Thursday, January 29, 2009
Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that is vital to optimum health.
1. Helps protect cell membranes from damage by free radicals and prevents the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol
2. Is necessary for structural and functional maintenance of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle
3. Assists in the formation of new red blood cells and helps to maintain stores of vitamins A and K, iron, and selenium
4.May play a protective role against heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease
Vitamin E is found in nature as a complex of eight separate compounds (four tocopherols and four tocotrienols), all with important functions in the body. I recommend avoiding synthetic versions, and using products that contain the full complex.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I get asked by a lot of people about alcohol and it's affect on the body in terms of health and fitness. I have a saying, Everything in Moderation (including moderation, hehe). The same is applicable with alcohol. I know far too many of you, personally, that have had one too many hangovers and no, they're never pretty! (Nor does the night before ever seem as fun when the head is a throbbin'!) The hangover is actually caused by a toxin released by the candida (yeast) spores reacting in your gut (incubator). As you most know, alcohol is basically sugar, and it breaks down as such in the body. Sugar is fuel, or energy for yeast to feed on and grow, and thus causing all sorts of heath malaises in the body. Out of control yeast growth is rampant, and it's even compounded if you take anti-biotics and medications that wipe out your healthy flora and fauna in your gut.
Soooo. That aside. Can you still have a drink with some random person you picked up in the dark, back alley of a bar?... sure! But next time, go easy on the amount and do what I like to call "Smart Drinking" and go easy on the sugar!
My recommendation is:
1. NO FRUIT JUICE, the things it does to insulin and the sugar in it is crazy! Plus, most bar juice isnt juice..its sugar water concentrate with like maybe 5% juice added.. its poison and is perfect food for yeast to feed on!!
2. Don't Mix alcohols - Long Islands really AREN'T that good!! (and you'll be thanking me in the morning)
3. Stick to Soda!! By far the lowest sugar drink you could do is a high quailty vodka with plain soda water (not tonic). Throw in a lime or lemon wedge for some added flavor and your'e good to go. There's also some premium brands infused with blueberries and pomegranates so get yourself some anti-oxidants with that cocktail!
4. Go easy. Don't over do it. Have fun. And don't ever drive Drunk.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sesame Reduces Inflammation, Boosts Antioxidants
Sesamin, one of the lignans found in sesame seeds, has been reported to possess antioxidant effects and to scavenge reactive oxygen species.17 It apparently acts as an anti-inflammatory as well, reducing inflammation by increasing levels of dihomo-gamma linolenic acid, a precursor of anti-inflammatory prostaglandin E1. Sesame also decreases production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4 by inhibiting delta-5 desaturase enzyme activity.18 Studies in rats demonstrate that sesamin can lower serum lipids,19 while other animal studies suggest that sesamin may prevent hypertension.20
The tocopherols, the family of nutrients that includes vitamin E, are believed to play an important role in preventing some major diseases associated with aging, including heart disease and cancer. In humans, consumption of a moderate amount of sesame seeds has been found to significantly increase blood levels of gamma tocopherol,21 which appears to be an especially beneficial member of the vitamin E family. Animal studies likewise have demonstrated that intake of sesame seeds and sesame lignans, particularly sesamin, increases blood levels of gamma tocopherol.22 Sesame and its lignans appear to offer numerous benefits, including promoting healthy vitamin E levels, reducing inflammation, and promoting healthy blood lipids and blood pressure.
I love cooking with sesame oil! It provides amazing flavors and all the benefits you just read about! =)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Mushrooms are a big favorite of mine because they're delicious and often have medicinal properties. If you're not allergic and don't find them hard to digest, try these:
1.Cordyceps: A Chinese mushroom used traditionally as a tonic and restorative. You can add whole, dried cordyceps to soups and stews, or drink tea made from powdered cordyceps.
2.Maitake: This delicious mushroom provides anti-cancer, anti-viral and immune-enhancing properties, and may also reduce blood pressure and help regulate blood sugar. Find it dried or fresh in Japanese markets, gourmet stores or upscale supermarkets.
3.Reishi: Too woody and bitter to eat, reishi mushrooms are available in tea bags, capsules and liquid extracts. Animal studies have shown that reishi improves immune function and inhibits the growth of some malignant tumors. It also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
4.Shiitake: The shiitake has been found to have immune modulating, anti-viral and cholesterol-reducing properties. Certain extracts of shiitake mushrooms are used in Japan as adjunctive therapy to strengthen the immunity of cancer patients during chemotherapy and radiation. Find it - fresh or dried - in grocery stores and Asian markets.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
BROCCOLI and ARUGULA SOUP
This is a clean, basic approach to soup that showcases the vegetable. You can make this with nearly anything – including peas and basil, zucchini, carrots and ginger. In this case, broccoli is made a bit more dynamic with a handful of peppery arugula. When you’re detoxing and drinking lots of juices and smoothies, it’s a nice change to have something warm. This recipe makes enough soup for at least two portions, but it’s easier to make it once and eat it twice.
TIME: 15 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, roughly diced
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2/3 pound)
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup arugula (watercress would be good, too)
Heat the olive oil in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for just a minute or until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green. Add the water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender. Pour the soup into a blender and puree with the arugula until quite smooth. Be very careful when blending hot liquids; start slowly and work in batches if necessary (you don’t want the steam to blow the lid off). Serve the soup with a bit of fresh lemon.
recipe courtesy of Gwyneth Paltrow's www.goop.com
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I Must say, when I read about this, I knew my personal campaign for taking Resveratrol on a daily basis was validated!!
The January 1, 2009, issue of the American Association for Cancer Research journal Clinical Cancer Research published an article describing the discovery of Xianglin Shi, PhD and colleagues at the University of Kentucky of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in leukemia cells exposed to grape seed extract.
Grape seed extract has shown anticancer activity in studies using stomach, breast, colon, lung, skin and prostate cancer cell lines. "This is a natural compound that appears to have relatively important properties," noted Dr Shi, who is a professor at the University of Kentucky Graduate Center for Toxicology.
For the current research, the team administered varying concentrations of a commercially available grape seed extract to leukemia cell cultures. They found that higher doses of the extract resulted in 76 percent of the leukemia cells undergoing apoptosis within 24 hours following exposure, while healthy cells remained unharmed. Dr Shi's team determined that grape seed extract activates a protein known as JNK, which regulates apoptosis, leading to upregulation of Cip/p21, which controls the cell cycle. The scientists were able to confirm this mechanism through the use of a JNK inhibitor as well as by silencing the JNK gene, both of which rendered grape seed extract ineffective against the cancerous cells.
Very Good News Indeed! I do recommend drinking red wine for the resveratrol properties, but for a more potent and fuller effect, I have to say that a resveratrol supplement, such as the one offered by Life Extension, would be a more prudent approach. Seeing as one capsule is about equivalent to 100 glasses of wine, you can get the benefits and THEN some without being intoxicated at work all day. Really it's a win-win. =)