Nutrition Archives - New Malaysia News

How Plastics Can Affect Your Love Life
Most of the attention on phthalates, a group of hormone-disrupting chemicals found in PVC plastics, has been focused on fetal and child health, particularly regarding genital and behavioral development. Recent data have shown, for example, “incomplete virilization in infant boys” and reduced masculine play as they grow up, and for girls, an earlier onset of puberty. What about affecting hormonal function in adults? I explore this in my video Avoiding Adult Exposure to Phthalates. Men exposed to high levels of phthalate had lower testosterone levels, but that was for workers in a plastics plant. In the general population, the evidence is mixed. A study in Sweden of men in their 20s found no effect on testosterone, whereas a U.S. study on men in their 30s did find an effect, even at levels of exposure much lower than those of factory workers. When there’s conflicting evidence like this, ideally we’d put it to the test, but you can’t ethically expose people to phthalates so scientists have come up with convoluted methods like implanting the testicles from human fetuses into mice to keep them growing. We want to know about the effects on adult, not fetal, testicles, which had been harder to procure… until recently. “[C]onsent was obtained from all donors.” Now, I’ve heard of blood donors, but this is a whole other level. Researchers obtained donated testicles from prostate cancer patients who underwent castration to control their disease and, indeed, were able to get direct evidence that phthalates can inhibit testosterone production at the kinds of levels one sees in general population studies. What about breast cancer, the number-one cancer killer of young women? Women working in automotive plastics and food canning are at five times the odds of breast cancer, suggesting a link. In a petri dish, however, phthalates didn’t seem to accelerate breast cancer growth at the levels of exposure expected in the general population. More recently, though, phthalate exposure was found to boost breast cancer cell growth in vitro at the levels found circulating in the bodies of many women. Therefore, the maximum tolerable dose set by governments should be re-evaluated. How do you avoid the stuff? Well, when you think of plastic chemicals, you may think of water bottles, but they appear to play only a minor role. Most phthalates come from food. How do we know this? If you take people and have them stop eating for a few days, you get a significant drop in the amount of phthalates spilling into their urine. Fasting isn’t exactly sustainable, though. Thankfully, we can see similar drops from simply eating a plant-based diet for a few days, which gives us a clue as to where most phthalates are found. There were a few cases of spikes within the fasting period after showers, however, suggesting contamination in personal care products. We can counsel patients to reduce phthalate exposures by avoiding the use of scented personal care products, soaps, and cosmetics, since phthalates are used as a fragrance carrier. Phthalates can also be found in children’s toys, as well as adult toys. “On behalf of the Danish [Environmental Protection Agency] EPA, [the Danish Technological Institute] DTI has made inquiries about the consumption pattern in connection with the use of sex toys made of rubber or plastics” to see what kind of exposure one might get “based on worst case scenarios.” Those working behind the counters at sex shops “proved to possess very little knowledge of the materials,” so the researchers had to do their own testing. It turns out that “jelly” is plasticized PVC—up to two-thirds phthalates by weight. Though the use of water-based lubricants may reduce the health risks 100-fold, phthalate exposure through lubricants may still have the opposite of the intended effect. Women with the highest levels of phthalates flowing through their bodies “had over 2.5 times the odds of reporting a lack of interest in sexual activity,” and these weren’t women in a canning factory, rather they were at typical exposure levels in America. To find out how to lower your exposure to phthalates, see What Diet Best Lowers Phthalate Exposure? More on hormone-disrupting chemicals in our food supply in: Chicken Consumption and the Feminization of Male Genitalia Zeranol Use in Meat and Breast Cancer Obesity-Causing Pollutants in Food Alkylphenol Endocrine Disruptors and Allergies Dietary Sources of Alkylphenol Endocrine Disruptors Dietary Pollutants May Affect Testosterone Levels How to Avoid the Obesity-Related Plastic Chemical BPA Why BPA Hasn’t Been Banned Are the BPA-Free Alternatives Safe? BPA Plastic and Male Sexual Dysfunction Interested in learning more about improving sexual health? See: Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death 50 Shades of Greens Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction Best Food for Antidepressant-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction Best Foods to Improve Sexual Function In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos
If you love, Bahn Mi, you’ll love these Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos. We go to Asheville, North Carolina at least once a year to go hiking, eat the amazing food, and it’s a quick (and beautiful) drive from Nashville. When we’re there, we always make a stop at White Duck Taco. I typically order the same thing, including Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos which are so delicious — so much so that I had to attempt to make them at home so we could enjoy them anytime! The Slaw Honestly, this slaw is so good you could eat it as a salad. First up, an important part of Bahn Mi is the pickled vegetables (carrots and radishes) — they add a crunch with a slightly tangy and slightly sweet flavor that only pickles can give. To top it off, pun intended, is the slaw with thinly sliced red cabbage, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, a little drizzle of olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce. Toss to combine and you have a delicious cabbage slaw. Typically this recipe is served with a toasted baguette, but we’re using corn tortillas with this Bahn Mi Tofu Taco recipe. You could also make this entire recipe, sans tortillas, and put it on a bed of cooked quinoa, rice, or greens if you’re not into the taco. The Tofu I know, tofu isn’t sexy to many of you, but give this one a try! These Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos are a great introduction to this top plant-based protein you should try. If you’re not into tofu, you can make this recipe with any animal protein you enjoy or cooked lentils. The sauce in this recipe is delicious and can easily translate into any other protein you enjoy. The post Bahn Mi Tofu Tacos appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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Can Food Improve Your Mental Health?
Can food improve your mental health? From foods that support gut health to reduce anxiety, depression, and overall foods for mental health. With the holiday season, which can be one of the busiest and the most stressful times of year for most people. Learn the foods for mental health and the nutrients that play a key role in mental health. What Does Mental Health Mean? If you ask people what mental health means to them or how they would define it, it’s likely you will get a variety of answers. According to mentalhealth.gov, mental health is defined as “an emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.” According to WHO, mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (1) Fueling The Brain If you think of your body like a machine or a car, it’ll run best with premium fuel (i.e. nutrient-dense food). The brain like our other organs, requires enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (that protect from oxidative stress). A diet rich in refined sugars or a general lack of nutrients can create a less favorable environment for stable moods and general mental health, not to mention a diet that lacks proper nutrition can cause inflammation and impair overall brain function. The ~ Good Mood Food ~ Checklist Foods for mental health are items you probably already have in your kitchen! Caffeine Coffee, the main source of caffeine we consume, has many health benefits. But with people who have anxiety or depression, caffeine in excess may make those symptoms or feelings worse, depending on your unique metabolism of caffeine. Caffeine from coffee is a stimulant and great for post-workout for some individuals, but on the other hand, if you suffer from anxiety or are living with high stress, coffee isn’t for you. On the flip side, caffeine has also been shown to help decrease depression and symptoms of anxiety, although those studied were probably “fast metabolizers” and not your average person. If you struggle with depression or tend towards anxiety, try cutting down on coffee and see if you notice a difference in the way you feel. (2) Whole grains Whether these are gluten-free grains or whole grains, both are great sources of carbohydrates, which our body breaks down into glucose. Glucose is the primary energy source of the brain — i.e. the brain loves to thrive on glucose and uses it up quickly for all the processes it’s responsible for! Not all carbohydrates are creating equal, try to consume more whole grains or whole food carbohydrates which are better sources of fiber and nutrients. The fiber in whole grain carbohydrates will reduce the blood sugar spikes in comparison to simple sugars like the ones found in processed sweets, sugary beverages, and candies. Whole grains are also good sources of a variety of nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron, and more. Healthy fat A study on the Mediterranean diet, which is a diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, grains, fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, with a fish oil supplement, led to a decrease in depression of the study participants which was maintained six months after the study. (3) This was also the case in the participants in the SMILES trial, which showed after 12 weeks of eating a Mediterranean diet, clinically depressed people had a reduction in depression. (4) Dark leafy greens Vegetables including dark leafy greens are great foods for mental health because they’re rich in antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Including vitamin K, C, A, beta-carotene, calcium, B vitamins, potassium, and much more. Recipes Easily the Best Egg Salad Feel Amazing Raw-nola Stuffed Tempeh Peppers  Bean Salad Oatmeal, Three Ways Gut Health and Mental Health From the gut-brain connection, vagus nerve, and key hormone production like serotonin that happens in the digestive tract, it’s no wonder paying close attention to gut health is key. The gut-brain connection The gut-brain axis (GBA) is a two-way street of communication between the central nervous system (CNS) and the enteric nervous system (ENS), linking the emotional and mental centers of the brain that affect our digestive system and intestinal functions. The gut-brain axis makes up two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal tract. The cells run all the way from your esophagus to your rectum via the vagus nerve. (5) These microbes help direct the traffic flow along the connection between our gut and our brain. This direct connection, known as “the gut-brain connection”, makes up two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells that line your gastrointestinal tract. The cells run all the way from your esophagus to your rectum via the vagus nerve. Emerging research continues to show us how the gut directly influences human physiology, metabolism, and immune function. Changing the gut flora could directly affect anxiety and cognition. (6) This is just another reason we should be consuming a diet rich in whole foods, which include fiber and the “food” or prebiotics for the good bacteria in our digestive system. Serotonin Serotonin plays many roles in our body, especially in stabilizing moods, sleep, appetite, and digestion. Remember the relationship between tryptophan and serotonin? 90% of the important brain neurotransmitter serotonin, that can affect mood, digestion, and health is produced in the gut. C [...]
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Concerns About Bone Broth
There are toxicological issues associated with production and processing of meat, such as the presence of various toxic contaminants—from dioxins and PCBs to cooked meat carcinogens. Carcinogenesis, the development of cancer, may be the main concern, but there are a number of other toxic responses connected with the consumption of meat products. Lead, for example, can be toxic to the nerves, gastrointestinal tract, bone marrow, and kidneys. Where is lead found in the food supply? In general terms, the highest levels of lead, as well as arsenic and mercury, are found in fish. Sardines have the most arsenic, but tuna may have sardines beat when it comes to mercury and lead. The problem is that “fish-consumption advisories related to human health protection do not consider the fish by-products fed to farmed animals,” like farmed fish. If some tilapia are fed tuna by-products, they could bioaccumulate heavy metals and pass them onto us when we eat them. Researchers found the highest levels in frozen sole fillets, averaging above the legal limit for lead. Lead exposure has been shown to have adverse effects on nearly every organ system in the body. Symptoms of chronic exposure range from memory loss and constipation to impotence and depression. These symptoms present after pretty hefty exposure, though. However, we now know that “[b]lood lead levels in the range currently considered acceptable are associated with increased prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia” (elevated levels of uric acid in the blood). According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, a blood lead level needs to be less than 25 micrograms per deciliter to be “non-elevated.” You’d assume that at values under 25, there’d be no relationship with health outcomes, but even throughout this “acceptable” range, lower lead means lower uric acid levels and lower gout risk. So, even blood lead levels 20 times below the acceptable level can be associated with increased prevalence of gout. “These data suggest that there is no such thing as a ‘safe’ level of exposure to lead.”  Once lead gets into the body, it tends to stay in the body. It builds up in the bones such that it may take 30 years just to get rid of half. The best strategy? Don’t get exposed in the first place. If lead builds up in bones, though, what about boiling bones for broth? As I discuss in my video Lead Contamination in Bone Broth, we know bones sequester lead, which can then leach from the bones. So, researchers suggested that “the bones of farmyard animals will sequester lead, some of which will then be released into broth during its preparation.” Who eats bone broth? Bone broth consumption is encouraged by many advocates of the paleo diet. Online, you can learn all about purported “benefits” of bone broth, but what they don’t tend to mention is the theoretical risk of lead contamination—or at least it was theoretical until now. Broth made from chicken bones was to have markedly high lead concentrations, up to a ten-fold increase in lead. Researchers concluded, “In view of the dangers of lead consumption to the human body, we recommend that doctors and nutritionists take the risk of lead contamination into consideration when advising patients about bone broth diets.” But what if you only use bones from organic, free-range chickens? They did use only bones from organic, free-range chickens. For more on the paleo diet, see: Paleopoo: What We Can Learn from Fossilized Feces Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument Other products contaminated with lead include Ayurvedic supplements, protein powders, wild animals shot with lead ammunition, dairy products, and tea from China: Get the Lead Out Heavy Metals in Protein Powder Supplements Filled Full of Lead California Children Are Contaminated Lead Contamination of Tea How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting? How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Breakfast, Whole Grains, Milk, Tofu? The Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure in Adults In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Bell Peppers to Help Ward Off Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder striking 1 percent of our older population and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. While we don’t really know what causes it, we do know that people with a smoking history only appear to have about half the risk. Of course, “[s]moking is hugely damaging to health; any benefit derived from a reduction in risk of Parkinson’s disease is outweighed by the increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease,” as well as lung disease, but this shouldn’t stop us from “evaluating tobacco components for possible neuroprotective effects.” Nicotine may fit the bill. If nicotine is the agent responsible for the neuroprotective effects, is there any way to get the benefit without the risks? That’s the topic of my video Peppers and Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks?. After all, where does nicotine come from? The tobacco plant. Any other plants have nicotine? Well, tobacco is a nightshade plant, so it’s in the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. And guess what? They all contain nicotine as well. That’s why you can’t tell if someone’s a smoker just by looking for the presence of nicotine in their toenail clippings, because non-smokers grow out some nicotine into their nails, as well. Nicotine is in our daily diet—but how much? The amount we average in our diet is hundreds of times less than we get from a single cigarette. So, though we’ve known for more than 15 years that there’s nicotine in ketchup, it was dismissed as insignificant. We then learned that even just one or two puffs of a cigarette could saturate half of our brain’s nicotine receptors, so it doesn’t take much. Then, we discovered that just exposure to second-hand smoke may lower the risk of Parkinson’s, and there’s not much nicotine in that. In fact, one would only be exposed to about three micrograms of nicotine working in a smoky restaurant, but that’s on the same order as what one might get eating the food at a non-smoking restaurant. So, the contribution of dietary nicotine intake from simply eating some healthy vegetables may be significant. Looking at nightshade consumption, in general, researchers may have found a lower risk compared to other vegetables, but different nightshades have different amounts of nicotine. They found none in eggplant, only a little in potatoes, some in tomatoes, but the most in bell peppers. When that was taken into account, a much stronger picture emerged. The researchers found that more peppers meant more protection. And, as we might expect, the effects of eating nicotine-containing foods were mainly evident in nonsmokers, as the nicotine from smoke would presumably blot out any dietary effect. This could explain why protective associations have been found for Parkinson’s and the consumption of tomatoes, potatoes, and a tomato- and pepper-rich Mediterranean diet. Might nightshade vegetables also help with treating Parkinson’s? Well, results from trials of nicotine gum and patches have been patchy. Perhaps nicotine only helps prevent it in the first place, or could it be that it isn’t the nicotine at all, but, instead, is some other phytochemical in tobacco and the pepper family? Researchers conclude that their findings will be need to be reproduced to help establish cause and effect before considering dietary interventions to prevent Parkinson’s disease, but when the dietary intervention is to eat more delicious, healthy dishes like stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, I don’t see the reason we have to wait. Benefits of smoking? See the tobacco industry gloat in my video Is Something in Tobacco Protective Against Parkinson’s Disease?. Bell peppers may actually be healthiest raw, as I discuss in Best Cooking Method. What about tomato products? Choose whole, crushed, or diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, purée, or paste. Why? See Inhibiting Platelet Activation with Tomato Seeds for the answer. You may be interested in my in-depth video series on the Mediterranean Diet: Why Was Heart Disease Rare in the Mediterranean? The Mediterranean Diet or a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet? PREDIMED: Does Eating Nuts Prevent Strokes? Which Parts of the Mediterranean Diet Extended Life? Do Flexitarians Live Longer? Improving on the Mediterranean Diet Mediterranean Diet and Atherosclerosis In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Cashew Butter and Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
If you’re looking for a holiday cookie to share, try these Cashew Butter and Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies. Growing up in Ohio, we always made peanut butter and thumbprint cookies, it was only a matter of time before a simplified these recipes and attempted to make them with a twist using cashew butter instead. Inspired by the classic peanut butter cookie made with 3 ingredients, egg, sugar, and peanut butter — and a thumbprint cookie. Except, these cookies use cashew butter for a little bit of different flavor, not as overpowering as peanut butter can be. In addition to the classic peanut butter cookie recipe, we use a little fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg to drive home the holiday flavor. In the center of this healthy thumbprint cookie, is a raspberry jam filling. You can certainly make the raspberry jam filling homemade, but if you’re looking for some convenience, use your favorite organic raspberry jam. If you’re not a fan of raspberry, swap it out for apricot, strawberry, blackberry, whatever your heart desires! By the way, if thumbprint cookies aren’t your jam, you can actually make these cookies as is without any filling and they’ll still be delicious. You can store these Cashew Butter and Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze them individually wrapped in parchment, for one month. The post Cashew Butter and Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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Does Smoking Really Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the landmark 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking, considered one of the great public health achievements of our time and the first of 30 other such reports from the Surgeon General on smoking. Internal tobacco industry memos, which you can see in my Is Something in Tobacco Protective Against Parkinson’s Disease? video, document their response. Major criticisms of the report include a “[c]avalier treatment of costs of smoking”: The Surgeon General argued that smoking costs the United States billions, but the tobacco industry noted that “smoking saves the country money by increasing the number of people dying soon after retirement,” so we don’t have to pay for Social Security, Medicare, and the like. In fact, the industry argued, if we were truly patriotic, maybe we should encourage smoking to help balance the budget! The tobacco industry also criticized the Surgeon General for a “[l]ack of balance regarding benefits of smoking,” asserting that “[o]ne has to search pretty hard to find any concession anywhere in the Report that smoking is not all bad.” This is something the tobacco industry liked to bring up when testifying before Congress, saying that health benefits include “the feeling of well-being, satisfaction, and happiness and everything else.” But beyond just all the happiness the Surgeon General was trying to extinguish, he failed to even mention that smokers appear protected against Parkinson’s disease. “Quite unexpectedly…[m]ore than 50 studies over the last half century consistently demonstrated reduced prevalence of Parkinson’s disease among smokers compared with never-smokers.” Now there are more than five dozen studies. But smokers are probably dying before they even have a chance to get Parkinson’s, so is that the explanation? No, that didn’t seem to be it. Researchers found a protective effect at all ages. Maybe it’s because smokers tend to be coffee drinkers, and we know coffee consumption alone appears protective. But, no. The protective effect of smoking remained even after carefully controlling for coffee intake. Well, maybe we inherit some propensity to not smoke and to get Parkinson’s. If only we could clone someone to have the same DNA. We can! They’re called identical twins. And still, the relationship remained, suggesting “a true biologic protective effect of cigarette smoking.” Not so fast. Maybe finding unusually low rates of Parkinson’s among smokers is an example of reverse causation. That is, maybe smoking doesn’t protect against Parkinson’s—maybe Parkinson’s protects against smoking. Could there be something about a Parkinson’s brain that makes it easier to quit? Or perhaps failure to develop a smoking habit in the first place is an early manifestation of the disease. To put that to the test, researchers studied children exposed to their parents’ smoke. If they grew up to have less Parkinson’s, that would confirm the protective link—and indeed they did. So, smoking really does seem to be protective against Parkinson’s disease, but who cares? How does that help us? “More than 20 million Americans have died as a result of smoking since the first Surgeon General’s report…” Even if we didn’t care about dying from lung cancer and emphysema, even if we only cared about our brain, we still wouldn’t smoke because smoking is a significant risk factor for having a stroke, as well. Is there a way we could get the benefits of smoking without the risks through our diet? I discuss this in my Peppers and Parkinson’s: The Benefits of Smoking Without the Risks? video. Other Parkinson’s videos include Preventing Parkinson’s Disease with Diet and Treating Parkinson’s Disease with Diet. Diet may play a role in other movement disorders. For example: Essential Tremor and Diet ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease): Fishing for Answers Diet and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Surprised about the potential benefits of coffee? See: Preventing Liver Cancer with Coffee? Coffee and Artery Function Coffee and Mortality In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Get Our 2019 Recipe Calendar
It’s Giving Tuesday Today is #GivingTuesday, kicking off the charitable season with a celebration of giving and philanthropy. To commemorate it this year, we’ve created a limited edition 2019 NutritionFacts.org Staff Recipe Calendar. If your annual wall calendar doesn’t specify when National Kale Day is (first Wednesday of October, duh) then you have the wrong calendar! This year’s recipes include Purple Sweet Potato Burgers (Kristina, Social Media Director), Almond Berry Crunch Bars (Steven, Global Volunteer Director), Curried Chickpea Wraps from my How Not to Die Cookbook, and more…directly from the kitchens of our staff members! The first 200 people to donate $100 or more to keep my 501c3 nonprofit NutritionFacts.org alive and thriving will get a calendar in time for the new year. Don’t wait—we ran out within a few days last year.   Gift Cards Available Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? How about the gift of science promotion with a DrGreger.org gift card (100% of proceeds go to NutritionFacts.org). Cards are available in three designs and come in denominations of $10, $25, $50, and $100. You can send them via e-mail or print them out and give them as a physical gift. Check them out here.   Federal Employee CFC Are you a federal worker? You can also show some love for evidence-based nutrition by giving to NutritionFacts.org through the CFC workplace giving program. Look for our designation number: 26461.       Get a Dr. Ornish Bookplate! My dear friend and colleague, Dean Ornish, has a new book coming out that’s available right now for preorder. His 40 years of revolutionary scientific research proving that comprehensive lifestyle changes can often reverse some of our deadliest diseases essentially launched the entire field of lifestyle medicine, now the most exciting movement in medicine today. He asked me how I got so many preorders for my books and I told him you just have to put yourself out there. And look, he took my advice! Be one of the first 2,500 people to preorder UnDo It! and you’ll receive your very own personalized bookplate signed by Dr. Dean Ornish and Anne Ornish. (Actually, one of the first 2,499 since I just ordered mine!)   New Look Coming Soon A brand new video experience is coming to NutritionFacts.org. In the next couple of weeks, we will be launching a stylin’ new video interface for enhanced viewing, an option for continuously playing videos, subtitle selection for our multilingual users, floating video player on scroll, and the all-new Theater Mode. I’m excited to see it myself!     Q&As Temporarily on Hold Every month for the last two years, I have done live Q&As on Facebook and YouTube. I love this opportunity to answer all your burning questions directly, but right now I’m in the final stretch of finishing my next tome and every minute counts. So I need to put the Q&As on hold until April, but once How Not to Diet is finally out (fingers crossed for December 2019!) I hope you’ll agree that it was worth it. Until I get back to it, you can dive into my past live chats right here on NutritionFacts.org. And remember I have an audio podcast to keep you company at http://nutritionfacts.org/audio.   This year, as every year, I give thanks to you and everyone who has supported me and my work to spread the power and hope of evidence-based nutrition, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
This post was in partnership with the New Chapter Inc. — we only partner with brands that are NS approved and all our opinions are authentic and remain our own. Is coffee part of your morning routine? Then try adding this non-dairy coffee creamer to the morning mix! This non-dairy coffee creamer can be made in bulk that will last longer than most store-bought coffee creamers. In addition, it’s made with whole food ingredient powders that are easy to find, easy to make and taste delicious without adding anything artificial. Store-bought vs. Homemade Standard store-bought coffee creamers are typically made with various thickeners, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors. While some of these ingredients are fine in small amounts, it’s not the best option for overall health for the long-term. Especially if you enjoy a daily cup of coffee with creamer. This non-dairy coffee creamer is so simple to make. It’s also a good source of healthy fats from the powdered coconut milk, rich in nutrients from both the Fermented Maca Booster Powder and rice bran soluble (i.e. tocotrienols), and tastes delicious with powdered vanilla. Tocos isn’t a must-have in this recipe. However, it does contribute to the mineral content along with the maca, and it helps create a creamy texture. What’s The Deal With Maca? We’ve talked about maca before (Superseed Nut Butter, Beautifying Black Bean Brownies, Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl), but what exactly is it? Maca (mah-cah) is an adaptogenic root vegetable (from the broccoli family) grown in Peru. The maca root is ground up into a fine powder that can be used in anything from this coffee creamer recipe to breakfast oatmeal, granola, cereals, desserts, smoothies, and baked goods. The powder can be easily mixed into anything you choose, and the best part is that you don’t need a large volume to get the desired taste or nutritional benefits. Upon serving you can add a little bit of a sweetener of your choice — I recommend a small amount of honey or maple syrup to taste. This homemade non-dairy coffee creamer is delicious and because it’s a powder, it stays fresh much longer than its liquid counterparts.   Ditch the artificial sweeteners, thickeners, and preservatives in store-bought coffee creamers and try this powdered non-dairy coffee creamer    Tweet The post Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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Should Plant-Based Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy?
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of DHA supplementation of pregnant and breastfeeding women failed to find any clear and consistent short- or long-term benefit for psychomotor, mental, visual, or physical development. Perhaps DHA supplementation during pregnancy has no effect because the body wisely protects the growth of the baby’s brain by drawing off of maternal stores of DHA, upregulating maternal DHA synthesis, and preferentially shuttling it to the fetus. But what if moms don’t start out with large maternal stores? In other words, maybe DHA failed to help women who were already getting enough, but perhaps women with very low intakes would benefit from DHA supplementation. My video Should Vegan Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy? explores the evidence available to date. It’s interesting to note that, by 1978, researchers already were suggesting a plant-based diet as the diet of choice in the treatment of our number-one killer, heart disease, but babies breastfed by vegan moms had significantly less DHA in their bloodstreams, presumably because the moms had significantly less DHA in their breast milk. The question is whether these differences are of any consequence. The growth and development of vegan and vegetarian born children are normal as long as they’re getting their B12, and “[t]here is no evidence that neural or intellectual functions are impaired.” In fact, the two studies we have on kids in vegetarian communities showed they had higher IQs, though that may be because their parents tended to be better educated. However, even though the kids seemed fine, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that there may be some “subtle differences…in visual or neural functioning.” It would be interesting to compare the function of babies getting vegan breast milk levels versus general population levels. In one of the studies I profile in my video, it shows that vegans hit a level of 14, vegetarians 30, and omnivores 37. Another study compared 0 to 32, 64, and 96, and, though 32 worked better than 0, more than 32 didn’t add anything. This could explain why the general population at 37 doesn’t benefit from additional DHA supplementation. But what about down at 14? Most studies at that level show no advantage over 0, though one study found a benefit supplementing at as low as 5, but that doesn’t help us. Just because babies breastfed by vegan moms have significantly lower DHA levels in the blood, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have lower levels in their brain, which is where it counts. What we need is a randomized, controlled trial in non-fish-eaters of DHA supplementation. Until then, it’s going to remain uncertain. So, what should pregnant and breastfeeding women who avoid fish do in the meanwhile? Low intake of DHA doesn’t “necessarily equate with fetal DHA inadequacy,” but new data suggest that some infants may not be getting enough and could benefit from their moms supplementing. Given this, I recommend pregnant and breastfeeding women on plant-based diets to follow the consensus guidelines to get about 200mg of preformed DHA from an uncontaminated source, like algae oil, which is probably the best combination for all women given the state of our world to minimize exposure to toxic pollutants such as dioxins, PCBs, and mercury.  To gain a better understanding of why algae oil is better than purified fish oil, I encourage you to watch my video Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Take DHA. I’ve discussed concerns about pollutants in seafood during pregnancy in a number of my videos: The Wrong Way to Detox Hair Testing for Mercury Before Considering Pregnancy Fish Intake Associated with Brain Shrinkage Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development How Long to Detox from Fish Before Pregnancy? Finally, for more on taking long-chain omega-3s to protect your heart, see:  Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil? Omega-3s and the Eskimo Fish Tale Should We Take EPA and DHA Omega-3 For Our Heart? In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Take DHA Supplements?
One of the reasons breastfed infants may have better cognitive and visual development is because human milk contains long-chain, polyunsaturated fatty acids like the omega-3 DHA, while most available infant formulas do not, based on data I discuss in my video Should Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Take DHA?. Infants given control formula without DHA didn’t do as well as those given DHA-fortified formula, and neither group did as well as the breastfed infants, who serve as the “gold standard.” This was enough to convince formula manufacturers to start adding DHA to their infant formula starting back in 2002. The question then became how much to add? Easy, right? Just add the amount that is naturally found in breast milk. However, the DHA level in breast milk is extremely variable depending on what the mom is eating. There are a number of healthy populations who don’t eat any seafood, for example, and they have much lower levels in their milk yet seem fine. So this makes it difficult to determine the optimal amount to add to formula or, for that matter, what to recommend for pregnant and breastfeeding women. “Consensus guidelines recommend that women should aim to consume an average of 200 mg” of DHA daily during pregnancy. “Simply encouraging pregnant women to eat more fish is not so simple, because most fish are to some extent contaminated” with toxic pollutants, such as mercury. (See my video Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development for more on this.) For most fish, such as tuna, the brain damage caused by the mercury would exceed the benefit from the DHA. Additionally, some pollutants, like PCBs, can get stuck in our bodies for decades, so it’s not enough to just eat clean during pregnancy. What about purified fish oil? The methods supplement manufacturers use, like distillation, leave considerable amounts of PCBs and other pollutants in the products, so much so that when taken as directed, salmon, herring, and tuna oils would exceed the tolerable daily intake of toxicity. Thankfully, one can get the benefits without the risks by getting DHA from algae instead, which is where the fish eventually get it from themselves. So, pregnant and breastfeeding moms can cut out the middle-fish and get DHA directly from the source—at the bottom of the food chain where we don’t have to worry about toxic pollutants. Until recently, we thought everyone should take these long-chain omega-3s for their heart. However, the balance of evidence is now such that doctors “should not recommend fish oil intake or fish consumption solely for the primary or secondary prevention of CHD,” coronary heart disease. But what about for expectant and breastfeeding mothers? What does the latest science show? Putting all the studies together, it turns out adding DHA to formula does not appear to help infant cognition after all, similar to other recent compilations of evidence that show “no significant benefit.” In fact, at least four meta-analyses, or systematic reviews, have reached a similar conclusion. These were based mostly on the standard series of measurements known as the Bayley Scales for Infant Development. If other tests were used, would there be different results? So far, no. Giving women DHA supplements during pregnancy did not appear to help with other outcomes, like attention span or working memory, either. Although there may be no significant benefit to infant cognition, what about other things like vision? Six trials have been done to date supplementing pregnant women. Four showed no effect, and the two trials that showed benefit had some problems. So, while we really don’t know at this point, if all the studies so far show either nothing or benefit, why not just take them to err on the side of caution? There may not be any demonstrable “clear and consistent” benefits, but there are new studies on this coming out all the time. If it’s harmless, maybe women should just take it to be on the safe side? The problem is that it may not be harmless in large doses. In a study in which women were given a whopping 800mg of DHA a day during pregnancy, infant “girls exposed to higher-dose DHA in utero [in the womb] had lower language scores and were more likely to have delayed language development than girls from the control group.” So, the “absence of clear positive effects and the possible presence of negative effects in the children raise the question whether DHA supplementation is justifiable…” But it was a really large dose, suggesting that there may be “an optimum DHA level below and above which DHA might be detrimental to the developing brain.” So, maybe too much is detrimental, but what about too little? I discuss that in Should Vegan Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy. Other videos on the concerns about the pollutants in the aquatic food chain include: Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development How Long to Detox from Fish Before Pregnancy? Fish and Diabetes Pollutants in Salmon and Our Own Fat Should We Take EPA and DHA Omega-3 for Our Heart? Fish Consumption and Suicide For more on fish oil, see: Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil? PCBs in Children’s Fish Oil Supplements Omega-3s and the Eskimo Fish Tale In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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Simple Green Salad
Meet the Simple Green Salad, because we all still need to eat our greens even on Thanksgiving. This time of year, it can be so easy to skip over the salads in favor for the sweet potato casserole or the mac and cheese but challenge yourself to get a good mix of all of those things you love, including a simple green salad. Additionally, it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough fiber for the day to keep your blood sugars balanced (with the possible influx of holiday food!), and to give your digestion the fiber and bulk it needs to stay regular, which can be a stressor for so many people who travel for the holidays. What’s So Nutritious About Greens? Greens are incredibly nutritious and an easy way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. When it comes to making a simple green salad, there’s really no “wrong” way to make them! You can use whatever dark leafy greens you like combined with seasonal fruit and this simple olive oil and vinegar dressing. Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin K, A, C, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus. In addition to the micronutrients, dark leafy greens are a great source of fiber, low in fat, and low in protein. The post Simple Green Salad appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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What Is Tryptophan?
What is tryptophan and does it really make you sleepy? Tryptophan is one of the most popular and well-recognized amino acids particularly around Thanksgiving time as people eat turkey — a whole food source rich in tryptophan. But, is tryptophan the contributing factor to feeling sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal or when eating turkey? What Is Tryptophan? Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means you need to consume it in order for your body to get enough for all the processes that utilize and depend on amino acids. Nonessential amino acids are those amino acids your body can produce, meaning they’re always available kind of like a well-stocked kitchen or pantry! Tryptophan comes in two forms, L-tryptophan and D-tryptophan, the differences between these versions is their molecule orientation. What Does Tryptophan Do? One of several important things to note about tryptophan is its involvement in hormone production such as melatonin, the neurotransmitter serotonin, and niacin (a B vitamin). Serotonin plays many roles in our body, especially in stabilizing moods, sleep, appetite, and digestion. So where does all the talk about sleepiness come into play when we talk about turkey at Thanksgiving? It’s most likely the hormone melatonin. Melatonin plays a role in sleep, more specifically our sleep-wake cycle. It’s made in the pineal gland (an endocrine gland in our brain), and it’s released depending on the time of day — increasing in the evening and decreasing in the morning. The health benefits of consuming enough tryptophan range from stabilizing mood, decreased anxiety and depression, improved sleep quality, Whole Food Sources Of Tryptophan Tryptophan can be found in everyday foods that you might already have stocked in your kitchen! Check out these whole food sources below that contain tryptophan per 100g: pumpkin seeds contain 576mg which is 206% RDI soybeans (soy foods) contains 575mg which is 205% RDI poultry (chicken and turkey) contains 404mg which is 144% RDI tuna contains 335mg which 120% RDI oats contain 335mg which is 120% RDI beans contain 115mg which is 41% RDI eggs contain 167mg which is 60% RDI Recipes that contain tryptophan: Easily the Best Egg Salad Feel Amazing Raw-nola Stuffed Tempeh Peppers  Bean Salad Oatmeal, Three Ways So, what if you don’t eat any of these food sources of tryptophan, can it hinder your bodies ability to produce melatonin and serotonin to the optimal function? In short, yes. Those who have a tryptophan deficiency or lower levels of tryptophan also are at higher risk for mood disorders like anxiety and depression. It’s best to consult with your physician or dietitian to find out if supplementing is the right choice for you, in most cases, it’s not advised. Rather try to increase food variety into your diet that contains this amino acid. With this supplement, in particular, there is a rare disorder called EMS, that may cause issues with breathing, skin rashes, muscle pain and even death (1). In addition, taking tryptophan will likely interact with other forms of medication that increase serotonin or melatonin since tryptophan helps your body create these. Takeaway The more probable reason why people feel so sleepy after eating turkey at a Thanksgiving meal is from all the food! It’s more likely the sleepiness is coming from multiple factors such as drinking alcohol, having a busy (sometimes stressful day for some), and eating a lot of foods that people may normally not. Not only that, larger portions that include a lot of starches (potatoes, casseroles, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc.) and not a lot of fiber (i.e. veggies!). The larger portions combined with the food components that make up that meal — lots of starches and sugars — can create a blood sugar roller coaster which can also make you feel tired afterward. If you’re looking for advice on how to get a good nights sleep, check out this article on nighttime routine and sleep. Share! What are your experiences with feeling sleepy post-Thanksgiving meal? Did you believe this nutrition myth? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience about this and if anything, you’ll have a fun nutrition fact you can share around the table with your family this holiday season! The post What Is Tryptophan? appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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We Have Specific Fruit and Vegetable Receptors
“According to a recent survey, the number of Americans adults who say they are eating ‘pretty much whatever they want’ is at an all-time high,” which unfortunately includes “too few fruits and vegetables,” as well as “too little variety.” Half of all fruit servings are taken up by just six foods: orange juice, bananas, apple juice, apples, grapes, and watermelons. Only five foods—iceberg lettuce, frozen potatoes, fresh potatoes, potato chips, and canned tomatoes—make up half of all vegetable servings. We’re not only eating too few fruits and veggies. We’re also missing out on the healthiest fruits, which are berries, and the healthiest vegetables, which are dark green leafies. The fruit and vegetable palette for our palate is sadly lacking. Why does dietary diversity matter? As I discuss in my video Specific Receptors for Specific Fruits and Vegetables, different foods may affect different problems. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are associated with lower risk of colon cancer in the middle and right side of our body, whereas risk of colon cancer further down on the left side of our body appears to be better lowered by carrots, pumpkins, and apples. So, “different F/V [fruits and vegetables] may confer different risks for cancer” of different parts of even the same organ. Variety is the spice of life—and may prolong it. “Independent from quantity of consumption, variety in fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease lung cancer risk,” meaning if two people eat the same number of fruits and vegetables, the one eating a greater variety may be at lower risk. It’s not just cancer risk. In a study of thousands of men and women, a greater quantity of vegetables and a greater variety may independently be beneficial for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Even after removing the effects of quantity, “each different additional two item per week increase in variety of F&V [fruit and vegetable] intake was associated with an 8% reduction in the incidence of T2D [type 2 diabetes].” Why? Well, it “may be attributable to individual or combined effects of the many different bioactive phytochemicals contained in F&V. Thus, consumption of a wide variety of F&V will increase the likelihood of consuming” more of them. “All the vegetables may offer protection…against chronic diseases,” but “[e]ach vegetable group contains a unique combination and amount of these [phytonutrients], which distinguishes them from other groups and vegetables within their own group.” Indeed, because “each vegetable contains a unique combination of phytonutriceuticals (vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytochemicals), a great diversity of vegetables should be eaten…to get all the health benefits.” Does it matter, though, if we get alpha-carotene or beta-carotene? Isn’t an antioxidant an antioxidant? No. “It has been shown that phytochemicals bind to specific receptors and proteins” in our bodies. For example, our body appears to have a green tea receptor—that is, a receptor for EGCG, which is a key component of green tea. There are binding proteins for the phytonutrients in grapes, onions, and capers. In my video The Broccoli Receptor: Our First Line of Defense, I talk about the broccoli receptor, for instance. Recently, a cell surface receptor was identified for a nutrient concentrated in apple peels. Importantly, these target proteins are considered indispensable for these plants foods to do what they do, but they can only do it if we actually eat them. Just like it’s better to eat a whole orange than simply take a vitamin C pill, because, otherwise, we’d miss out on all the other wonderful things in oranges that aren’t in the pill, by just eating an apple, we’re also missing out on all the wonderful things in oranges. When it comes to the unique phytonutrient profile of each fruit and vegetable, it truly is like comparing apples to oranges. This is one of the reasons I developed my Daily Dozen checklist of foods to incorporate into one’s routine. Download the free iPhone and Android apps, and be sure to watch my video Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist. I discuss how produce variety—not just quality and quantity—may be important in Apples and Oranges: Dietary Diversity and Garden Variety Anti-Inflammation, so I hope you’ll check them out. You can also learn more about why combining certain foods together may be more beneficial than eating them separately in Food Synergy. In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers [...]
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How to Make Your Own CoQ10
Chlorophyll is the green pigment that makes green leaves green. If you search for chlorophyll in the medical literature, a lot of what you find is about fecal fluorescence, a way to detect the contamination of carcasses in the slaughterhouse with feces to reduce the risk of food poisoning from pathogens harbored within animal feces. Fecal matter gets on meat either “with knife entry through the hide into the carcass, and also splash back and aerosol [airborne] deposition of fecal matter during hide removal”—that is, when they’re peeling off the skin. If, however, the animals have been eating grass, you can pick up the poo with a black light. As you can see in my video How to Regenerate Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Naturally, a solution of chlorophyll is green, but, under a UV light, it lights up as red. So, if you have a black light in a chicken slaughter plant, you can get a drop on the droppings. The problem is most chickens aren’t outside anymore. They’re no longer pecking at grass so there’s less fecal fluorescence. We could let them run around outside or we could save money by just adding a chlorophyll supplement to their feed so we can better “identify areas of gut-spill contamination” on the meat. The reason I was looking up chlorophyll was to follow-up on the data I presented in my Eating Green to Prevent Cancer video, which suggests that chlorophyll may be able to block carcinogens. I found a few in vitro studies on the potential anti-inflammatory effects of chlorophyll. After all, green leaves have long been used to treat inflammation, so anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll and their break-down products after digestion were put to the test. And, indeed, they may represent “valuable and abundantly available anti-inflammatory agents.” Maybe that’s one reason why cruciferous vegetables, like kale and collard greens, are associated with decreased markers of inflammation. In a petri dish, for example, if you lay down a layer of arterial lining cells, more inflammatory immune cells stick to them after you stimulate them with a toxic substance. We can bring down that inflammation with the anti-inflammatory drug aspirin or, even more so, by just dripping on some chlorophyll. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons kale consumers appear to live longer lives. As interesting as I found that study to be, this next study blew my mind. The most abundant energy source on this planet is sunlight. However, only plants are able to use it directly—or so we thought. After eating plants, animals have chlorophyll in them, too, so might we also be able to derive energy directly from sunlight? Well, first of all, light can’t get through our skin, right? Wrong. This was demonstrated by century-old science—and every kid who’s ever shined a flashlight through her or his fingers, showing that the red wavelengths do get through. In fact, if you step outside on a sunny day, there’s enough light penetrating your skull and going through to your brain that you could read a book in there. Okay, so our internal organs are bathed in sunlight, and when we eat green leafy vegetables, the absorbed chlorophyll in our body does actually appear to produce cellular energy. But, unless we eat so many greens we turn green ourselves, the energy produced is probably negligible. However, light-activated chlorophyll inside our body may help regenerate Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is an antioxidant our body basically makes from scratch using the same enzyme we use to make cholesterol—that is, the same enzyme that’s blocked by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. So, if CoQ10 production gets caught in the crossfire, then maybe that explains why statins increase our risk of diabetes—namely, by accidently also reducing CoQ10 levels in a friendly-fire type of event. Maybe that’s why statins can lead to muscle breakdown. Given that, should statin users take CoQ10 supplements? No, they should sufficiently improve their diets to stop taking drugs that muck with their biochemistry! By doing so—by eating more plant-based chlorophyll-rich diets—you may best maintain your levels of active CoQ10, also known as ubiquinol. “However, when ubiquinol is used as an antioxidant, it is oxidized to ubiquinone. To act as an effective antioxidant, the body must regenerate ubiquinol from ubiquinone,” perhaps by using dietary chlorophyll metabolites and light. Researchers exposed some ubiquinone and chlorophyll metabolites to the kind of light that makes it into our bloodstream. Poof! CoQ10 was reborn. But, without the chlorophyll or the light, nothing happened. By going outside we get light and, if we’re eating our veggies, chlorophyll, so maybe that’s how we maintain such high levels of CoQ10 in our bloodstream. Perhaps this explains why dark green leafy vegetables are so good for us. We know sun exposure can be good for us and that eating greens can be good for us. “These benefits are commonly attributed to an increase in vitamin D from sunlight exposure and consumption of antioxidants from green vegetables”—but is it possible that these explanations might be incomplete? This blog post has it all: a mind-blowing mechanism, practical applicability, and poop. What more could you want? Interested in learning more about the potential downsides of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs? I’ve produced other videos on the topic, including Statin Cholesterol Drugs and Invasive Breast Cancer and The Actual Benefit of Diet vs. Drugs. In health, Michael Greger, M.D. PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations: 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death 2013: More Than an Apple a Day 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Kill [...]
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Mango Harvest Wild Rice
This post was in partnership with the Mango Board — we only partner with brands that are NS approved and all our opinions are authentic and remain our own. Meet the Mango Harvest Wild Rice recipe, a side dish that can easily transform into a year-round entree. Fall and winter recipes are some of my personal favorites; they’re often very simple to make especially when it’s a 1-pot recipe, a soup, or a side dish that can transform into an entree just by adding proteins and greens. This Mango Harvest Wild Rice is just that, it’s hearty, satisfying, has fiber and vitamin C (buh bye cold season), tastes delicious and can be made on your meal prep day for nutritious leftovers all week. A couple things to keep in mind when you make this recipe that will really change the outcome is to start with great quality ingredients and make sure the mango is ripe — it’s the star ingredient of this recipe! A quick tip on how to know if a honey mango (also called Ataulfo or Champagne) is ripe (that’s the mango variety I used in this recipe), your nose knows so smell and make sure it’s fragrant. It will also give slightly which means it’s soft inside, and it’ll turn vibrant yellow. Honey mangos skin wrinkles slightly when it’s ripe, so don’t let that deter you from purchasing – it means it’s ready to eat!   Another tip, if you’re pressed for time, store mangos in a brown paper bag at room temperature for a couple days to speed the ripening process!   As with all our recipes, make the ingredients work for you, if you’re not a fan of pistachios try roasted walnuts for added omega-3 benefits; if you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, use chicken stock. Most importantly, make this on the weekend so you have a quick lunch by adding this recipe to a handful (or two) of greens or reheat it for dinner as a side dish or an entree by adding protein. The possibilities are endless and can be enjoyed in all seasons! Meet the side that transforms into an entree — Mango Harvest Wild Rice #nutritionstripped Tweet   The post Mango Harvest Wild Rice appeared first on Nutrition Stripped. [...]
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