Warming Foods To Ward Off The Winter Chill

WARMING FOODS ACCORDING TO MACROBIOTICS

Oats, Wheat, Rye, Kamut, Amaranth, Spelt, Quinoa, Sweet Brown Rice Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Sesame Seeds, Pine Nuts, Chestnuts

Butter, Meats, Good Fats

Yam, Parsnip, Potato, Burdock, Sturdy Winter Greens (brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, etc.)

Parsley, Onion, Garlic, Leek, Mustard Greens

Black Beans, Adzuki Beans, Lentils

SPICES:

Carob, Cinnamon, Clove, Basil, Ground Ginger, Fennel, Rosemary, Pepper (all kinds), Cumin

Warming Cooking Techniques:

Baking, Pressure Cooking, Slow Cooking (crock pot)

Warming Cooking Elements:

Unrefined Salt, Miso, Tamari, Sauerkraut, Green Onion, Sea Vegetables, Ginger, Dried Herbs

The Truth About Sodium and Blood Pressure

I read another great article by Dr. Mercola recently that points to potassium deficiency being a greater contributor to high blood pressure than excess sodium intake.

Also, he says that insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) from eating a high glycemic / high sugar diet, causes high blood pressure because it decimates the body’s stores of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and nitric oxide.

Dr. Mercola talks about avoiding table salt as much as possible (in processed foods and restaurant foods), as this kind of refined salt (sodium chloride) isn’t found anywhere in nature. Salt in this refined form increases blood pressure AND acidifies the blood pH. Refined salt (Morton salt), is like a toxin in the body, whereas unrefined salts like Celtic, Himalayan Pink salt, and Real Salt are an important source of various trace minerals.

Food-State minerals are one of the most important keys to longevity. The problem we run into these days, is that our soils are depleted of minerals. The plants can create food-state vitamins easily in depleted soils, but the minerals must be replaced in the soil with cover crops or good compost. One supplement I take every day, because I can’t be sure the veggies I buy are grown in well-supplemented soils, is called Essential Minerals from Lifespa.com

In researching foods which help lower blood pressure, I came across these listed:
Magnesium-rich foods (brown rice, almonds, spinach, avocado, etc….again, grown in mineral-rich soils)
Probiotics
Omega 3 fats
BEETS
Garlic
Apple Cider Vinegar
Arugula
Flax seed

And, in researching LIFESTYLE FACTORS which help lower blood pressure, I came across these:
Whole food diet vs. restaurant foods/processed foods (cookies, crackers, chips, etc)
Daily movement/activity
Being with a Cat
Getting enough re-mineralized water daily

Important Points from Mercola’s article:
(LINK to entire article by Dr. Joseph Mercola)

“Medical professionals have been prescribing a low-sodium diet to people with high blood pressure, since salt is believed to cause hypertension. However, research shows that sodium may not be the “bad” mineral that it’s played out to be. In fact, you actually need sodium to maintain and regulate healthy blood pressure levels.

“While adopting a low-sodium diet can indeed decrease blood pressure readings, it may also worsen your total cholesterol-to-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio, which indicates an increased risk of heart disease.

“Considering all the adverse effects that sodium deficiency may cause, consuming foods that contain little to no salt may be worse for your overall health.

“A healthy kidney can take around 86 grams of salt per day. However, you should limit your salt intake to 2,300 milligrams per day if you have an endocrine disorder, high aldosterone level, Cushing’s syndrome, elevated cortisol or Liddle syndrome.”

Why Keto Is Only Healthy Short Term

Shiitake Omelette Plate1Many people believe that a ketogenic diet is the key to weight loss success, but keto by itself is not healthy long term for several reasons. This article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, based on his book, “Fat for Fuel,” explains why and stresses cyclical ketosis.
Basically, cyclical ketosis means that once your metabolism is fat-adapted (burning fats as it’s primary fuel) which can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on the individual, that what’s healthiest long term is cycling in and out of ketosis. This is wonderfully balanced and practical, as it means eating healthy complex carbohydrates 2-3x per week, such as winter squash, various types of potato, yam, parsnip, carrot, and whole grains like brown rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, etc.

Recent studies are showing that nutrient cycling (cycling between higher and lower amounts of fat, net carbs and protein) and cycling between high and low calorie intakes (fasting and feasting) are foundational for optimal biological functioning.

Short periods of regular water fasting are part of Dr. Mercola’s cyclical protocol, but don’t let the idea of fasting deter you, as you’ll find that it isn’t difficult to do once your body is fat-adapted, as you won’t get hypoglycemic symptoms such as ravenous hunger, fatigue, shaky hands, edgy mood, and muscle weakness when fasting.

Dr. Mercola says, “…the ketogenic diet provides many of the same health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, and when done together, most people will experience significant improvements in their health — including not just weight loss, but other benefits such as: improved insulin sensitivity, which is key for preventing Type 2 diabetes and related diseases, increased muscle mass, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of cancer, and increased longevity.

Dr. Mercola highlights at least two significant reasons for the pulsed, cyclical keto approach:
• Insulin suppresses hepatic glucogenesis, i.e., the production of glucose by your liver. When insulin is chronically suppressed during long-term, ketosis (several months on end) your liver starts to compensate for the deficit by making more glucose. As a result, your blood sugar can begin to rise even though you’re not eating any carbohydrates.
In this situation, eating carbohydrates will actually lower your blood sugar, as the carbs will activate insulin, which will then suppress your liver’s production of glucose. Long-term chronic suppression of insulin is an unhealthy metabolic state that is easily avoidable by cycling in and out of keto.
• More importantly, many of the metabolic benefits associated with nutritional ketosis in general actually occur during the re-feeding phase. During the fasting phase, clearance of damaged cell and cell content occurs, but the actual rejuvenation process takes place during re-feeding. Cells and tissues are rebuilt and restored to a healthy state once your intake of net carbs increases.

Dr. Mercola’s Full Article: Why Intermittent Fasting Is More Effective Combined With Ketogenic Diet and How to Implement Cyclical Ketosis

Also, here’s Dr. John Douillard’s recent article: 10 Reasons to NOT Eat a Ketogenic Diet Long Term

Beet Kvaas: Superior Vitality Tonic & Easy-To-Make Probiotic Drink!

Beet Kvaas PrettyBeet Kvaas is an mineral supplement drink from the Russian tradition, and an AMAZING vitality tonic. After you read what’s next, you’ll wonder why everyone doesn’t have this awesome stuff in their fridge!

Just 4oz. of Kvaas AM & PM is a complete mineral supplement, probiotic, digestive aid, and liver/gallbladder cleanser. It also helps with disturbed cellular function, which we all have to some degree. It helps thin the bile and detox the body, it keeps the bowels moving regularly, and it builds healthy blood.

If you want to have it on hand continually, as I do, make a new batch about 10 days before you run out of your previous batch.

Okay. Here’s how: simply scrub & chop 3-4 large purple beets into large, 2 inch pieces (just quarter them so that they’ll sink to the bottom). Place the beets into a 1 gallon glass jar, fill almost to top w/filtered water and then stir in 1/2tsp whole sea salt, and either 1Tbsp whey from plain cultured yogurt, OR ½ wafer of lactic acid yeast by Standard Process brand, OR 1 cup kvaas from your previous batch.

Let this mixture sit covered, at room temperature in a dark place for 48hrs, then skim the bubbly stuff from the top (see photo below) w/a clean spoon (you don’t want to introduce any different bacteria), stir and refrigerate. After about 5 days in the fridge, it’ll become dark purple and lovely to drink. It’ll get darker and darker purple, and more and more tangy over the next two weeks. Stir it with a clean spoon before you drink it, as the minerals tend to sink.  

Kvaas keeps for up to 2 months refrigerated, as long as the beets are beneath the level of the liquid. This process is anaerobic, so you can remove the beets as you drink it down (so that they don’t stick up above the level of the liquid), OR you can add another few cups of water then refrigerate for another week, OR you can start a whole new batch. Your next batch you can use the same beets, inoculate it with a cup or two from the previous batch of kvaas, so you don’t have to extract yogurt whey each time. Also, you can include fresh ginger, turmeric or burdock root scrubbed and chopped into large, 2 inch pieces that sink, for added medicinal benefit. Kvaas should taste slightly sour and effervescent (carbonated).

You can re-use these first beets for your second round of kvaas, but they should be eaten or discarded after this. Use fresh beets for the third round, and for every other round. Pay attention to the smell and taste, and if it tastes bitter or smells rotten, dump it and start a new batch using fresh yogurt whey or 1 cup kvaas from a good batch. This time be sure to sterilize all your tools & containers with anti-bacterial soap OR grapefruit seed extract.

*To get the whey out of a cup of yogurt, layer a dozen layers of cheese cloth or muslin inside a strainer basket and set it in a bowl not touching the bottom of the bowl. Dump the plain cultured yogurt (Brown Cow with cream top removed, or Nancy’s low fat work best for this) on top of the cheese cloth, and let the whey slowly drip down through the cloth into the bottom of the bowl, which takes about 1-2 hours.

Beet Kvaasing 1

Superfood Synergy

sunshines-autimn-stew-ingI had fun summarizing for you a recent article by your favorite and mine, Dr. Joseph Mercola. It’s a list of some of the very best superfood combinations which maximize antioxidant potency, vitamin/mineral assimilation, and more!

Here’s the link to Dr. Mercola’s original article, for more links to the sources of the research.

Tomatoes + Olive Oil…Lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant in vegetables like tomatoes, is one of the key reasons why tomatoes are so good for you. However, when you eat tomatoes with olive oil, the antioxidant activity of the lycopene is increased.

Brussels Sprouts + Olive Oil…Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. These activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in your body. Brussels sprouts have been linked to the prevention of a number of cancers, including colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and others. Brussels sprouts are also rich in vitamin K, with about 243 percent of the recommended daily value in one cup. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient, so eating Brussels sprouts along with a healthy fat like good quality virgin olive oil will help increase its absorption.

Raw Dark Chocolate + Apples w/the peel…Eating apples is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, an association that’s thought to be related to their content of antioxidant flavonoids, including the anti-inflammatory quercetin. Dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidant catechins, has also been found to support heart health. When paired, dark chocolate and apples have been shown to help break up blood clots. For chocolate, the closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state (cacao), the higher its nutritional value.

Broccoli + Tomatoes…When rats were fed diets containing 10 percent broccoli, they had a 42 percent decrease in the growth of prostate cancer tumors. When they were fed a diet containing 10 percent tomatoes, the growth rate dropped by 34 percent. But when the rats were fed a diet with 10 percent broccoli and 10 percent tomatoes combined, the tumor weights decreased by 52 percent!

Green Tea + Black Pepper…Black pepper contains a substance called piperine, which not only gives it its pungent flavor, but also blocks the formation of new fat cells. When combined with capsaicin and other substances, black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk. As an aside, black pepper also increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods – herbs and other compounds included. Brewed tea with garlic, ginger, and black pepper makes a perfect marinade for meats or seafoods.

Turmeric + Black Pepper…Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. If you pair the turmeric with black pepper, it improves the bioavailability of curcumin by 1000 times!   

Kale + Almonds/Macadamias/Pecans…Just one cup of kale will flood your body with disease-fighting vitamins K, E, A, and C, along with respectable amounts of manganese, copper, B vitamins, fiber, calcium, and potassium. Vitamins K, E and A are fat-soluble, which is where the raw nuts come in to help ensure proper absorption. Also, a study revealed that a one-ounce serving of almonds has a similar amount of total polyphenols (antioxidants) as a cup of steamed broccoli or green tea.

Black Beans + Red Bell Pepper (or other vitC foods such as cayenne or lemon juice)…Combining black beans with a vitamin C rich foods may increase the absorption of non-heme iron by six times.

Brown Rice + Almonds (or other calcium foods such as brazil nuts, cashews, and unhulled sesame seeds)…Brown rice is high in magnesium, which helps the body assimilate calcium. Food-state vitamins and minerals are by far the best way in which the body recognizes and utilizes these nutrients – the way in which nature intended them to benefit us. Chelated vitamins however, found in inexpensive supplements such as centrum, actually do more harm to the body than good.    

Wild-Caught Salmon + Collard Greens and/or Garlic…Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium. In fact, if you have a vitamin D deficiency, it can cause a defect in assimilating calcium into the collagen matrix in your skeleton, leading to aches and pains. In addition to being rich in vitamin K and phytonutrients that may help lower oxidative stress, fight inflammation, and prevent cancer, collard greens are rich in calcium. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, meanwhile, contains some vitamin D, so consuming them together could likely be beneficial.

Excerpts for this article were brought to you by Dr. Mercola, a New York Times bestselling author, from this article: “10 Superfoods That Work Better together“.

For more helpful articles, please visit Mercola.com today and receive your FREE Take Control of Your Health E-book!

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