vegetables must be eliminated. This type of restricted diet is obviously not for the long term as many of our most important nutrients are packed most densely in fruits and vegetables, it can however be very useful in eradicating a very pervasive pest and eliminating the symptoms that accompany it.  The typical diet for today is a tough one.  Can’t live with it, can’t live without it!

Glycemic Diet… yes, it really can matter.

The glycemic index is a measure of the effect a carbohydrate has on a person’s blood glucose level in a two hour period. The glycemic index score of a particular food is a number the amount of rise in blood glucose divided by the standard (glucose) and multiplied by 100.  That gives us the number associated with foods on a GI chart. Eating foods with a lower GI should equate to slower absorption, lower blood glucose rise, and a lower insulin release, therefore lower blood lipid counts. For example white bread will have a very high GI and will therefore enter the bloodstream very quickly and cause a sharp spike in insulin response, causing the fabled sugar rush and insulin crash that so many people experience often.  Eating an avocado on the other hand will have a much lower effect on insulin response and therefore a more even energy release.  Repeatedly spiking insulin and stressing our systems has been shown to lead to insulin resistance and eventually to Type II diabetes, and oxidative vascular damage leading to heart disease.  The GI can be used fairly effectively to smooth out the peaks and valleys of the typical American diet and therefore help one prevent some major disease processes.  There are problems with some GI charts and a few issues with the concept itself. First conceptually the charts are not very precise because the GI of a particular food can change due to ripeness, preparation, and processing.  Second everybody is different and we all digest very differently and nowhere in the GI is there a thought about how the food will effect a person over a long period of time.  Certain things seem like a good idea based on GI charts while we know that they are not, like artificial sweeteners and fructose.  There are so many other problems with these sweeteners that no matter how good they appear on the charts they should never be considered healthy. Some foods labeled as high GI (carrots) are actually so good for you that they should be included in almost any healthy diet. So the glycemic index is not perfect, but it can be used as a general tool to effectively to point you in the right direction towards health.  It is easy to se on a GI chart that breads and pastas will have a more negative effect on blood sugar than vegetables and fruits.  Just one more reason to eat all the fresh fruits and veggies that you can!

Food Inc. Heard of it? You Should.

check out the website and view the trailer here.

honeybees – why should we care that they are dying?

There is actually terminology for it – CCD Colony Collapse Disorder. Something is killing the honeybees around the world.  In the past, beekeepers annually lost between 5 and 10% of their colonies.  In 2007 that number rose to over 13% and last year to over 35%. Everybody immediately thinks of honey when they think of bees, and of course that is important.  However, the real effect is that honeybees are a major and primary pollinator of many food crops. A few of the crops affected are nuts especially almonds, fruits like apples, and many vegetables a full third of the entire us food supply counts on honeybees. No one is sure exactly what is causing this but many ideas make sense and its probably some combination of them that is actually at fault.

Certainly pesticides could do it and in fact it is well known that nicotine based products have an especially damaging effect. These products, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin (primarily from Bayer) are known to have fatal effects on honeybees and other pollinators. Imidacloprid and Clothianidin are bad chemicals all the way around and have a multitude of damaging effects to our environment. Also, this chemical is sold to farmers and to the general population for home use and Continue reading ‘honeybees – why should we care that they are dying?’