Foods that reduce and promote inflammation....

Certain foods reduce inflammation, while others raise it. What to eat, what to avoid

Inflammation, normally part of a healthy immune response, is increasingly thought to play a leading role in encouraging a number of major killers, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's. Dangerous chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system stays turned on and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues-triggering, say, cancer-causing genetic mutations or the bursting of artery plaque. What you eat, though, helps determine how much inflammation you produce. Certain foods promote it, while others are inflammation-fighting superstars, says nutritionist and family physician Ann Kulze, author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet. Some recommendations:

GO FOR ...

Omega-3 fats. These are among the most potent anti-inflammatory foods. Best sources: fatty fish like salmon and tuna; walnuts and other nuts; flaxseed; and canola oil.

Colorful produce. Red onions, tomatoes, broccoli, red grapes, berries, and oranges all are packed with chemicals called flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

Herbs and spices. Ginger and turmeric, either dried or fresh, are among the most healthful spices. For herbs, sprinkle on some fresh rosemary.

Chocolate and wine. Red wine has anti-inflammatory chemicals like resveratrol. Dark chocolate-look for 70 percent or higher cacao-protects against inflammation, and research suggests that hot cocoa does too.


Omega-6 fats. They trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. Oils rich in omega-6 fats include corn, safflower, and vegetable oils; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings.

Trans fats. They're disappearing from packaged foods as more and more research shows they drive inflammation. And now they're on nutrition labels, so they're easier to avoid.

Rancid fats. Don't heat oil to the point that it's smoking, since that oxidizes fats and turns them into inflammation boosters. Also, avoid old peanut butter and that chocolate bar stashed away for years in your pantry.

White starches. Flour, sugar, white rice, and instant mashed potatoes, for example, all cause quick spikes in blood sugar levels, causing the production of advanced glycation end products that spur inflammation.

Animal fats. Foods high in this fat-egg yolks, red meat, poultry skin, whole-milk dairy products-also contain high amounts of arachidonic acid, a molecule used by the body to create inflammation.

Excess alcohol. Avoid drinking more than one or two alcoholic beverages a day; too much alcohol can cause changes in the intestinal lining, allowing bacteria to pass through into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation


Just for Fun - A song about bananas....

The Muppet Show. Harry Belafonte - Day-O (Banana Boat Song)
Fozzie interrupts Harry's first rendition of Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) on TV, bringing in a pig chorus and trying to get bananas from Beauregard, who brings him onions, pineapples and eggplants instead. The number dissolves into chaos.


Ummmmm, cherries!

A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation and cholesterol-all risk factors associated with heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese, in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle, is a major risk factor for heart disease. As nearly two out of three Americans are overweight, emerging studies like this are important in examining the role diet may play in disease management and prevention.

While there’s no established guideline yet on how many cherries it takes to reap the benefits, experts suggest that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the health benefits identified in the research. Single serving size examples include:
• 1/2 cup dried
• 1 cup frozen
• 1 cup juice
• 1 ounce (or 2 Tbsp) juice concentrate

Cherries – available year-round as dried, frozen and juice – are “America’s Super Fruit,” a homegrown and colorful way to reap the health-promoting properties of antioxidants. Health and nutrition experts say to look no further than fruits grown on American soil for health and wellness benefits – and tart cherries are a great alternative to exotic berries grown in faraway rainforests.

A growing body of science links cherries’ red color, provided by the fruit’s powerful antioxidants – called anthocyanins – to heart-health benefits related to reducing inflammation, total cholesterol, and belly fat. With more than 80 million Americans living with some form of heart disease, the heart-healthy qualities of eating red have more relevance than ever. Even more good news: research also suggests the red compounds in cherries may help ease the pain of arthritis and gout.

And, because cherries are such a versatile fruit that can be sourced in the U.S. year-round, it’s easy to enjoy cherries in a wide range of sweet and savory dishes.


Chebe Bread - Gluten Free

Naturally Gluten Free
Chebe® Bread (pronounced chee-bee) is a unique bread product based on the Brazilian "pao de queijo" (Brazilian cheese bread) and it is now available in the United States! It is delicious, quick and easy to prepare, and it is gluten free, wheat free, and yeast free!

Our line of Chebe products includes gluten free, oven-ready frozen dough and gluten free bread mixes. And all of our products are corn free, peanut free and tree nut free, soy free, potato free, and rice free. Five of our gluten free bread mixes are also lactose free and casein free. Chebe is a 100% Gluten Free Manufacturer with a dedicated gluten free facility.


Red dye from bugs....

Did you know that the food colorants cochineal and carmine are made from dead bugs? Myself, I'm allergic to that red dye, and also red dye #40. Read more about this at Snopes:

Basil "cigars"

To preserve basil from a bumper crop, wash and dry the leaves and then roll them into a cylinder. Use unflavored dental floss to tie the bundle; freeze it in a sealable plastic bag. When fresh basil is needed for salads, soups, or pastas, cut off the dental floss and slice from the end of the "cigar".

Pesto for Pasta

A simple way to preserve herbs such as basil, oregeno or summer savory is to make a pesto and freeze it. Process your favorite herb with garlic and olive coil in a food processor and then freeze the mixture in spice jars. When you are ready for a pesto, process two or three tablespoons of the frozen herb mixture with toasted pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a food processor. Add some of the water from simmering pasta and you will have a quick pesto sauce that enhances any pasta dish. By adding the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese at preparation time, you achieve a fresher pesto taste.

Potato skin myth

The notion that most of the potato's nutrients are found in the skin is legend. The skin does contain about 1/2 of a potato's FIBER, but more than half of the nutrients lie within the potato itself.


Soy and hypothyroidism

Type A, Thyroid And Soy

March 17th, 2004 , by Peter D'Adamo

QUESTION: I am A and hypothyroid. You state soy is excellent for A's but, from my researching and reading, most sources state that hypothyroid should avoid soy. Any suggestions as how to get protein and vitamins without using soy?

ANSWER: In a recent response to many of the off-handed accusations about the effects of soy on the thyroid Clare Hasler, Ph.D., one of the world's experts on soy and human nutrition had the following to say:

"There is no convincing evidence that soy protein has an adverse effect on thyroid function, particularly at the moderate level of consumption (25 grams) that would occur due to the approval of a health claim for coronary heart disease.

There is evidence that animals exposed to large amounts of soy protein (e.g., 40%) will develop goiter, particularly when fed an iodine deficient diet (Kimura et al., 1976; Filisetti and Lajolo, 1981). The mechanism for this effect can be explained by the fact that the principal isoflavones in soy, genistein and daidzein, have been shown to inhibit thyroid peroxidase (Divi et al., 1997) and 5'-deiodinase (Cody et al., 1989), key enzymes involved in thyroid hormone biosynthesis. The inhibition of these enzymes results in decreased levels of circulating thyroid hormones (e.g., T4 and T3) which leads to increased secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) by the anterior pituitary. The increased levels of TSH provides a growth stimulus to the thyroid, resulting in goiter. It must be emphasized, however, that this occurs only with large amounts of soy isoflavones in the diet and/or when the diet is low in iodine. Furthermor, soy isoflavones are not the only dietary flavonoids that can inhibit thyroid peroxidase. A variety of other flavonoids have also been shown to be even more potent in inhibiting the activity of this enzyme, including kaempferol, naringenin, and quercetin (Divi and Doerge, 1996) . Such flavonoids are widely distributed in plant-derived foods and would be consumed daily at relatively high levels (possibly up to 1 gram or more per day) by vegetarians or semi-vegetarians, yet such individuals do not have a significant increased incidence of goiter. Goiter has also been reported in infants where soy has served as the sole source of food (Hydovitz, 1960). However, this situation is hardly comparable to adults consuming soy protein in moderate amounts as a means to lower total or LDL cholesterol levels.

In sum, soy products have been consumed as a dietary staple in Asian countries for hundreds of years with no significant occurrence of goiter in that population. Goiter is primarily due to a deficiency of dietary iodine, not the consumption of moderate amounts of soy protein incorporated into a nutritionally sound diet. That goiter would result in adults consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day in response to an approved health claim for coronary heart disease is ludicrous."

In essence, it you don't consume 40% of your body weight in soy protein daily, you've not got much to worry about.


Eat right 4 your blood type

Dr. Peter D'Adamo is the best selling author of his books on the relationship of diet and blood type. I am AMAZED at the information he conveys about our bodies and the interactions of food!

Go to his site and read about this - you may see yourself and your health problems here.

Wow - I'm A+, and this exactly describes me!

Type A Diet

"When we discuss 'diet,' we are not talking necessarily about a weight loss plan, that's a side benefit to following this plan. We are actually discussing diet in the more traditional sense, meaning a way to eat," explains, Dr. D'Adamo.

Type As flourish on a vegetarian diet - if you are accustomed to eating meat, you will lose weight and have more energy once you eliminate the toxic foods from your diet. Many people find it difficult to move away from the typical meat and potato fare to soy proteins, grains and vegetables. But it is particularly important for sensitive Type As to eat their foods in as natural a state as possible: pure, fresh and organic. "I can't emphasize enough how this critical dietary adjustment can be to the sensitive immune system of Type A. With this diet you can supercharge your immune system and potentially short circuit the development of life threatening diseases."

Handling Stress

In this busy, ever changing world, it's almost impossible to avoid every day stress. Type As have a naturally high level of the stress hormone cortisol and produce more in response to stressful situations. Cortisol is released in 24-hour patterns, typically in the early morning between six and eight A.M. with a gradual decrease during the day. It helps to cue the body's other cyclical rhythms.

Due to the naturally elevated cortisol in type As, additional stress often manifests in several ways; disrupted sleep patterns, daytime brain fog, increased blood viscosity (thickening), and promotes muscle loss and fat gain. In extreme cases in Type As, stress can manifest in more serious ways, causing obsessive-compulsive disorder, insulin resistance and hypothyroidism.

To help balance cortisol levels, Dr. D'Adamo recommends that you limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Don't skip meals, especially breakfast; eating smaller, more frequent meals will also help to stabilize blood sugar levels. He also points out that the following factors are known to increase cortisol levels and increase mental exhaustion for Type As - be aware and limit your exposure when possible:
  • Crowds of people
  • Loud noise
  • Negative emotions
  • Smoking
  • Strong smells or perfumes
  • Too much sugar and starch
  • Overwork
  • Violent TV and movies
  • Lack of sleep
  • Extreme weather conditions (hot or cold)

Raw almonds

Did you know that raw almonds are alkalizing (that's GOOD for you) and are easier to digest than other nuts?

Liver detox meal

For a meal that detoxes the liver and helps you to lose weight:

The plate should consist of vegetables, beans and eggs.

That's about what I'm eating now, since I'm on a no meat/no dairy diet to ward off inflammation/cancer.

More on this later......

Nuts and Seeds - use with vegs and protein

I came across an interesting tidbit:

It seems that nuts and seeds should not be eaten with grains or sugar because they work better, nutritionally, in a low glycemic environment. They can, however, be eaten with vegetables and protein.

Good to know.... I'll explore this concept further and report back.


125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods in America

You've heard of the "Eat This, Not That!" book? Here is their site, filled with more food wisdom than I can exhibit here in a single post. So, go there and make note of which brands to look for in the future. The one thing that isn't mentioned, however, is where to find these wonderful products.

Check out the 125 Healthiest Supermarket Foods in America.


Saute'd plaintains are healthy and delicious

Plantain Nutrition Facts
1 cup slices, 154 g

Calories: 179
fat: 0 g
protein: 1 g
carbs: 48 g
fiber: 4 g
potassium: 20% RDA
vitamin C: 28% RDA
vitamin A: 28% RDA
vitamin B6: 18% RDA
Magnesium: 12% RDA
Folate: 12% RDA

Plantains are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and A. They are also high in vitamin B6, magnesium and folate. One cup of plantains contains more potassium that one cup of banana slices. 20% RDA in plantains compared to 15% RDA in bananas.


Flaxseed - don't eat with your meds/vitamins

Flaxseed fiber can absorb some medications and decrease their effectiveness. It is best not to take flaxseed within 2 hours of taking other medications.
The following medicines in particular may be affected:
• salicylates (like aspirin, choline salicylate, or magnesium salicylate)

Flaxseed - To keep you regular

FLAXSEED acts as a bulk-forming laxative for treating constipation. The seeds, flax meal, or powders absorb water in the stomach and intestine, increasing the bulk and movement of the stool. Flaxseed is available without prescription as a dietary supplement. It is found in many forms including cracked or whole flaxseeds, flax meal, flaxseed oil, or flaxseed powder.

More recently, flaxseed has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from digestive disorders. It is now recommended as an "effective herbal agent" for treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Flaxseed meal - 2 Tbl a day!

Flaxseed is the seed of a plant call flax (or Linseed). Flaxseed had been use for used to produce flaxseed oil. However, until recent years, no one knows the real benefit of the flaxseed. Recent study shown flaxseed meal may be one of the most powerful natural cholesterol controllers. It also contains high volume of fiber and omega -3 fats.

A serving size of 2 teaspoon contain 4 gram of fiber. 4 gram of fiber equals to 15% of suggested daily value of fiber intake. About 66% of flaxseed‘s fiber is insoluble. Insoluble fiber can help you digest better and create bulks that help prevent constipation. If you take flaxseed regularly, you might reduce your risk of colon cancer. The other 33% are soluble fiber that can lower your cholesterol and control your blood sugar level

The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed are same as the omega-3 fatty acids that can found in fish like salmon or tuna. Omega 3 oil is good fat that can help prevent heart disease and lower your cholesterol. It also slightly lower your blood pressure. It can also serve as a anti-inflammatory agent. It can help reduce joint pain and reduce inflammation. One reason why the omega 3 fatty acids found in flaxseed is better than those found in fish is that fish oil might lead to heavy metal poisoning.

While the cancer-inhibiting effects of flaxseed have not been thoroughly studied in people, some practitioners of alternative medicine are already recommending the herb as a potential anticancer agent. Prominent herbalists maintain that the lignans found in flaxseed may help to control cancer of the breast or uterus. Some also recommend the herb for the prevention and treatment of endometriosis.

The other nutrition that can be found in flaxseed includes calcium, protein, B vitamins, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin E, and zinc. Flaxseed is low in carbs, two teaspoon will brings you 4 g, which is less than 1% of daily value. Flaxseed might help in cure cancer, weight lost and diabetes.

Most of the flaxseed meal sold in the market is already grounded. However, it is better to buy whole flaxseed and ground it right before you need. You body cannot digest ungrounded flaxseed so it is necessary to break it down. You can easily ground flaxseed with Coffee Grinder or blender. Grounded flaxseed might lose its nutrition and anti-oxidants during storage. If you have to buy grounded flaxseed meal, remember to put it in the refrigerator after open to reserve freshness.

Flaxseed has a nutty flavor so it can easily used in many different recipe. You can simply add it in cold or hot cereal, pancakes and waffles. You can even put it in your ice cream, yogurt or protein shake without changing the taste. You can even sprinkle it on your salad or add it to your soup. Since it is grounded, it is almost invisible to children. Since flaxseed is so easy to use in everyday meal, there is no excuse for not add this healthy food into you diet.


Plantain on the menu tonight

I cooked plantain banana tonight and it was soooo good! My daughter raved about it and wants it again. Plantain will replace the potato in my diet because potato is inflammatory, while the plantain is not. Have you tried it? You will be surprised at how easy it is to cook. Just slice and saute with a little olive oil. The plate, above, has plantain, turnip greens with onion and garlic, slices of red onion, peas and carrots and baked salmon with garlic and pepper. The fruit bowl has fresh, organic peaches and seedless grapes from the USA. I'm stuffed!!

Nutritional value of Plantain

The fruit is extremely low in fat, high in dietary fiber and starch. It is very low in cholesterol and salt too.

It is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C which helps maintain vision, good skin, and build immunity against diseases. It is also rich in potassium, magnesium and phosphate.

When cooked green, is very good for diabetics, as it contains complex carbohydrate that is very slowly released.

A diet of green plantain is filling, and can be a good inclusion in a weight loss diet plan.


I can’t say enough good things about eggs. They’re nature’s most perfect food. Egss are plentiful, inexpensive, easy to prepare in a zillion ways, and loaded with vitamins. They’re also one of the best sources of protein on the planet. They’re a great source of choline (300 mcg, all in the yolk) which is an essential nutrient for cardiovasuclar and brain function and for the health of your cell membranes. It also helps lower homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. Choline is an essential part of a phospholipid called phosphotidylcholine, which, without adequate amounts, both fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver. Have you picked up on the paradox yet? People avoid egg yolks because they’re afraid of the cholesterol, but the choline in the egg yolk actually helps prevent the accumulation of cholesterol and fat in the liver! So, do me a favor. Stop with the egg whites already. Listen carefully: The egg yolk is good for you! Eggs are also “eye” food, as they contain lutein and zeaxanthan, two of the new superstar nutrients when it comes to eye health. And finally, eggs may protect against breast cancer.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


This is truly an amazing food, and yes, it’s technically a fruit. Sure, they’re high in fat, but the fat is largely monounsaturated fat which actually lowers cholesterol. Avocados are also high in beta-sistosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol and is also highly protective of the prostate. They also contain lutein, a valuable member of the carotenoid family that is a natural antioxidant and helps your eyes stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin. Avocados have tons of heart-healthy fat, a bunch of fiber, and next to zero effect on blood sugar. Plus they’re filling and delicious and great on salads.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Relatively low in calories, cherries are loaded with anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anticancer compounds that don’t show up on your average nutrition facts label. The cancer-fighting agents in cherries include a flavonoid called quercetin as well as ellagic acid and perillyl alcohol. The secret to the benefits of cherry juice are compounds called anthocyanins, which are the pigments that give cherries their bright red color and are also believed to be the key to helping the body relieve inflammation. As an added bonus, these same anthocyanins may significantly reduce your risk for colon cancer, the third leading cancer in America. Unfortunately cherries found themselves on the Environmental Working Group’s 2003 list of 12 foods most contaminated with pesticides so it’s wise to seek out the organic ones. Hint: They’re unbelievably delicious frozen, with a little fresh yogurt mixed in. It’s a natural “Cherry Garcia”.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Low in calories (44 per cup), high in fiber, and low in sugar. Studies show that the ruby red berries have some of the most potent antioxidants of any common fruits studied. They possess anticancer properties, inhibit the growth of common foodborne pathogens, and contain antibacterial properties to aid in the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is accomplished by preventing bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. More recently it has been discovered that the same properties help reduce bacterial adhesions to teeth, thus reducing the formation of dental plaque. Recent studies have also revealed that compounds in cranberries stop certain disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the stomach lining, thus helping to prevent ulcers.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Blueberries have firmly established a reputation as a memory-protective food. They contain special compounds called polyphenols which actually help neurons in the brain communicate with one another more effectively. Blueberries also contain other compounds like anthocyanin that are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. And inflammation and oxidative stress are involved in virtually every major killer disease of aging: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention “run-of-the-mill” conditions of aging like arthritis. Studies show that blueberries also have anti-cancer activity.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil is very high in compounds called phenols, which are potent antioxidants. It is also mainly made up of monounsaturated fat, the most important of which is called oleic acid, shown in research to be extremely heart healthy. Olive oil may also help to decrease the risk of colon and bowel cancer. But all olive oil is not created equal. The stuff you want is made from organic olives that are picked by hand; the oil is separated without the use of heat, hot water, or solvents, and it is left unfiltered. The first pressing produces the best stuff, known as “extra virgin” olive oil. Once you begin machine harvesting and processing with heat, you start damaging the health-promoting, delicate compounds in olive oil. So make sure to seek the extra virgin stuff—it’s worth the extra money.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Wild Alaskan Salmon

Salmon is one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and one of the main reasons is that it’s chock full of omega 3s. These health-promoting fats have been found to be beneficial to heart health and brain health, as well as for inflammation, circulation, memory, thought, and blood sugar control. Salmon is not only a superb source of omega 3s, but it’s also a great source of high-quality protein.

It also contains more than half of the Daily Value for vitamin B12 and 30% of the Daily Value for niacin. It’s very important to know that wild and farmed salmon are two very different animals, and it is the wild version that you want to eat. Farm-raised salmon are packed like sardines at the salmon farms where disease can spread rapidly in these conditions.

For this reason, farmed fish receive tons of antibiotics, both in their feed and through injections. These farm-raised salmon are also fed grain, which is not their natural diet. As a result, the fat of farmed salmon contain a much higher proportion of inflammatory omega 6s, a fat that we already consume far too much of.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


It’s pretty much my favorite spice, not only for the almost encyclopedic list of health benefits, but also for the taste. It’s actually a member of the ginger family, and the plant’s healing properties reside in its fingerlike stalk. It is known for alleviating arthritis and joint inflammation, even carpal tunnel syndrome.

And then there’s cancer. There are at least 30 published studies indicating that the active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has an antitumor effect.

Curcumin also has a positive effect on cholesterol and has powerful antioxidant properties as well. Curcumin is a very liver-friendly food, making it something I like to recommend for people with various liver ailments, including hepatitis.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Oregano is rich in a host of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin A, and niacin, and also seems to be the herb with the highest antioxidant activity. The medicinal parts of this wondrous plant are contained in the oil extracted from the leaves, or from the herb itself picked during the flowering season and eaten fresh or dried. At this writing, the essential oil has been shown to inhibit the growth of at least ten different microbes, including candida (yeast). Not a bad list of accolades, including antifungal; antibacterial, antiparasitic; antimutagenic; anticarcinogenic properties.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Exciting research has been done on rosemary’s potential for inhibiting cancers such as breast, colon, and skin cancers; animal studies have confirmed that the oil is liver protective, antimutagenic,and tumor inhibiting. The oil is also mildly antibiotic and antiviral. Note: although perfectly safe in amounts normally consumed in foods, in medicinal dosages it should not be used during pregnancy due to concerns that it might have uterine- and menstrual flow-stimulant effects.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


Garlic is a global remedy. It’s one of the oldest medicinal foods on the planet. It is accepted even by conventional, traditional medicine as an agent for lowering cholesterol. It also helps lower triglycerides, reduces plaque, and prevents blood clots. Garlic also has anticancer properties and can even help fight the common cold. The key to the astonishing wide range of health benefits of garlic seems to lie in a compound called allicin, which is produced when garlic is crushed or damaged. Allicin starts to degrade after it’s produced, so the fresher the better. Garlic experts advise crushing a little raw garlic and combining it with the cooked food shortly before serving. Note: Microwaving appears to destroy it completely – sorry.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth


One of the most complete and nutritional foods on the planet. They’re rich with enzymes and vitamins and amino acids. And perhaps most important of all, sprouts like alfalfa, broccoli, clover, mung bean, and the like contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals that can have strong protective effects against disease, including cancer.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Dark Chocolate

Cocoa is loaded with compounds called flavonoids, which are also found in cranberries, apples, strawberries, onions, tea, and red wine, placing chocolate in excellent company. The particular class of flavonoids found in cocoa are called flavanols, and the flavanols in cocoa prevent fatlike substances in the bloodstream form clogging the arteries. When you reduce the blood’s ability to clot, you also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. An extra bonus, cocoa also contains magnesium, one of the most important minerals for heart health. Flavanols also modulate a compound in the body called nitric oxide, which is crucial for healthy blood flow and healthy blood pressure and is a very important compound in the area of cardiovascular health. But here’s the thing: This endorsement of chocolate comes with a very big qualification. We’re not talking about commercial chocolate bars or those chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered candy bars. The health benefits are found in real cocoa – in fact, that’s the stuff than makes cocoa kind of bitter. You’ll see the best of these bars with labels that say things like “60 percent cocoa” (70 percent or higher is even better, but much harder to find). Milk and white chocolate have virtually none of these health benefits. Note: Health benefits aside, chocolate is not for everyone. It seems to trigger addictive eating behavior in some people.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Heal

Onions are anti-inflammatory

Onions contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral. They are a great source of quercetin, one of my favorite anti-inflammatory compounds (and athletes need all the natural anti-inflammatories they can get). Quercetin can help relieve asthma and hay fever by blocking some of the inflammatory responses in the airways. Note: the strongest-tasting onions have superior properties.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Celery helps joints and connective tissue

Celery is a terrific food for appetite control and can be used at the end of a meal (or any time, actually) to stem carb cravings. It just might be the number-one medicinal food for blood pressure thanks to phytochemicals called pthalides, which work by relaxing the muscle tissue in artery walls and therefore increasing blood flow. Also, because of celery’s silicon content (a nutrient for bone health), it can help renew joints, bones, arteries, and all connective tissue.

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

Need a little citrus with our green tea

Did you know that most of the free-radical fighters in green tea never make it to your bloodstream? But there's a solution.

To get a better grasp on the healthy catechins in your green tea, flavor your cup with a squeeze of citrus juice.

Green Tea Booster
Catechins -- the antioxidants in green tea famous for lowering your risk of chronic disease -- quickly lose their power in your intestine. In fact, as much as 80% of the catechins in green tea are never absorbed. The solution to boosting absorption, researchers recently found, is as simple as flavoring your tea with freshly squeezed and strained lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit juice.

Taking Tea with C
The vitamin C in citrus may help with absorption by increasing the acidity in your small intestine. Other unidentified substances in the juice probably lend a hand, too. Researchers found a 50-50 mix had the greatest catechin-preserving effect, and lemon did it best, closely followed by orange, lime, and, in last place, grapefruit.

It's Not All Bad News
If you do take steps to boost the power of your green tea, you may even get a few added benefits.

  • It may help you lose weight. At least one study shows green tea can stimulate moderate weight loss.
  • It may help keep your knees young and strong -- catechins fight inflammation and arthritis.
  • It can help your skin look great if used in conjunction with an antioxidant cream. Dab it on.
  • It can help you stay sharp -- try 2 cups a day to see benefits.


Fresh vs. Frozen Vegetables

By Rachael Moeller Gorman, Eating Well

Are we giving up nutrition for convenience? The answer may surprise you. Americans typically eat only one-third of the recommended daily intake (three servings instead of nine) of fruits and vegetables, so if you’re in a bind, a vegetable in any form is better than no vegetable at all.

In winter, fresh produce is limited–or expensive–in much of the country, which forces many of us to turn to canned or frozen options. While canned vegetables tend to lose a lot of nutrients during the preservation process (notable exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin), frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when–as a general rule–they are most nutrient-packed.

While the first step of freezing vegetables–blanching them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzymes–causes some water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freeze locks the vegetables in a relatively nutrient-rich state.

On the other hand, fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to the fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine. In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and the B vitamin thiamin.

Bottom line: When vegetables are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe. “Off-season,” frozen vegetables will give you a high concentration of nutrients. Choose packages marked with a USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield, which designates produce of the best size, shape and color; vegetables of this standard also tend to be more nutrient-rich than the lower grades “U.S. No. 1″ or “U.S. No. 2.” Eat them soon after purchase: over many months, nutrients in frozen vegetables do inevitably degrade. Finally, steam rather than boil your produce to minimize the loss of water-soluble vitamins.


Nightshade family of vegatables - causes inflammation

I can no longer have any vegetables in the nightshade family because of their inflammatory qualities.
If you have joint problems, you may want to consider eliminating this group of food from your diet, also.
Nightshade Vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, pepinos, cape gooseberry, chinese lanterns, tomatillo, ground cherry, naranjilla, tree tomato, garden huckleberry. The Nightshade Family (Solanaceae) consists of approximately 85 genera and about 2000 species of upright or climbing herbs, bushes, or small trees that are distributed worldwide. One familiar non-food member is the tobacco plant. One thing that sets these plants apart is there alkaloid content. Alkaloids are harmful nitrogen compounds. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and bell peppers contain relatively large amounts of these neurotoxins.

How Does Nightshade Vegetable Affect Arthritis Patients?

Generally our body can mange the toxin levels present in fully ripe and sensibly selected vegetables. But arthritis patient’s body is already stressed and the toxin levels are high. Hence consumption of nightshade vegetables will add to the toxic level and stress. Therefore many arthritis patients complain about pain and inflammation in their joints after consuming nightshade vegetables. You can say this as co-incidence but the number of arthritis cases is more in the area where nightshades consumption is high.

Pineapple - more than a symbol of hospitality

Benefit and uses of Pineapple.

Bromelain and pineapples

Bromelain has been found to be a useful anti-inflammatory, effective in reducing swelling and assisting in the treatment of conditions such as acute sinusitis, sore throat, arthritis and gout. For increased effectiveness, pineapple should be eaten between meals without other food. This is because of another of bromelaid's properties, that as an aid to digestion. If eaten with other food, bromelaid's health benefits will be taken up in helping to digest the other food.

Pineapple is high in anti-oxidants

A very good source of vitamin C, pineapple offers your body an excellent protection against free-radicals, substances that attack healthy cells. A build up of free-radicals can lead to atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, an increase in asthma attacks and an increased risk of developing certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Free-radicals have also been shown to accentuate the problems associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin C, your body's most important water-soluble anti-oxidant has proven itself invaluable in fighting against and aiding treatment for these conditions.

Vitamin C is, of course, also an excellent cold and flu fighter due to its importance to the proper functioning of the immune system.

  • Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein. Pineapple is a good source of manganese, as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin B1.
  • One of the benefits of pineapple is that it helps to build healthy bones. Pineapples are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues.
  • The benefits of pineapple when you have a cold or cough are the same as the benefits of orange juice, but there is an additional benefit of pineapple. Bromelain, which is found in pineapples, has been found to help suppress coughs and loosen mucus.
High in vitamin C, the pineapple is considered to be a protective fruit. It is wonderful for constipation and poor digestion. The pineapple helps digest proteins, and can be used in elimination diets. It leaves an alkaline ash in the body. Pineapple is thought to have a certain amount of iodine because it grows near the ocean.

What to snack on?

Taken from:
Five good minutes in your body
by Jeffrey Brantley, MD and Wendy Millstine, NC -

Dieticians often recommend eating a few healthy snacks between meals to balance blood sugar levels and curb sugar cravings throughout the day.

Do you find it challenging to make healthy snack choices? Are you often surrounded by donuts, cookies, or boxes of chocolates in the lunchroom at work?

Here are some nutritious snack combinations that you can easily fix to take with you before you race out the door on an empty stomach, and fall prey to a world of "decadent" temptations:

* Fruit and nut combinations, such as pears and almonds or apples and walnuts or oranges and cashews or bananas and pecans

* Veggies and dip, such as carrots and hummus or celery and nut butter or cucumbers and bean dip

* Yogurt and a handful of homemade trailmix

* Hard-boiled eggs

* Cheese and whole grain crackers

What Foods should be Organic?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), Patricia Lowry
Published April 15, 2009

The last thing the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group wants to do is discourage people from eating fruits and vegetables. It just wants them to make smarter choices that minimize their exposure to pesticides.

Because pesticides have been shown to have carcinogenic and other adverse health effects in humans, the Environmental Protection Agency sets pesticide residue levels for fruits and vegetables. But the Environmental Working Group argues, in essence, that the EPA tolerance levels are too high, because not enough studies have been done to measure the effects of low-level and multiple pesticide exposure, especially on children and fetuses.

After analyzing results of 87,000 government tests conducted between 2000 and 2007, the Environmental Working Group developed a Dirty Dozen list of the most contaminated fruits and vegetables, which they recommend people should always buy organic. Shockingly, considering the results, almost all the studies used to create the list tested produce after it had been rinsed or peeled.

Seven of the Dirty Dozen are fruits: peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears and imported grapes.

Peaches and apples each had the most pesticides -- nine -- detected on a single sample, followed by strawberries and imported grapes, with eight pesticides found on a single sample. As a group, nectarines had the highest percentage of samples testing positive for pesticides (97.3 percent), followed by peaches (96.7 percent) and apples (94.1 percent).

Peaches also had the most pesticides overall, with 53 pesticides found in various combinations on the samples tested, followed by apples with 50 pesticides and strawberries with 38.

Among vegetables, sweet bell peppers, celery, kale, lettuce, and carrots are the highest pesticide carriers. Sweet bell peppers had the most pesticides on a single sample (11), followed by kale (10), then lettuce and celery (nine). Celery had the highest percentage of samples testing positive for pesticides (94.1 percent), followed by sweet bell peppers (81.5 percent) and carrots (82.3 percent). Celery also had the greatest likelihood of multiple pesticides on a single vegetable (79.8 percent of samples), followed by sweet bell peppers (62.2 percent) and kale (53.1 percent).

Sweet bell peppers also had the most pesticides overall, with 64 found in various combinations on the samples tested, followed by lettuce with 57 and carrots with 40.

Don't despair; there's also a Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to have pesticide residues. Among fruits, they are avocados, pineapples, mangoes, kiwi, papayas, watermelon and grapefruit. The vegetables least likely to have pesticides are onions, sweet corn, asparagus, sweet peas, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.

Dirty Dozen: Should buy organic:
1. Peach
2. Apple
3. Bell Pepper
4. Celery
5. Nectarine
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Lettuce
10. Grapes (if imported)
11. Carrot
12. Pear

Clean 15: Don't have to buy organic:
1. Onion
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Sweet Potato
15. Tomato