Thursday, November 30, 2006

Where Are The Goji Berries?

"Where are the Goji berries?" ... is fast becoming the most-heard phrase in many health food stores around the world.

If you have not yet heard of goji juice, you will soon. The goji berry has occupied an important place in traditional Asian medicine for countless generations, but the secrets of its nutritional benefits have remained a mystery to most of the world until recently.

Many of the world's longest living people, in parts of the world where the average life span is 100 to 120 years old, consume regular daily helpings of a tiny red fruit that may just be the world's most powerful anti-aging food—the goji berry. Many of the legendary properties of lycium barbarum (Goji's Latin name) are being confirmed in modern scientific studies, and this has led to the possibility of even more far-reaching benefits. In addition to its anti-aging qualities, this little berry is showing that it can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol and cure morning sickness.

However there are many varieties of goji – as many as 41 species in Tibet alone, and like with grapes they are not all created equal!

December 01 - In the New York Times:
Running The Sahara - Documentary - Rating: NR

Starring: Matt Damon
Directed by: James Moll


LivePlanet, Inc. founders Matt Damon and Ben Affleck team with Emmy-winning director James Moll to cover the most physically demanding marathon ever attempted as a three-man international expedition team attempts to run across the blistering-hot Sahara desert on foot with little more to drive them than a steady supply of FreeLife's Himalayan Goji Juice. With 4000 miles of treacherous terrain that stretches across Mali, Niger, Senegal, Libya, Egypt, and Mauritania, this punishing run offers the equivalent of two marathons a day for seventy-five days. No one has ever accomplished such a feat before, and if these brave adventurers reach their lofty goal they will have set the bar for human endurance to a spectacular new level. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


For anyone suffering from ulcerative colitis or for those having had a colonectomy... Smartwater is an answer to prayer!

Smartwater made by Glaceau a U.S. bottler begins as an artesian spring in Northern Connecticut. After the water is distilled, they add electrolytes; a balance of Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium. So Smartwater is a great alternative to Gatorade for athletes who don't like the sugary sweet taste, but need electrolytes, and it is a must for all those who suffer from conditions and illnesses that keep them constantly fighting dehydration.

The attractive bullet shaped plastic bottles reinforce the product's image, and make it a smart accessory for those who must constantly have a bottle in tow. Smartwater is great for those who both want and need to look and drink their best.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Top 10 Benefits of Polysaccharides

1. Inhibit tumor growth
2. Prevent cancer
3. Neutralize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
4. Help normalize blood pressure
5. Help balance blood sugar
6. Combat autoimmune disease
7. Act as an anti-inflammatory
8. Balance Immune Function
9. Lower cholesterol and blood lipids
10. Increase calcium absorption

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oxidative Stress

Even though the average life expectancy in the United States has increased dramatically during this past century, our quality of life due to chronic degenerative disease has taken a major hit. We are essentially "living too short and dying too long". Most of us can simply look forward to suffering and dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, macular degeneration, and the list goes on and on, unless we literally attack the underlying cause of all of these diseases—oxidative stress.

How long do you expect to live? Now envision what your last twenty years will look like. I can assure you my patients today are not as concerned with the number of years in their lives as they are the quality of life in those years. Who wants to live to a ripe old age if he or she cannot even recognize close family members because of Alzheimer’s dementia? Who looks forward to a decade or two of suffering severe joint or back pain due to degenerative arthritis?

One of my close friends told me recently that he simply wants to live until he dies. Is this your desire? It certainly is mine. That is why I recommend preventative rather than post-problem medicine--empowering people to avoid getting major diseases in the first place. Over the past seven years, I have changed my approach. I now strongly encourage and support my patients in taking a three-fold approach to health: eating well, practicing a consistent exercise program, and daily consuming high-quality nutritional supplements. I now use medication as a last resort—not as my first choice.

Do you fear growing old? Have you accepted chronic disease or pain as a given in your future? Are you willing to make necessary life changes to ensure your health? I believe a full and abundant physical life does not need to start slipping away at age forty. Each year of your life can be your very best. But first you must understand the war that is waging within every one of our bodies.

Oxygen is essential for life itself. But did you know it is also inherently dangerous to our existence? I call this the "dark-side" of oxygen. And as a result, we are essentially rusting both inside and out. The same process that causes a cut apple to turn brown or iron to rust is the cause of all the chronic degenerative diseases we fear and even the aging process itself.

Consider the aging of our skin. Oxidative stress is the cause of wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots. The next time you are with a large gathering of people of different ages, observe closely the change you see in people’s skin. Aging is a process we all take for granted, but when you look more closely, and compare a baby’s face, to that of a grandparent’s, the effects of our largest organ being exposed to all the pollutants in the air, sunlight, and cigarette smoke is baffling. This aging of the skin is an outward manifestation of "oxidative stress," which is occurring within every cell in your body.

Over the past 7 years, I have reviewed well over 2,000 medical and scientific studies in regards to nutritional supplements and their affect on your health. These studies appearing in medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, British Lancet, and Annuals of Internal Medicine report that beyond any doubt the "root" cause of well over 70 chronic degenerative diseases is "oxidative stress." These are the "who’s who" of diseases we all fear and want to avoid; diseases like heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s dementia, macular degeneration, lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue. "So what," you may be wondering, "is ‘oxidative stress’?"

Within every cell of the body is a furnace called the mitochondria. As oxygen is utilized within the furnace of the cell to create energy and life itself, occasionally a charged oxygen molecule is created, called a "free radical." This free radical has at least one unpaired electron in its outer orbit essentially giving it an electrical charge. If this free radical is not readily neutralized by an antioxidant it can go on to create more volatile free radicals, damage the cell wall, vessel wall, proteins, fats, and even the DNA nucleus of our cells. Chemically this reaction has been shown to be so volatile that it actually causes bursts of light within our bodies!

Imagine yourself in front of a crackling fireplace and I’ll give you the best illustration I have to explain the process of oxidation. The fire burns safely and beautifully most of the time, but on occasion out pops a hot cinder that lands on your carpet and burns a little hole in it. One cinder by itself doesn’t pose much of a threat; but if this sparking and popping continues month after month, year after year, you will have a pretty "ratty" carpet in front of your fireplace.

The fireplace represents the furnace of the cell (the mitochondria), the cinder is the charged "free radical," and the carpet is your body. Whichever part of your body receives the most free radical damage will be the first to wear out and potentially cause one of these degenerative diseases. If it’s your arteries, you could develop a heart attack or stroke. If it is your brain, you could develop Alzheimer’s dementia or Parkinson’s disease. If it’s your joints, you could develop arthritis.

Through biochemical research we’re learning that we are not defenseless against this attack on our body by free radicals. Antioxidants are like the glass doors or fine-wire mesh we place in front of our fireplace. The sparks are still going to fly but our carpet will then be protected. As you begin to imagine the war that is taking place within every cell in your body, you can envision the two opposing forces: the enemy--free radicals; and your allies--antioxidants and their supporting nutrients.

Living a healthy life becomes a matter of balance. You must have enough antioxidants available to readily neutralize the number of free radicals your body produces. If you don’t, "oxidative stress" will occur. When this oxidative stress is allowed to persist over a prolonged period of time, you will most likely develop a serious chronic degenerative disease.

Each of us must ask, "Am I getting enough antioxidants from my diet to protect myself from this onslaught of free radicals or do I need to be taking nutritional supplements?" This is the question that I’ve had to ask myself as I have spent countless hours researching medical literature. You see I was taught in medical school that you don’t need supplements—that you can get everything you need from a good, healthy diet. And this is what I told my patients for years. I was wrong.

Since balance is the key, we need to look closely at the individual players that are at war within. The number of free radicals you produce each and every day is never the same. All the pollutants in our air, food, and water dramatically increase the number of free radicals we produce. Enormous stress, excessive exercise, cigarette smoke, sunlight, radiation, and every drug prescribed greatly increases the number of free radicals produced in the body. In fact, there has never been a generation on this planet subjected to more oxidative stress than this present one. We are literally under attack from our polluted environment, stressful lifestyles, and over-medicated society.

This ongoing attack is depriving us of our most precious gift—our health. But God did not leave us defenseless against this onslaught by free radicals. In fact, we actually have our own army of antioxidants, which are able to neutralize free radicals and render them harmless. In generations past, these defense systems were sufficient. Unfortunately this is no longer the case. Our bodies’ defense systems need additional allies.

Most antioxidants come from vegetables and fruit. This creates a gap in our protection, because our foods have become significantly depleted in their content of antioxidants and supporting minerals as a result of mineral depletion in our soils, green harvesting, cold storage, foods that are highly processed, our poor food choices and food preparation.

At a time when we are under the heaviest attack from the environment around us, our natural defense systems are becoming overwhelmed and depleted. We must do all we can to rebuild our antioxidant systems with a healthy diet, but too you need to learn how complete and balanced nutritional supplementation with high quality supplements (cellular nutrition) is our best hope in winning this war within and protecting our health.

Source: Dr. Ray Strand

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Super Foods vs.Ten Foods You Should Never Eat

Super Foods

Health experts agree that simple diet changes including the addition of an array of easily found SuperFoods can do wonders for our overall health, disease prevention and longevity. Although the list of SuperFoods varies somewhat from study and expert to expert, the following foods rank high and overlap.

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chili Peppers
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms (Shitakes and other exotic mushrooms)
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Papaya, Pineapple and Kiwi
  • Pumpkin
  • Wild Salmon
  • Soybeans and Tofu
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey (skinless turkey breast is the best)
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt
Ten Foods You Should Never Eat

1. Judging by the label, Pepperidge Farm Original Flaky Crust Roasted Chicken Pot Pie has 510 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat. But look again. Those numbers are for half a pie. Eat the entire pie, as most people probably do, and you're talking more than 1,000 calories and 18 grams of sat fat. Then add the 13 grams of hidden trans fat (from the partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening) in each pie and you're up to 31 grams of artery-clogging fat – that's far more than a day's allotment.

2. McDonald's Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips sounds healthy. In fact, ounce for ounce, the Selects are no healthier than the chain's Chicken McNuggets. A standard, fivestrip order has 630 calories and 11 grams of artery-clogging fat. That's about the same as a Big Mac, except the burger has 1,010 mg of sodium, while the Selects hit 1,550 mg, even without the salty sauce.

3. Each slice of The Cheesecake Factory's 6 Carb Cheesecake has 610 calories – that's the same as you'd get from a slice of their Original Cheesecake. Think of it as an 8-ounce prime rib for dessert – with 29 grams of saturated fat, 1½ days' supply. The next time you step on the bathroom scale, you may never know that the carbs were missing.

4. Dove squeezes some 300 calories and 9 to 13 grams of saturated fat (half-a-day's worth) into a tennis-ball size serving (half a cup) of its Dove Ice Cream. That puts it in the same ballpark as Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs. With names like "Unconditional Chocolate," Dove is trying to link chocolate with romance. A scoop of its ice cream will fill your heart all right … but not with love.

5. No one expects a Mrs. Fields cookie to be good for you, but who would guess that a single Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate & Walnuts cookie has more than 300 calories and as much saturated fat as a 12-ounce sirloin steak? It's also got six teaspoons of sugar. If you can't resist Mrs. Fields, share the smallest bag of Nibblers (six half-ounce cookies) with a friend. Or walk a few feet and look for a piece of fruit at another store instead.

6. The Starbucks Venti Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème with whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. Think of it as a milk shake. Few people have room in their diets for the 770 calories and 19 grams of fat (10 of them saturated – half-aday's quota) that this hefty beverage supplies. It's the nutritional equivalent of a Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pepperoni Pizza that you sip through a straw.

7. Burger King makes some of the most harmful french fries you can buy. A King Size order packs 600 calories and three-quarters of your daily maximum for heart-unhealthy fat.

8. Campbell's red-and-white-label condensed soups are brimming with salt: Half a can averages more than half of a person's daily quota of salt. Instead, try brands like Healthy Choice and Campbell's Healthy Request, which have less than half as much sodium.

9."Swoops are the essence of your favorite chocolate candy," explains the package. "The unique shape envelops your mouth in chocolate bliss." Hershey crams almost 200 calories, seven or eight grams of saturated fat (a third-of-a-day's worth), and more than four teaspoons of sugar into each six-Swoop pack. Swoops? Oops is more like it.

10. A Mint Chip Dazzler at Häagen-Dazs stores (three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, Oreos, chocolate sprinkles, and whipped cream) has 1,270 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat – that's two days' worth. Think of it as a portable T-bone steak with Caesar salad, and baked potato with sour cream. But that's dinner – yet many people have a Dazzler as a dessert after lunch and dinner!

Sources: Health Check Systems, WebMD and Center For Science In the Public Interest

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reduce The Blues - Stop Eating Sugar!!

1. While sugar will give you an energy boost, it is an artificial boost characterized by a dramatic raise in blood sugar. When this happens your balancing mechanism, insulin, is released through the pancreas to compensate for the sudden sugar rush. Your blood sugar is on a bit of a roller coaster which often leaves you feeling tired and drowsy within 30 minutes.

2. Depression and fatigue are believed to be tied to the rise and fall of blood sugar. Since sugar essentially steals from your energy reserve and gives you a quick lift, its fitting to assume that on its way down, it has the ability to alter your mood.

3. According to a study 50% of people involved reported improvements in their moods within a week of eliminating sugar from their diet. A reasonable amount of sugar in your diet is no more than 10% of your daily calories. Many people are upward of 20% with hidden sugars being the culprit in many processed foods. If you crave something sweet, grab a piece of fruit. Fruit has fructose and takes your blood sugar for less of a ride than its friend glucose.

4. The average American consumes the equivalent of 53 HEAPING teaspoons of sugar every day.

Source: Quality Health

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Storing & Reheating Thanksgiving Leftovers Safely

Storing & Reheating Thanksgiving Leftovers Safely

For storing, cut your leftover turkey into small pieces; refrigerate the stuffing and turkey separately in shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking. Use leftover turkey and stuffing within 3-4 days; gravy within 1-2 days; or freeze these foods. Reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165 ° F or until hot and steaming. Try to gage how much of the leftover food you will actually use and send the rest home with guests, as long as their travel time and temperatures will allow for safe transport and storage of the food.

If you’re like most Americans, eating turkey and dressing goes on long after holiday meals are over. Most don’t think twice about sticking leftovers in the microwave and reheating them. But when heating up food in plastic, you might be consuming chemicals you never knew existed. Studies have shown that in some plastics, a chemical called DEHA can seep into your food when heated up. High levels have been shown to cause cancer in some lab animals.

It might surprise you that the Food and Drug Administration has guidelines on how to reheat food safely in the microwave. Dr. Glen Aukerman at the Ohio State University Medical Center said consumers really have to look to see the precautions printed on most packages. For example, many frozen foods say -- in very small print -- “re-reheating of tray is not recommended.” Aukerman said many plastic plates are “not intended for microwave use” and foam plates actually have a warning on the package saying the plate “may melt and cause injury.” He said glass or microwave-safe plates are best for cooking or reheating food. If you buy plastic bowls or plates, look for the words “microwave safe” on the label. But what about covering your food with plastic? The FDA suggested you leave some room between the wrap and your meal. “Make sure that there’s at least 1 or 2 inches between it and the food," Aukerman said. "And if there isn’t, you’re absorbing the chemicals coming out of that when you microwave it.” It’s important to know that there is no evidence yet that those chemicals cause problems in humans, and following the precautions should keep consumers safe. What worries Aukerman is just how many people know those precautions even exist.

Also try to resist picking at leftover food, even in the refrigerator, you can still contaminate it.

Facts for this article were taken from the US Census Bureau, the US Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the Library of Congress. For the FDA guidelines, go to and type in the words “microwave safety”.

Distributed In Part by Internet Broadcasting.

Happy Thanksgiving To You And Yours!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Thanksgiving Meal: How to Eat Healthy and Well

Simmons College nutrition experts give tips for enjoying the Thanksgiving meal

BOSTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Health and nutrition specialists at Simmons College in Boston have these tips for eating well at Thanksgiving while avoiding overeating and gaining weight.

Q: On Thanksgiving, I tend to go overboard with portions. How can I eat healthfully, without feeling deprived?

Thanksgiving is filled with wonderful foods that we tend to eat once or twice a year. We recommend enjoying the flavor of the food by taking small bites, eating slowly, making the food last, and eating only until you are satisfied.

If we come to the table ravenous, we tend to eat faster, eat more, and choose higher fat foods. The best way to fend off hunger is to have a glass of water, a piece of fruit or a small snack before the meal and while you are preparing it to help you avoid eating too much too soon. Be aware that drinking alcohol can also stimulate appetite and lower inhibitions, which may make it difficult to eat healthy. And remember, you can always take some food home with you for later -- something to look forward to!

Most importantly, don't have Thanksgiving dinner be your only meal of the day.

Q: Why not? Wouldn't that be a good way to keep my calorie intake down?

It is never a healthy choice to just eat one meal throughout the day, not even on Thanksgiving. It is best to give your body the fuel it needs throughout the day. If people eat only one meal a day, they are ravenous and will tend to eat more at that meal.

Q: I've been on a diet for a few months now. How do I handle this food- laden holiday?

Work to maintain your weight, instead of to lose weight, during the holiday season. Remember to stay active, and continue to eat the healthy foods you have been eating on your diet -- particularly whole grain, fruits and vegetables, and lean meat and poultry.

Most of all, enjoy the holiday season. Take the focus off of the food and create some new social traditions with family and friends. Remember to re-affirm your choices and your motivation for why you are on a diet or have made a commitment to eat healthfully.

Q: In my family, we eat until we're so stuffed, we can't move. Are there any tips that can help me eat avoid eating "past full"?

Try to wait 20 minutes or so after your first portion before going for seconds; let the fullness set in. We tend to no longer feel hungry when we wait before going back for seconds or thirds.

Q: What are some of the best food choices during Thanksgiving? The worst?

There are no bad choices you can make for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Over the long term, however, choosing more healthful choices can make a difference in your well-being.) The general rule of thumb is to eat what you enjoy, eat small amounts, and enjoy the festivities. Load your plate up with a variety of foods: lots of colorful vegetables, fruit, salad, whole grains, and potatoes (sweet potato is a better choice than a white potato because it is more nutrient dense), and turkey/poultry or meat of choice. White meat -- which includes the breast -- is leaner than dark meat. And here's an interesting fact: a study showed that it didn't matter if the turkey was cooked with the skin, as long as the skin was removed before eating it. Also when preparing foods, use broths instead of cream, steam your vegetables, and have fresh fruit available.

Q: Other than "tofurky" (tofu shaped into a turkey), are there any food or dish substitutions you recommend for a vegetarian?

Vegetable loaves, quiche or cheese pies, pasta and rice dishes, and any soy product that you enjoy are good choices. There also are some great vegetables available this time of year, like acorn squash, parsnips, and pumpkin.

Q: Many people get tired after eating their Thanksgiving meal. What's the best way to energize ourselves after we eat?

Choose an activity that makes you move after the meal. Take a walk with your friends or family, or put on some of your favorite music and do some gentle dancing. This will help with digestion and metabolism. Then you can return to cleaning up from the meal, and get ready for the dessert course. Most importantly, enjoy the day and the people you're spending it with!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dark Days, Darker Moods: Is It Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Sometimes the winter blues indicate something more serious.
by Kathleen Donnelly for MSN Health & Fitness

As the days darken during fall and winter, many people find their moods occasionally darkening too. But for an estimated 10 to 20 percent of Americans, the lowered light and colder temperatures prompt more than a temporary bout of the blues. They bring on a depression that is as predictable as the change of seasons: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

"With the blues, you tend to have maybe one or two symptoms, and primarily they have to do with your mood," says Dr. Douglas Jacobs, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the nonprofit group Screening for Mental Health. "If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you'll have multiple symptoms. You not only feel down, you sleep too much, or lose interest in things, or overeat."

SAD is sometimes difficult to differentiate from other forms of major depression, Jacobs says, because some of the symptoms overlap: sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed and apathy, for example. But people who have SAD may also have extreme difficulty awakening in the morning and staying awake during the day. They may crave sweets and other carbohydrate-filled foods. They may overeat and gain significant amounts of weight. They may feel very tired and irritable, and find concentrating difficult.

"You may experience the blues for a couple of days, then you get some good news and you cheer up," Jacobs says. "With Seasonal Affective Disorder, you won't react so much to outside events."

And, most markedly, you may feel this way during the darkest months of the year –January and February are especially difficult for people with SAD – and not during the brighter days of spring and summer.

SAD was first identified only 20 years ago, and researchers still aren't sure what causes the problem. But from the start, scientists have suspected that the disorder is linked to light. After all, Jacobs points out, there is some evidence that the farther you live from the equator, the more likely you are to have SAD.

This may be because the low light of winter is linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain. Because light suppresses the secretion of the hormone melatonin, the theory goes, people are exposed to more of the hormone during the short days of winter than they are during the long days of spring and summer. Researchers don't know exactly how increased melatonin affects people, but it may alter our cycles of sleeping and waking.

In addition, many studies have found that exposing people with SAD or more mild winter depression to bright light, both artificial and natural, can make them feel better, says Dr. David Avery, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington. Avery, whose research has centered on the timing of exposure to bright light, says that for most people morning exposure is most effective, whether the light comes from a specially designed fluorescent lamp, a dawn simulator that gradually becomes brighter, or the sun itself.

In most studies of light therapy, people have bathed in the bright light for a half-hour to two hours at a time, though Avery says exactly how much exposure a person needs tends to be individual and can decrease as therapy continues. What may be just as important, he says, is consistency.

"All of these light therapy studies have been done with instructions to the subjects to use the light at the same time every day, even on weekends," he says. "Many people in our culture sleep in on the weekends. In effect, when that happens, people are experiencing a kind of jet lag."

For people with more severe symptoms of SAD, getting help from your doctor is crucial. If your symptoms significantly affect your ability to function -- and especially if you have had thoughts of suicide -- get professional help quickly. Jacobs points out that in addition to light therapy, treatment with antidepressants and talk therapy can sometimes help. And although light therapy may seem like a simple idea, it's important to get direction on how and when to use it.

That's not to say people who have more mild winter depression can't help themselves, says Avery. For example, something as simple as putting a timer on a bedside lamp so that it lights 15 minutes before your alarm sounds may be enough to help some people who have trouble getting up on dark mornings.

Making a point to go outside even during the relatively weak light of winter is also a good idea. "One fact that many people are not aware of is that light outside, even on a cloudy day, is much brighter than most indoor light," says Avery. "People make the mistake of looking out the window, seeing it's cloudy, and thinking they aren't going to get much light if they go outside." If you can't get outside, he says, sitting next to a window during the day is "the next best thing."

Exercise may also help. While researchers have not studied its effectiveness with SAD specifically, Avery says exercise has been found to help with depression in general. Jacobs suggests getting at least a half-hour of exercise on three to four days a week – and exercising outdoors if possible.

"If you have mild symptoms, you can try some things and if they work, that's fine," Jacobs adds. "But if the symptoms really affect your daily life, get some professional help."