How to Improve Your Wellbeing and Become a Home Juicer

Are you tired of feeling physically uncomfortable, mentally foggy, and downright disgusted? Making changes to your diet has been found to radically reverse poor emotional health, the inability to lose weight, and even chronic illness. Home juicing just may be the catalyst you need to help restore your health—and maybe improve your overall wellbeing

Man Cannot Live on Juice Alone

The concept of juicing at home does not mean you give up on “food.” Juicing is a practice whereby you remove the juice from whole fruits and vegetables, often combining them into a refreshing beverage. This process provides vitamins and nutrients you may not be receiving otherwise. However, a superior juicing recipe may also include the pulp, seeds, and/or skin of your produce so that you garner other important elements such as fiber and minerals.

Why Juice?

The purpose of juicing is to provide valuable compounds your body needs and craves in today’s toxic world. Whether we realize it or not, we are bombarded with pollution. It’s very difficult to avoid the poisons traveling through our air, soil, and water at home and in the environment. We need extra doses of beneficial nutrients to combat toxins and protect our precious cells.

Vegetables and fruits contain flavonoids and anthocyanins. These are compounds that help guard our cells from damage. Extensive and/or chronic cellular damage can lead to cancer, heart disease, inflammatory disease, and other unwanted physical ailments. Ingesting anti-oxidants are essential nowadays for keeping the peace within our body.

Polluted Body?

If you know you’re eating fast food over twice a week, not exercising more than twice a week, drinking alcohol, smoking, and not sleeping enough, you can pretty much count on toxicity within. You may already be feeling the signs:

-always tired

-can’t lose weight

-get sick often

-have unexplained pain in joints

-constant gas, heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea

Your poor system is probably suffering from inflammation. You may even notice outward signs like poor skin color and texture, more wrinkles, tooth or gum pain, and no energy.

What To Do

You may try gathering information from trustworthy Websites such as GetThrive and VeryWell. Also, check with medical practitioners you trust. Ask friends or co-workers who juice and inquire about their experience.

Another idea is to look up some popular recipes for juicing at home. It’s simple and not very time-consuming. Make a commitment to juicing at least once a day for a month. Remember, it took a long time to get sick. Be patient with your healing process. Not far off, you may start noticing:

  • clearer, brighter skin
  • a calmer tummy
  • weight loss from bloat
  • fewer food cravings
  • a stronger immune system
  • more energy
  • overall more contentment

If adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can improve your physical and mental health, why not try it?

Juicing can be used as a cleanse, a health boost, and a supplement to your regular healthy diet. Always check with your health care provider before embarking on any significant dietary shift. And also, health experts suggest including protein, low carbs, and good fats into your non-juicing meals.

A healthy diet, exercise, and a positive attitude significantly reduce your risk of contracting or developing disease. So think, adding juicing just may improve your internal and external health—a bonus to your overall wellbeing.

Dr. Dave Campbell Commentary

Juicing is one part of a healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle that provides nutrients and is low in calories. It is also a habit that tends to foster other health optimizing habits. Juicing takes time, effort and energy. Spending a few extra minutes a day washing, scraping, cutting and then plopping the fruits and veggies into the juicer will make you think twice later-on when a high-calorie, poorly nutritious, sugar-laden food is calling your name from the fridge. Juicing takes a bit of work. Why waste it on dessert.  Juicing has a myriad of positive health benefits and essentially no downside. When combined with good tasting, filling and well-balanced foods, regular modest exercise, and keeping a lid of unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and drinking too much, feeling better is surely just around the corner.

 

My Superfood is Superer than Your Superfood

10 Superfoods That Improve Your Brain. 22 Superfoods That Make You Prettier. 35 Superfoods That Will Win You Gold in the Olympics. Do these titles sound remotely familiar? If I were a vegetable, fruit, seed, or a grain, I certainly would want to know how to get on one of those lists! Well, it appears there’s more to the competition than just optimum health.

That’s Super!

The Oxford Dictionary defines a superfood as “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” From a marketing standpoint, a superfood is “associated” with decreasing cancer-risks, packed with antioxidants, and is beneficial to cardiovascular performance. It all sounds great. And we must have it, even if costs too much.

Another fun, marketing angle for superfoods is that they all seem to have a mysterious back-story, something exotic, usually. For example, Maca, a root vegetable, is grown in the Andes mountains of Peru at an altitude above 11,000 thousand feet. Legend has it that Incan warriors used to consume maca before battle to increase endurance. Doesn’t maca sound way more exciting to add to your smoothie than a turnip? Why, yes it does!

The Bottom-Line

The best part of the superfood craze is that it’s changing the way Americans view a healthy diet. We’re becoming more educated about nutrition and implementing dietary improvements. It appears, however, that nutritionists, produce growers, and even writers have the final word on which superfoods eventually make their list.

Regardless of opinion, the fact remains that some foods are higher in nutritional value than others, containing a wealth of vitamins, antioxidants, and other health-promoting properties. Nonetheless, there are some superfoods that always make the cut, and then there are other, less popular ones also worth being recognized.

Popular Superfoods:

  • Acai
  • Avocado
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cocoa
  • Chia Seeds
  • Edamame
  • Flaxseed
  • Green Tea/Matcha
  • Kiwi
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Quinoa
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Watercress
  • Wheat Germ
  • Zucchini

Lesser-Known Superfoods:

Arame – It’s a sea plant collected on the coast of Japan. It smells funky, but it’s packed with calcium, iodine, iron, and magnesium.

Black Pudding – Americans are just now becoming familiar with black pudding, a longtime favorite amongst the English and Irish as a fried breakfast food. Black pudding is made with oatmeal and pig’s blood. Although it’s high in fat, it’s chock full of protein.

Natto – The Japanese use natto in many of their meals as it promotes heart health. It’s high in pyrazine and helps destroy arterial plaque. Natto is fermented soybean, and most sources claim it tastes disgusting, no matter how you try to dress it up.

Camu Camu – Grown in the Amazon, Camu Camu supposedly has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any food, anywhere. It comes in supplement form, as the actual fruit is not readily exported.

Cordyceps – Grown in China, it’s used to improve stamina and performance. It’s a fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae.

Purslane – It’s a weed that looks a little leafy and is high in vitamins A, B, and C, omega-3s, and contains melatonin.

Teff – A gluten-free grain from Ethiopia.

What I’d like to think is that this superfood trend will continue and eventually be a commonplace way of eating. Organic and whole are the foods of today and the future if we hope to maintain our health and prevent illness and disease.

What’s “popular” today might fall back on the list tomorrow. Regardless, knowing about nutrients in all the foods you eat, super or superer, will help you make more informed choices about what you’re feeding your body.

 

 

Grocery List Essentials for Your Plant-Based Diet

It’s really exciting to make a conscious choice to eat more plant-based foods. It can also be daunting if you’re not sure what to fill your pantry with in order to prepare or cook yummy new dishes.

Additionally, you can find yourself spending a bit more in your budget to catch up on the basics, like nuts, seeds, and herbs. Plant-based chef Miranda Hammer (who also happens to be a registered dietician) has some great ideas for stocking up, especially if this is a new venture for you at home.

The idea is to flavor-up what could be bland. Using fresh produce is the start. Dress it up with dried, nonperishable, nutritious items. Your goal is to keep all your foods whole and unprocessed.

Hammer suggests shopping in the bulk bins at your local health food store or market. Since they need to turnover the products in a timely fashion, if they’re not all sold, they will often offer a decent discount.

Texture, Fiber, and Good Fats

Nuts and seeds are amazing sources of protein, fiber, and other healthy supplements. They are both terrific snacks alone, but the chef recommends using them as toppers on salads, oatmeal, ice cream, or cooked veggie dishes.

Get them raw and unsalted. Some preferred nuts are: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, and, of course, the go-to nut—peanuts. Tasty seeds include: chia, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, and flax.

Herbivore Alert

Dried herbs and spices are must-haves if you want exotic tastes. As we are hearing more often, many spices and herbs contain anti-inflammatory properties, which adds further benefit to their use.

You can also avoid using too much salt by incorporating another interesting spice instead. Hammer suggests investing in: cumin, oregano, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and thyme.

Beans, Grains, Oils, and Stand-bys

Another staple for plant-based pantries are beans and legumes. Some of these include: lentils, black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, and split peas. Of course any grains you buy should be “whole”—like in cereal, quinoa, brown rice, spelt, and bulgur.

Coconut, extra-virgin olive, avocado, and sesame are Hammer’s favorites. And delicious for dressings, sauces, or to dip in, balsamic vinegar, tamari, raw apple cider, and Dijon mustard are the recommendations.

Stock up on these items little-by-little. They should last in your pantry for a short while (some longer than others.) Buy your produce fresh and organic. With the combination of these items, you can make yourself some fabulous, healthy meals right in your own home.

7 Smoothie Recipes to Get You in Gear

Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of nutrients into one frosty drink. The key, however, is to prepare your smoothie with the healthiest ingredients, all while creating the yummiest flavor. Here are some recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and will boost your booty into high gear.

Main Smoothie Staples

There are a few categories of ingredients you’ll want to add to most or all of your smoothies. They are: protein, fiber, good fat, and fresh produce

Here are some examples. You can derive protein from: protein powder (pea protein has no dairy or soy); nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia); good fats (coconut or flaxseed oil, avocado, almond butter), fiber (berries, carrots, squash, pumpkin), and greens (spinach, kale, chard, basil).

Feel free to mix and match within the food groups and improvise with the recipes.

Don’t skip the good fats thinking that will help your diet. You need the good fats to help you absorb all the nutrients in the powders and the whole foods. It’s the nutrients that boost your metabolism and actually help you lose weight and maintain optimum health.

The biggest detriment to store-bought smoothies is their sugar content. When making them at home, use stevia or honey if you feel you need to add more sweetness. These recipes, however, should be perfectly adequate without any type of sweetening additive. Toss all the ingredients in the blender (adding ice is optional) and tada! Your “get in gear” smoothie will appear.

APPLE PIE IN THE SKY SMOOTHIE

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ minced green apple
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

LIGHTING UP THE BLACK FOREST

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/3 cup pitted dark cherries
1/3 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon organic unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate almond milk

 

PUNCH IT UP PINA COLADA

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces original or vanilla unsweetened coconut milk

 

JUMPIN’ FOR ALMOND JOY

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces vanilla or chocolate unsweetened almond milk

 

PERKY PINK LADY

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup raspberries
1/3 cup strawberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
splash of unsweetened cranberry juice
8 ounces unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut milk

 

GREEN GO-GETTER

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup chopped spinach
pinch of fresh basil leaves
pinch of wheat grass
½ ripe avocado
½ minced green apple
8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

SOCK IT TO ME CINNAMON

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut oil
8 ounces plain unsweetened almond milk

 

Any of these smoothies can replace one of your three main meals of the day. A suggested dietary habit can include one smoothie daily along with fresh, whole foods for snacks and other meals. For additional recipes, up-to-date food recommendations, and best health practices for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

Repair Your Gut and Brain with this Exercise

Many issues can contribute to an imbalanced and unhealthy gut. Brain damage can also be caused by various factors, including disease. Research is now showing that one particular exercise, running, can repair cells in the brain and the gut.

Running Toward the Problem

Our gut plays a tremendous part in our overall health. One of the most obvious functions is digestion. Our body takes in food and processes it through our organs. The nutrients we absorb go towards feeding our cells. We want all of our cells to be healthy so that they reproduce healthily.

If we’re feeding our body unnaturally with junk food, processed meats, refined sugars, etc. our digestive system ceases to function optimally. Even when you finally eat a vegetable, your body no longer has the ability to absorb its nutritious benefits. Recalibrating our system by detoxifying and eating properly as a habit will make a huge difference.

Exercise, however, is another essential key player. Exercise helps the body flush toxins and waste. It also helps release toxins through our pores. But another effect of physical movement is that it promotes the diversity of gut bacteria.

Feel it in Your Gut

Our gut is home to many types of good bacteria. The body likes it that way. In fact, the more, the merrier. The balance and plenteousness of good bacteria allows for proper levels of serotonin, melatonin, and hundreds of other hormones necessary for homeostasis. And here’s the kicker—the gut largely informs the brain, and may also affect the brain’s ability to function properly.

Getting in the Game

A recent study observed levels of overall health in rugby players, and specifically, their gut bacteria. The athletes (from running) and exercising often—and with intensity—appeared to have boosted immune systems. The researchers discovered that the players had a “higher diversity of gut micro-organisms.”

Let it Help Your Brain

A completely different study was recently conducted out of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. They discovered that in animal models, running triggered production of a molecule that repairs brain cells. The molecule is called VGF nerve growth factor. It helps repair the insulation coating for nerve fibers.

Some neurodegenerative diseases, like multiple sclerosis, for example, produce overt physical symptoms because nerve insulation is damaged. If VGF, which is triggered by running, can rebuild damaged areas of the brain, this discovery is profound.

VGF is a molecule that offers a similar effect on the brain as does an endorphin. It also has an anti-depressant effect.

What’s more is that during the study, the scientists made other observations about the mice’s health. Those that ran freely on the wheel lived longer than a typical mouse’s lifespan. The mice that ran also acquired a better sense of balance than those that just sat around.

The benefits of exercise are a-plenty. But besides going out for a jog or run to keep your body looking good, it can clearly do wonders inside, too. For more current findings on best health practices, check out other articles here.

 

The Facts about Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been called a wonder food, the most powerful plant food, and high-fiber super food for valid reason.

So what is flaxseed?

Sometimes called linseeds, flaxseeds are golden or brown colored seeds that offer a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1 and a super supply of omega-3 fatty acids. 1

Why is flaxseed so important?

Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than any other plant.  By definition, lignans contain both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities, and for each tablespoon of ground flax, you will find 1.8 grams of plant based omega-3s.  Flaxseed is considered to be a medicinal food as well, and has been shown to protect against many life-threatening health conditions. While some benefits have not been “conclusively established”, preliminary studies have suggested that flaxseed may help fight heart disease, diabetes and may prevent certain cancers, colon, breast and prostate cancer. 2

What are lignans?

Lignans are a group of chemical compounds known as polyphenols.  Found in plants, lignans form building blocks of plant cell walls.  They contain phytoestrogens which help regulate the body’s estrogen production.  When we consume lignan compounds, they are converted in our intestines by good bacteria to produce a form that our body can incorporate.

What can lignans do for me?

As mentioned before, it has been shown that lignans play a role in protecting against cancer.  They are responsible for blocking enzymes that are part of hormone metabolism and interfere with spread and growth of tumor cells.  Other health benefits include lowering blood-pressure, which may be attributed to the amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds.  Consuming a daily dose of flaxseeds may also improve cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The suggested dose, according to the Flax Council of Canada, is 1 to 2 tablespoons daily.  However, in the US, more research continues. 3, 4

Which one is better?

Flaxseed comes in different forms, ground or milled and whole.  Ground flaxseeds are a better choice for digestion.  Because ground flaxseed is more easily digested, the nutrients from flaxseeds are more easily absorbed.   Typically, you will find brown or golden flaxseed in the stores, and there is little nutritional difference. In the store, you can find flaxseed among other flours and grains.

Always check labels

Be sure you are not purchasing whole flaxseed unless you prefer to mill it at home. It may take to be sure you are not purchasing whole flaxseed unless you prefer to mill it at home. It may take time to get used to a new food, so nutritionists recommend adding flaxseed into yogurt, smoothies, soup, cereal or oatmeal. Another way to incorporate flax is to mix into sauces, casseroles, and protein mixtures, as well as baked goods. 5

Once purchased, it’s important to store ground flax in the freezer, so that it does not oxidize and lose nutritional value.

While there is no magic pill or cure that will guarantee good health, we can take daily steps to prevent or improve our existing conditions. Choosing a healthy diet and incorporating flaxseed into one of your meals is a good place to start.

A great resource for information and recipes can be found at www.flax.com

 

References:

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263405.php
  2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#1
  3. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#5
  4. http://www.lignans.net/health-benefits.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/flaxseed/faq-20058354

Look What’s Taking the Place of Vitamin Supplements

For over two decades, Americans stayed true to “taking their vitamins.” New research has shown that other types of supplements have taken their place.

Vitamin Deficiency

One of the reasons many Americans began taking vitamin supplements was because they found they were deficient in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. During routine exams or blood tests, certain levels of vital nutrients were revealed to be sub par.

The media, medical, and other publications raised red flags in the mid 1990’s suggesting that Americans were depleted of particular vitamins. Supplements in the form of pills became popular and have been used ever since. Studies reporting mineral deficiencies also came into the public eye. So, many folks began taking mineral supplements as well.

Welcome to Wellness

As recent reports from research and trends have shown, Americans are spending less in vitamins and more elsewhere. Big bucks are currently being spent on vitamin D (solo), probiotics, and fish oil supplements.

Echinacea, garlic, and other botanicals have been proven (and continue to be) strong immune boosters. Yet, many Americans have decided not to spend in that area, but rather in omega-3 fatty acids.

Perhaps the public is swayed by what’s most touted in the headlines?

Media Attention

Even expert scientist, Elizabeth Kantor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, agrees that supplements that gain media attention tend to sell better.

Surely, any pills that can curb the risk of heart disease (such as fish oil pills) should be taken under consideration for consumption. And if vitamin D is showing to protect cells from cancer, then why not take a pill daily?

The supplements that have come into the public eye most recently are coenzyme Q10, green tea extracts, and omega-3 fatty acids. These are the bigger sellers. Whether they are worthier than a multivitamin is still under investigation. It would seem to the optimist, that they are both valuable. But if you’re on a budget and you don’t have time to uber-research, sometimes you do as the Romans.

Drop and Cover

What’s been surprising is the drop in multivitamin purchases and use. Consumers are becoming more wary of the value of supplements—at least as far as traditional vitamins are concerned.

Perhaps people are feeling as if they are eating better. Getting nutrients from natural sources is always the better way.

But, maybe, people are taking their vitamins on an empty stomach. There is nothing enabling absorption of the nutrients from the pill. The plus is just peed out. Another concern is that other medications are counterproductive to the absorption of the supplementary nutrients.

It’s an interesting observation of health trends, for sure. But just because less money is spent annually on a particular product doesn’t make its worth less valuable.

The American public has always been fickle with nutrition, health, and diet trends. Best suggestion is to do your own research and then check your gut instincts. Oh, and don’t forget to follow your healthy heart, too.

 

Study Confirms New Problem with Wheat and Gluten

Researchers are confirming that even individuals without Celiac disease can experience the same symptoms from ingesting wheat and gluten. In the study, non-celiac participants had worse side effects than those diagnosed with the disease.

Study Confirms You’re Not Crazy

Feel awful after eating a sandwich, cereal, crackers, or pasta? All of those foods traditionally contain wheat. Gluten protein is the majority ingredient in a grain of wheat. We’ve known for a while that Celiac is a genetic autoimmune condition, which causes bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, and more. It’s a lifelong intolerance to gluten. This new study suggests that even those without Celiac suffer from the same symptoms—and more.

Clearing up Celiac Confusion

Celiac is a disease affected by the body’s immune reaction to gluten. For those with severe cases, they can’t even touch wheat or gluten much less ingest it.  Celiac attacks and damages the lining of the small intestines. That’s why the symptoms are so harsh and painful.

Besides nausea, diarrhea, and other physical sufferings, Celiac can prevent the absorption of nutrients into your system. Malnourishment and dehydration are always concerns. There is no cure for this disorder—it never goes away. Only 100% abstention from gluten can help keep you asymptomatic.

In America, approximately 1% of the population has Celiac disease. That’s sounds like a tiny portion, but that winds up being about 1 in 133 people. And, it’s often misdiagnosed. You can be diagnosed by a blood test or a biopsy of the lining of your small intestines.

Non-Celiac Complaints, Concerns, and Findings

The conditions of our environment and our foods today are far from ideal. In fact, our best health is placed at risk from pollution, pesticides, and other factors compromising the purity of our crops and animals. These elements can trigger genetic autoimmune responses as well create new allergies and sensitivities.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center conducted a study to examine the effects of gluten on non-Celiac participants. The majority of those observed were people with NCWS. NCWS stands for Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity. These are people who have adverse symptoms to gluten but do not have Celiac.

The study included 40 people with Celiac, 40 healthy, and 80 with NCWS. The researchers discovered that those with NCWS had a system-wide autoimmune response. They had Celiac symptoms—along with brain fog, headache, fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns, and mood swings.

Wheat Worry

Celiac patients in the study showed intestinal damage but did not show blood markers for the complete body system autoimmune response. The NCWG group, however, showed systemic immune activation. This leads to inflammation, which if chronic, could link to arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

The research team encourages further funding and studies on this topic. A significant number of people have daily symptoms of bloating, intestinal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, etc. This experience has an actual biological basis that may now be more closely identified.

If you think you might have a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, remove it from your diet for a trial period. Two weeks time can be a good biomarker. There are thousands of delicious gluten-free recipes. If your symptoms subside or disappear, then you’ve found the culprit. If, however, your symptoms continue after abstaining from wheat or gluten, you may want to see your doctor to explore other causes.