Posts Tagged ‘seeds’
Did you know that we’re supposed to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day? The average American eats only 15 grams per day. No wonder everyone is bloated, irregular, and at high risk for heart disease. Also, if you don’t poop, your body reabsorbs toxins it’s trying to flush out. One of the results- Colon cancer is now the third leading type of cancer related deaths in the US.
Keep in mind that that fiber is found only in plant foods and never in animal products. No wonder those who consume the Standard American Diet (SAD) are clogged up. We’re supposed to go three times a day. I can tell you most of my patients are lucky, if they go #2 once a day. I’ve seen some cases of once every ten days!
Health Benefits of Fiber
• Prevents colon cancer, constipation, colitis, hemorrhoids, gallstones, and varicose veins.
• Lowers cholesterol and helps prevent and manage diabetes.
• Slows the absorption of food. Thus, reducing blood glucose levels and increasing weight loss.
• Removes heavy metals and toxins and reduces the side effects of radiation.
Sources of Fiber
Fruits and vegetables- 1 medium size, unless otherwise noted.
Apple with skin 3.0 g
Banana 2.0 g
Pear with skin 4.5 g
Orange 2.0 g
Prunes 3.0 g
½ cup Brussels sprouts 4.5 g
1 large Carrot 2.9 g
½ cup Broccoli 1.5 g
Potato with skin 4.0 g
1/ 2 cup Corn 1.5 g
Beets 1.85 g
All half cup for legumes, grains, nuts and seeds
Barley 4.0 g
Black beans 5.5 g
Brown rice 1.5 g
Garbanzo beans 6.0 g
Green peas 6.9 g
Hemp seeds 16.8 g per serving
Kidney beans 6.5 g
Lentils 4.5 g
Lima beans 6.5 g
Oats 3.0 g
Pinto beans 5.9 g
As you increase your fiber intake, pay attention to your use of medications and certain minerals- calcium, iron, and zinc. You may need to adjust your medications, especially insulin. If you take a fiber supplement, never take your medications or supplements at the same time.
Your body could take a little while to adjust to getting the fiber it needs. So you might be a bit gassy at first. This will pass. Drinking plenty of water and chewing on fennel seed will reduce the toots.
See how important it is to get enough fiber? And how easy it is? Stock up on hummus, carrot sticks, and split pea soup, and you’ll be good to go. No pun intended.
Live natural. Live well.
Another question I get asked a lot: “Don’t you need milk for calcium?” The answer is a big “NO.” On top of dairy not having much calcium compared to many plant foods (see below), a lot of people are allergic/lactose intolerant. This means they can’t access the calcium in dairy anyway and it can make them really sick. Dairy has also been linked to heart disease, prostate cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
The dairy industry paid almost $200 million in the US in 2011 on advertising. So that’s pretty much everyone believes you can only get enough calcium from eating dairy. Marketing. The guys at Mad Men would be proud.
A staggering statistic that also disproves this myth- On average, Americans eat the most dairy and have the highest rates of osteoporosis. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, we eat almost 300 pounds of dairy per year.
Besides not having the highest levels of calcium, eating a lot of dairy and animal protein makes your body acidic. To alkalize itself, the body leeches calcium from your bones.
Inuits have the highest dietary calcium intake of any other people in the world– above 2000 mg per day from fish bones. Their diet is also the highest in the world in protein- up to 400 g a day mostly from fish and have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the world. The Bantu of Africa consume an average of 350 mg of calcium a day and have almost no cases of osteoporosis.
Still don’t believe me? Look at these numbers.
In milligrams per 100 gram serving
Whole milk 118
Collard greens 203
Sesame seeds 1160
In milligrams per 8 oz (1 cup)
Soybean sprouts 50
Alfalfa sprouts 25
Corn meal 50
Carrot juice 57
Navy beans 140
Pinto beans 100
Lima beans 60
Black beans 60
Sunflower seeds 260
Recommended Daily Allowance
* 0-6 months 200 mg
* 6-12 months 260 mg
* 1-3 years 700 mg
* 4-8 years 1000 mg
* 9-18 years 1300 mg
* 19-50 years 1000 mg
* pregnant/lactating 1300 mg
* 51-70 years male 1000 mg
* 51-70 years female 1200 mg
* 70+ years 1200 mg
So as you can see, ‘Milk it does the body good” campaign just isn’t true. Do yourself a favor. Go to your local farmers market this weekend. Try some fresh, green veggies. Buy yourself a juicer and enjoy. Grab a handful of almonds. Eat some hummus. Your bones will thank you.
Live natural. Live well.
Note: Oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, rhubarb, chard, and beet greens binds with calcium and reduces its absorption. They should not be considered good sources of calcium.
It’s that time of year! Pumpkins everywhere. Not only are they are great decoration for Halloween, they’re great for you. One of my fondest childhood memories is carving up a pumpkin in anticipation of dressing up and all the sugar I was about to consume. Luckily, now I look forward to all the pumpkin I get to eat instead.
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
Pumpkin is naturally low in calories and rich in health-promoting nutrients, including:
* reduces bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease
* controls blood sugar levels
* promotes healthy digestion
* encourages weight loss
* Balances fluid levels
* promotes strong bones
* necessary for energy production
* maintains healthy blood pressure
Alpha-carotene & Beta-carotene
* improves vision & reduces risk of cataracts
* reverses sun damage to the skin & slows the aging process
* is an anti-inflammatory
* prevents tumor growth
* boosts the immune system
* protects against heart disease
* boosts immunity
* reduces high blood pressure and heart disease
* regulates cholesterol levels
* slows aging by protecting the skin from sun damage
* reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers
* promotes a strong immune system
* strengthens the bones
* supports heart function
Pantothenic acid/vitamin B5
* balances hormone levels
* manages stress levels
My favorite pumpkin dish is a really simple soup- Just cook some vegetable broth, 4-6 cups of pumpkin, onion, garlic, a little curry powder and a potato or two on simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk at the end. Puree in blender and serve. Delicious!
Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. The seeds protect against prostate cancer and prevent osteoporosis.
One way I love to eat pumpkin seeds is to slightly toast them, put them in a blender with silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and Bragg’s amino acids. This makes a great dip any time of year.
So this year, make it a new tradition to use the whole pumpkin and make healthier choices during the holiday season.
Live natural. Live well.
Did you know your brain is about 60% fat? That your hormones are made from fat? 60% of your heart’s energy comes from burning fats. Your lungs need fat to work and keep them from collapsing. Fats help you absorb certain nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
I know there’s all this confusing information out there about what’s healthy to eat and what isn’t. One myth out there is that fat is bad. Low fat and non-fat products became all the rage in the 90s, but not all fats are created equal.
Monounsaturated fats are the healthy kind. The best example is olive oil, but don’t cook with it. High temperatures change the chemical make up of olive oil, which can make it carcinogenic (cancer causing). For cooking, I’d recommend refined coconut, safflower and non-GMO canola oils.
Great sources for healthy fat: nuts, seeds, and avocado. I suggest adding flax or coconut oil, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds to your morning smoothie.
Signs that you might not be getting enough of the good stuff
* Lack of mental clarity upon awakening
* Weight gain
* Brittle Fingernails
* Poor Sleep
* Poor Memory
* Dry hair & skin
* Lack of Concentration
You might have heard of Omega 3, 6, and 9 Essential Fatty Acids, but aren’t really sure what they do. EFAs can reduce risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many other degenerative illnesses. Sources for Omega 3s: seaweeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, borage oil, and primrose oil. Yes, some fish are a great source of EFAs, but almost all fish have dangerously high levels of mercury in them. Fish get their omegas from eating seaweed. So why not eat the original, safer source instead?
Definitely stay away from trans fats/hydrogenated oils: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, repeatedly linked to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems. For the men reading this, trans fats also reduce sexual performance. They’re found in most processed foods, fast food, crackers, and cookies.
You should also minimize most saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream and meats. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut, palm and palm kernel. Coconut oil is actually really healthy and is the oil to use for cooking since it is far less likely to be damaged through heating.
I know a lot of you reading this are probably thinking, “I’m young, I don’t need to worry about this kind of stuff until I’m in my 40s or 50s.” I hate to break it to you, but that’s not really the case. More people are overweight and becoming diabetic at a younger age than ever before. I recently saw a patient who had his first heart attack at 35 years old. He grew up eating a typical American diet and rarely exercised since college. The hardening of his arteries started in his 20s. Once that damage is done, it’s really hard to heal. I don’t want to scare you. Hopefully, it will motivate you to make smarter food choices from now on.
So when you’re eating on the run, grab some walnuts instead of pizza. Your body and your brain will thank.
Live natural. Live well.