Omega-3s: Healthy Fats You May Not Be Getting Enough Of...

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that reduce inflammation, inhibit cancer development and protect our blood vessels. There are long-chain and short chain fatty acids. Short-chain omega-3 fats are found in some green vegetables, walnuts, and flax, chia, and hemp seeds. The basic building block of short-chain omega-3 fat is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Our bodies are only capable of converting a small amount of these short chain fats to long-chain omega-3 fats, called docoshexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Studies show that people have varying ability to convert ALA into DHA and EPA. Apparently, some people eating sufficient ALA from greens, seeds and walnuts can achieve adequate levels while others cannot. Men generally convert less than women. Conversion of ALA by the body to these longer-chain fatty acids is inefficient: < 5-10% for EPA and only 2-5% for DHA.1

DHA is one of the crucial building blocks of human brain tissue. It has been shown to protect against dementia, depression, inflammatory diseases, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, and to offer significant benefits for overall cardiovascular health.

Early in life, DHA is supplied via the placenta and from breast milk. While adequate DHA is particularly important for pregnant and nursing women and young children, it is beneficial for all ages!

  • Improves your child's intelligence
  • Aids depression and Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Improves memory
  • Important for brain and eye development
  • Promotes smoother skin; prevents wrinkles
  • Helps prevent heart disease and arthritis
  • Lowers risk of Alzheimer's and senior dementia
  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol

These long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are also produced by marine algae which serve as the source of DHA and EPA in fish. Although, fish is a good source of EPA and DHA, unfortunately, it's one of the most polluted foods which we eat. Therefore, it can not be considered a safe source of these healthy fats.

Fish have been shown to contain fat soluble petrochemicals, such as PCB's and dioxins as a result of the dumping of toxic waste and raw sewage into our oceans. Fish also contains mercury. According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 12 women of childbearing age in the United States have unsafe mercury levels (and the CDC's threshold for safety is high). Multiple studies have illustrated most of the body's mercury load comes from the consumption of fish.

For these reasons, I recommend consuming little or no fish. If you choose to consume fish, try to stay away from those high in fat and known to be high in mercury such as shark, swordfish, mackerel, pike, tuna, snapper, lobster, grouper, sea bass and bluefish. Instead, use the lower fat (less polluted) fish such as flounder, sole, haddock, scallops, squid, trout, hake, ocean perch, shrimp and tilapia.

Some nutritional advisors encourage consuming high amounts of flax seed oil to promote the conversion of enough DHA. I do not agree. First of all, flax seed oil is an empty calorie food with little or no vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and flavonoids that were present in the original seeds. Furthermore, we have a significant collection of data that indicates that the consumption of high doses of ALA from flax oil may increase, not decrease the risk of prostate cancer.1 In contrast, flax seed consumption has been shown in multiple studies to lower the risk of both breast cancer and prostate cancer.3

I prefer people not consume much fish to assure sufficient consumption or conversion of omega-3s. Since the ability to self-convert short chain ALA into long-chain DHA is so variable from person to person, I recommend a mixture of natural omega-3 containing plants plus some extra plant-derived DHA. I advise people obtain their omega-3 fats by consuming the cleaner, plant sources such as walnuts, flax, chia, and hemp seeds and by also taking a daily DHA supplement like my DHA Purity. My DHA Purity is a laboratory cultivated DHA product made from microalgae. It is a pure form of DHA without environmental contamination or unnecessary disruption of our ocean life. 

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Fresh Garlic Better Than Garlic Powder, Duh!

I’m Italian, so I’m required to like garlic, but that garlic powder I grew up on can’t hold a candle to fresh garlic. A new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that raw, crushed garlic has more heart-protective effects than the dried stuff.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good blood flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said.

Garlic is one of the foods Dr. Fuhrman recommends diabetics eat plenty of, along side green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Sometimes I bake garlic cloves in the oven and spread it on wholegrain bread.

Via EurekAlert!

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Vegetarians Have Less Risk of Blood Cancer than Meat Eaters

Good news veg-heads! A new study in the British Journal of Cancer, involving more than 61,000 people—meat eaters and vegetarians—revealed vegetarians and vegans had lower risk of certain types of blood cancer, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Vegetarians are 12 percent less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters and the advantage is particularly marked when it comes to cancers of the blood, British researchers said on Wednesday.

Past research has shown that eating lots of red or processed meat is linked to a higher rate of stomach cancer and the new study, involving more than 60,000 people, did confirm a lower risk of both stomach and bladder cancer.

But the most striking and surprising difference was in cancers of the blood -- such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma -- where the risk of disease was 45 percent lower in vegetarians than in meat eaters.

Via Reuters.

 

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Plant Nutrient, Phytosterols May Halt Cancer Development

Plants are loaded with healthful nutrients and now a new study claims phytosterols—a long known for their heart-protecting effects—also help prevent cancer.

The ingredients may work via the traditional route of reducing cholesterol, particularly in the membrane of cancer cells, and by activating an enzyme called caspase which is known to play an essential role in programmed cell death (apoptosis).

“This combined evidence strongly supports an anticarcinogenic action of phytosterols and hence advocates their dietary inclusion as an important strategy in prevention and treatment of cancer,” wrote the reviewers from the Department of Animal Science and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, at the University of Manitoba.

The reviews findings are published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Phytosterols, cholesterol-like molecules derived from plants, are increasingly well known to consumers due to their scientifically proven ability to reduce cholesterol levels. As consumer awareness has increased, the number of products containing plant sterols or plant stanols and their esters has increased.

Via Nutra Ingredients.

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The Real World

I'm a nutritarian who lives in the real world.

I have children, so therefore, I have a vehicle that hides half eaten suckers and stale candy bars deep within its seats. I find them. I usually eat them.

I have a little boy who likes to have “treat dates” with his mom. I'll be his date.

I have a young adult daughter who has sprouted wings, and flown to new adventures, and wants to show me her exciting city, and the Italian restaurants that abound within. I'll visit her discoveries.

I have graduation and birthday parties to attend. Weddings to celebrate. Art openings to linger at. Holidays to enjoy. I'll continue to rejoice with family and friends.

I’m 100% committed to living the ideal life of excellent health and well-being within the real world.

The real world…filled with pizza, chips, dip, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, fries, pop, stale candy, birthday cake and parties, ice cream treats, social events and holiday gatherings centered around high fat / low nutrient foods, chronic malnutrition, organic depression, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, achy joints, lethargy, chronic fatigue, a stuffy nose, back pain, triple bypass surgery, dialysis, astronomical medical bills, insulin, heart meds, ace inhibitors, anti-depressants loaded with toxic side-effects, baggy “fat clothes” composed of black shirts and stretch pants, and absolutely nothing fun to wear.

I eat to live. I eat for health.

I nourish my cells with nutrient dense foods.

I am kind and gentle to my body.

I’m fully committed.

Abstinent, yes.

Perfect, no.

For life.

100%.

How have you managed to commit to Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarian lifestyle while living within the real world?

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Abstinence is Key

Will a minuscule bump in the road here and there along the journey to excellent health prevent one from living in health and freedom? No way!

When a slip-up occurs, can one still be 100% committed to health for the rest of his/her life? Absolutely!

The key is to not allow the slip-up to become the excuse to “throw-in-the-towel” for the rest of the day.

One must always be mindful of the principle of sowing and reaping. Seeds of compromise sown into the soil of our lives will grow into seedlings of bigger compromises, which will eventually grow into full grown plants of addiction, and become the catalyst for poor health. Guaranteed.

It is so very important to understand that even minuscule slip ups do have their consequences if one desires to get completely free from toxic food addiction. One must abstain from toxic cravings if he/she wants to see results. Period. No shortcuts.

Seeds of abstinence sown into the soil of our lives will grow into seedlings of bigger abstinence, which will eventually produce a harvest of freedom from toxic food addiction, and become the catalyst for excellent health. Guaranteed.

Remember, 100% perfection is totally different from 100% commitment.

A perfectionist mindset needs to be psyched up at all times to live in 100% perfection. If a slip up occurs, even the tiniest one, because perfection can no longer be attained for the day, it’s an automatic excuse--and many times a most welcome excuse--to throw-in-the-towel for a full-blown binge that may take a day, or days, months, or even years to recover; therefore wreaking havoc in one's psychological and physiological equilibrium. Some call this disordered eating. Some call it an eating disorder. Some call it a mental illness. Some call it yo-yo dieting. Whatever label one so chooses, it can be totally overcome by correct information. A transformed mind will produce transformed actions which will produce a transformed body. Guaranteed.

Stay the course. Keep the balance.

Abstinence is key to freedom.

Are you a perfectionist? Is striving to be perfect preventing you from living in freedom from food addiction?

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I Can Has Fruit Cup!

Since everyone loved the Swiss chard eating cat couple weeks ago. I figured I’d share what reader emailed me last week. Looks like a great breakfast to me: strawberries, watermelon, pineapple and kitten. Yummy!

Via I Can has Cheez Burger.

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Losing Weight May Protect Against Cancer

Unless it’s a big bag of money, no one likes carrying around extra weight. Even cute little love handles can be bad.

And having too much abdominal fat has been linked to stroke and heart failure, but losing weight can work wonders.

A new study in the journal The Lancet Oncology claims women who underwent weight-loss surgery had a lower risk of cancer. Great news?

Losing weight is a fantastic idea, but weight-loss surgery is a bad idea. Dr. Fuhrman lists depression, malnutrition, gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency, as potential side-effects of bariatric surgery.

Instead, try fruits and vegetables. Plant foods are low in calories and high in fiber, which means you can eat until you're stuffed, protect yourself against cancer and still lose weight!

Via Journal Watch.

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How to Make Peppers Annoying, Very Annoying

Part of me feels bad unleashing this on you, but then again, I’m not a nice person. So if you like hot peppers, get ready to hate them. This obnoxious little ditty will be stuck in your head for hours!

 

 

Kaela Kimura is a Japanese pop singer and she teamed up with the Peanuts gang to promote “Hot Pepper” a free coupon magazine. It seems the beeping sounds are just there to drive you crazy.

Via Serious Eats.

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When It Comes To Heart Risk, Healthy Living Pays Off!

According to a new study published in Journal of the American Medical Association, eating right and exercising is still the best way to protect your health, and your heart.

I know. It’s hardly a revelation, but earlier this year a report said nowadays more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses—including heart disease—than ever before.

Clearly, a lot of us aren’t getting the message. We’ve got too many cheeseburgers and hotdogs on the brain!

The research found individuals that lost weight, exercised, avoided smoking and drinking, and ate plenty of fruits and vegetables have a lower lifetime risk of heart failure and high blood pressure.

So next time you see someone coming out of a Burger King, slap the bag out of their hand, and run! It’s good exercise.

In related news, low-calorie, plant-based diets also help lower heart risks.

Via HealthDay News.

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Higher Omega-3 Levels Linked to Lower Bodyweight

Omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats recently found to improve heart health and help prevent prostate cancer, are now being associated with lower bodyweight.

Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists observed that overweight or obese people had blood levels of omega-3s roughly 1% lower than healthy people.

For the study, 124 people of varying bodyweights—21 were classified as healthy weight, 40 overweight and 63 obese—had blood samples taken, with results showing an inverse relationship between omega-3 levels and participants’ waist size and hip circumference.

Obese people had omega-3 levels of 4.53%, but healthy people had levels of 5.25%.

Sure, it’s only a small difference, but healthy bodyweight is just one perk of omega-3s. Other reports have shown omega-3 fatty acids offer protection from stroke, depression linked to pregnancy and help lower young children’s risk of type-1diabetes.

Good sources of omega-3 include flaxseed, walnuts and micro algae-derived supplements.

Via Food Navigator.

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Q & A: Rev Up Your Diet and Lower Blood Pressure!

Sometimes I have high blood pressure, usually during football season, but I would never try lowering it with pills, according to Dr. Fuhrman, using medications to lower blood pressure can actually be harmful. Here’s more about blood pressure from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: I have been following Eat To Live for about three months, very gradually. I have not done the aggressive program. Out of nowhere, my blood pressure has become high. I am seeing my doctor in 10 days to check it and I know she will try to put me on medication. I do not want this.

Would it be "dangerous" to give myself a few months on a complete Eat To Live and not take medication to see if I can get it down? I exercise everyday, weight train 3 hrs per week, do yoga, ride my bike. I feel if I work the aggressive weight-loss program until I see her I will already see results.

Dr. Fuhrman: Medications are not the first line treatment for high blood pressure. It is a signal that your lifestyle is not health supporting and you need to drop the weight, exercise more and eat more carefully. Don't put anything with added sodium in your mouth, rev up the diet to the next level and take charge of this immediately. Your doctor will not likely be of any help here. Read my newsletter on high blood pressure.

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Vegetable Chemical May Stop You from Going Crazy

First off, let me say something. I eat a ton of fruits and vegetables, but I am still nuts! So I don’t know about this study. I have my doubts, my very crazy doubts.

Presented at the British Pharmacological Society’s Summer Meeting, researchers claim flavonoids—powerful antioxidants in fruits and vegetables—may offer health benefits for Alzheimer’s patients.

Experts suggest consuming flavonoids reduce brain pathology, i.e. disease, and improve thinking. One particular flavonoid, called epicatechin, is believed to protect brain cells.

More research needs to be conducted, but scientists say so far findings support the idea that a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods could impact the development and progression of dementia.

The nutrients in fruits and vegetables have a wide array of benefits, including preventing Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D is another good one. Vitamin D, i.e. the sunshine vitamin, has also been shown to lower the risk of dementia.

In related news, flavonoids have been linked to reduced risk of ovarian cancer and flavonoids found in soybeans improve blood flow and protect against cardiovascular disease.

Via ScienceDaily.

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I Climb Mountains and I Don't Want Pizza!

Recently, my two sons, my brother, and I went hiking up the rocky cliffs overlooking Devil’s Lake, near the Wisconsin Dells. The climb was steep and strenuous, but the view at the summit overlooking the bluffs was gorgeous; well worth the physical exertion that was expended to capture its magnificence.

Three years ago, when I was obese, and carrying around almost a hundred extra pounds, I could only make it a third of the way up due to shortness of breathe and exhaustion.

Unfortunately, I never got to see the breathtaking views from the summit. In fact, past a certain point in the climb, one never sees an obese person.

Not only did I make it to the summit with little effort this time, that evening I asked my 20-year-old son if he’d like to go back, and watch the sunset with me.

We reached the summit in record speed, just as the sun was beginning to melt into the earth, and the picture of me above, on the right, was taken immediately afterwards.

At that moment, I vividly recalled one person’s response to the infamous, “How did you do it?” question that many, including complete strangers, have asked me throughout this past year of getting my health back.

After telling the basics of being a nutritarian, I recall one person emphatically exclaimed, “Oh, I could never give up pizza!”

Give up pizza? Ha. She had absolutely no clue.

I didn’t give up pizza. I don’t want pizza!

Because I eat high nutrient dense foods, my body has become so well nourished that it no longer craves junk. In fact, now, a year later, pizza sounds repulsive to me, and doesn’t even enter the radar screen of desire, because the addictive craving for high fat, low nutrient, processed food is completely gone.

Being a nutritarian not only gave me my health back, but my entire life back!

We reached the base just as darkness settled in.

It was at that moment, I knew that I was completely free from the power of our culture’s toxic food addiction, and would be committed to eating for health for life.

I Can Has Swiss Chard!

I consider myself a rough and tough guy, but I got to be honest. I love kitties! And I’m addicted to I Can Has Cheez Burger. In addition to ALL the news I read everyday, I’m a regular visitor of the site. I suspect many of you are too. So when I saw this picture. I freaked.

It’s certainly better than when your cat leaves a disemboweled mouse on your front steps. Now, this frisky feline isn’t the only vegetable loving cat we’ve found. This little guy goes crazy for baby spinach and this tuxedo cat just can’t get enough broccoli. Nom, nom, nom!

Via I Can has Cheez Burger.

 

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Lowering Blood Pressure Can Be Harmful...

I’m not like most physicians when it comes to treating hypertension. I’m not quick to prescribe medications; instead I advocate a non-drug centered approach to reverse heart disease and lower blood pressure. In my medical practice I have helped thousands of patients realize dramatic reduction in blood pressure, sometimes in as little as one week, simply by helping them adapt to my nutrient diet style and exercise program. In fact, I believe the conventional method of drug treatment is actually creating more heart attacks, strokes, and chronic disease than saving lives.

My July 2008 Healthy Times Newsletter, on treating high blood pressure, I outline the primary reasons that diet and lifestyle changes are so much safer and more effective than hypertension drug therapy, including:

  • Nutritional excellence, weight loss, salt avoidance, and exercise are proven to be the safest and most effective at providing cardio-protective benefits - actually reversing blood vessel plaque and getting rid of high blood pressure.
  • Medications have risks and side effects that can be life threatening.
  • Excessive lowering of diastolic blood pressure in the elderly and those on medication to control significant coronary artery disease actually increases the risk of heart attack.1

This newsletter offers detailed information about the risks and overuse of blood pressure medication and recent research findings corroborate my approach for lowering blood pressure.

According to a Cochrane Review treating patients with medications to reach lower blood pressure targets below the standard 140/90 did not show any reduction in morbidity and mortality. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of over 22,000 adults with hypertension taking anti-hypertension medication which indicated a higher risk for total mortality and a relatively significant increased risk of major cardiovascular events with more aggressive use of medications.

High blood pressure (BP) is defined as having a systolic (the upper number) blood pressure above 140 and a diastolic (the lower number) blood pressure above 90 mmHg. High blood pressure is a risk factor for increased risk of heart attack and stroke. As a result this range has become the standard blood pressure target for physicians and patients. A recent trend toward lower targets has been recommended by hypertension experts who set treatment guidelines. This trend is based on the assumption that the use of drugs to bring the BP lower than 140/90 mmHg range will reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, this approach was proven false even in high risk patients.

The review was performed to find and assess all trials designed to examine whether lower blood pressure targets are better than standard blood pressure targets. When the data was analyzed, it revealed that using more drugs in the lower target groups did achieve modestly lower blood pressures. However, this approach did not prolong survival or reduce stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure.2

Blood pressure medications are especially a concern when medication lowers the diastolic number too low. When the diastolic blood pressure is lowered excessively (as they lower systolic pressure), it increases the potential for cardiac arrhythmias that can lead to death.3 The excessive use of blood pressure medications that lower diastolic blood pressure too low also have been shown to increase the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, another serious rhythm disturbance of the heart.4

I have been educating my patients and readers about this for many years and now this meta-analysis provides even more scientific evidence that supports my recommendations--to avoid heart attack and stroke, the goal is not just to achieve a systolic blood pressure below 130; you must achieve it without medication!

Learn more about why using drugs to treat hypertension is dangerous and ineffective in my July 2008 Healthy Times Newsletter.

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Cutting Alcohol, Meat and Smoking Lowers Colon Cancer Risk

Geez, I know people who do all three—in one sitting! If you know someone like this too, show them this.

New research in the International Journal of Cancer suggests lifestyle changes—such as eating less red meat, not smoking, avoiding alcohol and exercising—may lower your risk of colon cancer.

Scientists analyzed 100 studies on colon cancer risk, finding that high intake of red and processed meats, smoking, obesity and diabetes were associated with a 20% increased in the risk.

As for alcohol, people averaging one drink or more each day had a 60% higher risk of cancer. However, people who exercised regularly were 20% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

Makes sense! Especially since last week a report came out saying vegetarians—i.e. people who don’t eat meat—have less cancer than meat eaters.

And previous findings reveal smoking and drinking heighten risk of bowel cancer, but eating fruits and vegetables, protect against cancer. Sweet!

Via Reuters.

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Citrus Nutrient May Help Stop Obesity

In college, the only citrus I got was the lime in my beer bottle, but now I know better. Citrus fruits are loaded with health-promoting nutrients, like vitamin C.

Kiwi fruit, watermelon, strawberries, mangos and raspberries are all packed with vitamin C. And in May, vitamin C was found to stave off age-related vision loss.

Now, new findings in the journal Diabetes claims another fruit nutrient, naringenin—a flavonoid in citrus fruits—halts the development of metabolic syndrome, which leads to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

For the study, scientists fed mice a high-fat diet—to simulate a western diet—in order to induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome and discovered mice fed a fatty diet plus naringenin had “corrected” levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.

Naringenin also protected against insulin resistance. Experts say naringenin reprogrammed the liver to burn up excess fat, instead of storing it. However, more research is needed to determined naringenin’s exact effect on heart disease.

In related news, pomegranates were found to reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.

Via EurekAlert!

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Q & A: Do Chicken and Shrimp Lower Cholesterol?

A lot of people think a healthy diet means grilled chicken and pasta. Nope. Try again. In his book Cholesterol Protection for Life, Dr. Fuhrman explains chicken—and even lean meats—don’t do much to lower cholesterol. In this discussion from the member center, Dr. Fuhrman explains why foods like chicken and shrimp aren’t wise choices for heart health:

Question: I remember reading a while back that chicken and shrimp are low in fat but high in cholesterol. Is that true? My friend has a heart condition and his nutritionist told him shrimp and chicken were good to eat depending on how it was cooked. I would like to convince him otherwise. First, I want to make sure I have my facts straight.

Dr. Fuhrman: Animal products, including high protein white meat chicken raise cholesterol, not just because of its saturated fat and cholesterol content, but because animal protein also raises cholesterol. Secondly, it is not just about cholesterol. You must reduce low-phytochemical and low-antioxidant foods like animal products and leave room for the high-nutrient plant foods.

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Soy Might Help Men Not Forget Things

I’m a guy. I forget things, little things, like birthdays, where I left my car keys, or to put on underwear. Luckily, some soy might fix that.

According to a new study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, isoflavones in soy could help improve men’s mental function and memory.

Researchers recruited 34 healthy men and participants were given a daily dose of 116 milligrams of soy isoflavones. Then men were tested on memory, mental function and visual-spatial processing.

Data showed guys getting the soy isoflavones committed 23% fewer errors and needed 17% less time to complete tasks. So ladies, if your man is a big dummy. Go get him some soymilk.

Soy is a super food! Previous reports have found it lowers risk of breast cancer, improves heart health and helps build strong bones, but don’t go soy crazy. Dr. Fuhrman says no diet should be based on just one food, not even soy.

Via Nutra Ingredients.

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Veggie Protein Lowers Blood Pressure

New findings in the journal Circulation reveal glutamic acid—a protein found in vegetables—reduces average systolic blood pressure by 1.5 to 3 points and diastolic pressure by 1 to 1.6 points.

The drop may seem teeny tiny, but overall it may lower death rates from stroke by 6% and heart disease related deaths by 4%.

Vegetable protein is 23% glutamic acid, while meat protein is only 18% glutamic acid.

However, researchers insist improving blood pressure does not come down to one single nutrient and urge people eat their vegetables, avoid fatty foods and not drink a lot of alcohol.

Now, you probably know this by now, but cutting salt is a major way to lower blood pressure. In March, a study discovered salt decreases an important blood pressure-lowering enzyme, which signals blood vessels to relax. Eek!

Via HealthDay News.

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How to Peel a Banana, Monkey Style!

Apparently, we’ve all been peeling bananas the wrong way. You don’t start at the stem. Instead, trying peel from the little nub at the tip, it’s so much easier:

 

 

Now, isn't it weird that a grown man is wearing monkey pajamas? I suspect he still lives at home with his parents and plays World of Warcraft all day.

Via Serious Eats.

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Protect Your Bones Without Drugs!

Most people mistakenly are led to believe that drugs are the answer to treating osteopenia and osteoporosis. However, studies reveal that the bisphosphonates, like Actonel, Fosamax, Boniva, and Reclast, commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, are not as effective as we have been led to believe. As more and more research data comes out about the long-term risks of these medications, we are finding out that they are more dangerous than we had previously thought.

I want to give people the information they need to put an effective plan into action. In this video, I offer my advice regarding diet, supplements, and exercise. I am joined by my wife, Lisa, and staff to demonstrate the best exercises to effectively build your strength and bone mass. We've even added a fun 15 minute workout to start you on your way. Now is the time to take control of your health destiny!

You’ll learn more in my DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life:

  • Get the best bone building exercises to do anywhere
  • Build strong muscles
  • Avoid high risk medications
  • Learn common dietary causes of bone loss

Start building healthier, stronger bones now! Here’s a preview clip of Osteoporosis Protection for Life.

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United States Swine Flu Cases Reach 1 Million

Swine flu rattles on! U.S. health officials now believe the virus has infected an estimated 1 million Americans. In June, it was reported the infamous flu already nailed all 50 states. According to the CDC, the United States has roughly half of the world’s swine cases, with 3,065 hospitalizations and 127 deaths—and the number of hospitalizations is growing; DiscoveryNews reports.

I could cover swine flu everyday—I’ve tried my best to spare you—but it’s still important to keep you updated. Like how vaccines currently used to against swine flu, such as Tamiful, are useless and that Dr. Fuhrman recommends healthy diet and good hygiene to prevent the flu.

And here’s another important tidbit. Researchers have determined non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—called NSAIDs—used to treat the flu may cause multi-organ failure. Eek!

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Every Berry is My Favorite

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Diane Lassen of Women’s Nutrition Matters and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

When I think about my favorite fruits and vegetables, I realize that my favorites change with the seasons. I do my best to eat locally, and plan my meals around those things that are ripening as we speak. Right now, I have only one thing on my mind—BERRIES!

Berries—I can’t get enough of them. They are antioxidant powerhouses, brimming with fiber and wonderful flavor. Did I mention versatile? You can literally eat berries in every meal. I eat them in my breakfast cereal. I add them to my smoothies and toss them into salads. I wander the woods seeking raspberries and blackberries, and have been known to return to work from my lunch break with purple-stained fingers after finding a mulberry tree with low-hanging branches. They are nature’s perfect snack food; portable, packable and freezable.

Strawberries are still available for self-picking in the New Jersey area, and blueberries are soon to follow. I have been picking strawberries at the local CSA for almost a month now! Black and red raspberries are making their appearance in a few weeks as well. Plus, there are so many other berries to try, like gooseberries, cloudberries, wine berries and currents. Many recipes calling for one berry can be easily made with whatever berry is on hand. If you are lucky enough to find a surplus of berries, freeze them! Simply spread them out on a baking sheet. Place them in the freezer and then bag them up when they are frozen. So you can eat berries all year long!

I love my berries in the early summer. They are a breath of fresh air after a long winter of apples and pears! Berries are a perfect cleansing food, full of nutrition and fiber, and can help shed the winter pounds in a very tasty way.

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Bananas Really are the Perfect Food to Me

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Bloggy McBloggenstein of Stop Being So Fat! and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

If I don't have one everyday I feel incomplete. I couldn't think of a better snack to have while on the go that doesn't leave me feeling like I've overloaded on salt or sugar, which most snacks do.

Bananas are the ultimate convenience food! As far as fruit goes (or for that matter any "snack" food) bananas require no washing, cutting, peeling, storage, or packaging. They come in their own biodegradable wrapper that can be removed by hand! What more could you ask for in a convenience food?

Just don't leave the peel lying on the ground. Comedy and/or bodily injury may occur!

And they're so cheap! At least in my neck of the woods, they are usually around $.50 a pound, which can get me 3 or 4, depending on the size. That sure beats spending a dollar at the vending machine for a candy bar that will probably make me feel poorly afterward.

The influence of the Western diet in the past few decades has lead most people's diets to become lacking in enough highly nutritious foods to thrive, especially fruit. Bananas are notably helpful in combating the typical Western way of eating in that they are good sources of several vitamins and minerals that actually help reverse the negative effects of eating too many processed, and not enough whole foods.

Those nutrients include Vitamin C, the great antioxidant; vitamin B6, important for amino acid metabolism as well as even reducing depression for some that are deficient. The minerals potassium and magnesium help to reduce blood pressure, which is great since hypertension rates are skyrocketing mostly due to high sodium intake. Oh, and we can't forget fiber!

With all of these good things to say about bananas, there's really no excuse to not have some on hand.

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Romaine Lettuce, Life's Little Black Dress

A year ago I was a desperate woman. I was living precariously in the deep abyss of food addiction and obesity; teetering on the edge of diabetes, heart disease, and organic depression, and realizing there was no way out, except to learn to swallow greens.

Desperate people take desperate measures. In July, I made a commitment to get healthy. Unfortunately, soon afterwards, life happened. One of my children became seriously ill, and I suddenly needed to eat something uncomplicated, yet full of nutrients. Romaine lettuce became my best friend.

Each day I rinsed a head of romaine leaves with water, wrapped it in a kitchen towel, and threw the bundle into a cooler.

I discovered that I could eat romaine leaves while driving. I could also fill a sack with them, pack a can of beans, a can opener, some carrots, an apple, and have an instant meal in a hospital cafeteria. I could go anywhere, spur of the moment, and thanks to romaine lettuce, have the mainstay of a nutritious meal always ready and available. Anytime, anywhere, just like a little black dress. Versatile, uncomplicated, yet full of pizzazz!

Three months later, as the crisis passed, and life returned to normal, I gradually discovered wonderful recipes: green smoothies, vegetable and bean soups, sorbets and ice-creams, and various salads; including the romaine, finely shredded, and drizzled with raspberry sauce.

The benefit of unintentionally starting Eat to Live with an abundance of romaine lettuce was that it changed my taste buds to enjoy the subtle flavors of greens forever, even curly kale! The little black dress of greens gave me my health back, and for that, it will always be my favorite.

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Vegetarians Have Less Cancer Risk than Meat-Eaters -- UPDATE --

New findings in the British Journal of Cancer reveal of the 60,000 Britons studied those who were vegetarian—half of them—had a lower risk of developing cancer, compared to meat-eaters. The research followed participants for 12.2 years, with 3,350 incidences of cancer. The number of meat-ears who developed cancer was 2,204 and 829 among vegetarians—only 317 fish-eaters got cancer. Overall, vegetarians were 12% less likely to get cancer; Medical News Today reports.

But vegetarian and vegan diets most often aren’t ideal. Dr. Fuhrman points out many vegans and vegetarians are often deficient in things like omega-3’s, found in fish. Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA Purity can help. It’s derived from microalgae and supplies plenty of brain-building omega–3 fatty acids.

In related news, animal fat was shown to raise the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, while leafy green vegetables—such as kale and cabbage—help fight and protect against cancer.

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some additional thoughts: 

A vegan diet can be ideal if well designed as can be a diet with a small amount of animal products, such as one or two servings a week. A nutritarian diet is designed to reverse disease and promote longer life, and features:

  • Adequate depth and variety of nutrient-rich natural foods
  • Limited animal products, but adequate ALA/EPA/DHA
  • Adequate whole food plant fats and proteins from seeds, nuts and beans
  • High intake of green and cruciferous vegetables
  • Careful attention to supplements or lab tests to assure no deficiencies are present with genetic variation of absorption and variable needs
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I Love Raspberries!

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Melanie Thomassian of Dietriffic and Diet-Blog does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of Followhealthlife or Dr. Fuhrman.

I love berry season, and my absolute favorite are raspberries. Besides being delicious, they’re also packed to the brim with nutritional goodness. Honesty, I can’t get enough at this time of year.

The sheer amount of goodness packed into such a small fruit amazes me! So, what’s in there? Well, raspberries are a wonderful source of vitamin C (around 30mg per 1-cup serving), manganese, and dietary fiber (30% daily value), and they also contain some vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, copper and potassium.

In addition to all of this, if you’re eating them regularly, you’ll get a good dose of anti-cancer phytonutrients such as anthocyanins, quercetin, and ellagic acids - these can help improve immune function, and reduce the risk for other chronic diseases such heart disease.

Phytonutrients are actually most concentrated in the peel or skin of fruits and vegetables, and this is why berries, with their high skin-to-fruit ratio, are such a concentrated phytonutrient source.
Here are a few quick serving ideas:

  • Mix 1/2 cup fresh raspberries with millet porridge for a delicious healthy breakfast.
  • Add raspberries to a green salad, or blend and serve as a dressing.
  • Make real fruit ice-pops - blend raspberries, place into plastic ice-pop containers, freeze and enjoy anytime.
  • For a simple dessert sprinkle fresh raspberries with balsamic vinegar.
  • Add dried raspberries to your nut mix for a healthy snack.

Next time you feel like a snack, instead of reaching for cakes or cookies, why not go for the ninja warrior of the berry world, and satisfy your sweet cravings with raspberries!

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Fruit and Veggie Antioxidants Improve Exercise Endurance

New findings in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism reveal quercetin—a nutrient in red apples, berries and broccoli—boosts oxygen uptake and exercise endurance. Study participants followed their regular routines and diet for 7 days and then did the same thing for another 7 days, but this time they consumed 500 milligrams of quercetin. While on quercetin people had nearly 4% more oxygen uptake and took longer to become fatigued during exercise. However, participants got quercetin from Tang, which stinks; Reuters reports.

But still, quercetin is great mojo! According to Dr. Fuhrman, blueberries are packed with quercetin and other healthful flavanoids. He recommends eating blueberries everyday. That’s why you’ll find quercetin in Dr. Fuhrman’s Pixie-Vites, along with other nutrients found in watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and many other amazing fruits and vegetables.

And don’t forget, last year researchers found antioxidants and nutrients in carrots, spinach, kale and collard greens help health improve eye health and stave off age-related vision loss.

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