My Healing Kitchen http://myhealingkitchen.com meals that heal Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:33:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Diet Soda’s Dropping Sales http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/diet-sodas-dropping-sales/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/diet-sodas-dropping-sales/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:54:25 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17485 gB34Gd7B7WR4KorkbNA7NciKHxZJUO1Q3gPPdsNxd7U,sq8YM1N-BRRjUg8LUNKi6wEhTUHR51vCtJhxrmy2tII,xdC9clqghcv5a3NZH9i_QrDSFSSZnhqI8my40KnE8oE,XLK1A_-1N_xmrtg0zgYXhvf5Oz43elvzETuElf3pDBk

Diet soda’s days of deceiving are in swift decline. More and more research is shedding light on the damage it causes and health-conscious consumers are paying close attention. Over the last year, sales of diet soda dropped almost 7 percent while sales of regular soda dropped by 2.2 percent.

Long touted as being “good for you,” diet sodas are being seen increasingly for what they really are: potent, chemically engineered mixes of artificial sweeteners, additives, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. And it is the artificial sweeteners favored by diet sodas – such as aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin, and sucralose – and their effects that are causing consumers to take notice.

Diet Soda Leads to Weight Gain

 When you drink a diet soda, your body and brain are primed for something sweet. This causes your body to boost insulin production, the fat storage hormone, which leads to more belly fat and even more cravings for sugar. In other words, you end up eating more food. Drinking diet soda also confuses your metabolism and ultimately slows it down, so you burn fewer calories every day.

Not only that, but because these artificial sweeteners are literally hundreds and thousands of times sweeter than real sugar, they blunt our body’s ability to be satisfied from the natural sugars found in unprocessed foods like fruit. So again, we feel like we need to have more sugar to our foods to become satisfied.

Studies conducted in 2005 and 2011 found that on average, for each diet drink a person had per day, they were 65 percent more likely to be overweight in the next seven years. Diet soft drink users as a group also had larger waistlines and more abdominal fat. Not only that, but drinking diet soda increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes even more than drinking sugar-sweetened drinks.

Go Natural

A good way to avoid all of the health risks associated with artificial sweeteners is to go natural — with some caveats. Raw sugar, honey and agave nectar, for example, are all natural and minimally processed, but they each will spike your blood sugar levels and have from 50 to 60 calories per tablespoon.

A better option is stevia. This zero-calorie sweetener is made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and has a long history of use in South America. Pure stevia has a bitter, licorice-like aftertaste that many people don’t like and it can be hard to bake with. That’s why I developed my own non-bitter stevia-based natural sweetener called SLIMTEVIA. It won’t spike your blood sugar and contains 90% fewer calories than table sugar.

Splash Together Your Own Healing Spritzer

Instead of drinking diet soda, try making your own spritzer. It’s quick and easy to make them with seltzer water or naturally sparkling mineral waters. Just add a touch of healing juices or crushed berries to the seltzer. Good candidates are pomegranate juice and dark colored berries. Small amounts of these fruits reduce inflammation (one of the major causes of diabetes) and protect against diabetic complications without elevating your blood sugar excessively.

Green, black and white teas also help fight free radicals and inflammation. Ginger is another fantastic anti-inflammatory, so steep ginger in simmering water and add it to your teas and spritzers. Check out our Ginger Green Tea Pomegranate Spritzer. It’s loaded with a triple dose of diabetes-healing elements. You can make up a big batch and leave it in the fridge for instant gratification over the next couple of days. Or, whip up a fruit smoothie made from yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, berries, almond butter and a spoonful or two of flaxseed.

Swapping out your diet soda for a natural, safer alternative doesn’t require a lot of effort yet can dramatically transform your weight and your health. We can all drink to that.

 

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High Blood Pressure Among Children on the Rise http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/high-blood-pressure-among-children-on-the-rise/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/high-blood-pressure-among-children-on-the-rise/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:50:03 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17482 mT4BLVfXxkX1uaXF1IF5YJ1O66CmI64WFwl8oKTU3NE

If your 55-year-old neighbor mentioned that he had high blood pressure, you’d probably chalk it up to the aging process. But what if your 11-year-old niece got the same diagnosis?

It may seem unbelievable, but the number of kids with elevated blood pressure has risen 27 percent over the last 13 years, according to a recent study published in the journal Hypertension.

The main culprits? Obesity and high sodium intake along with insufficient potassium.

The Trend of Expanding Waistlines

Researchers took a look at the health and nutrition of over 10,000 kids, ages 8 to17, from two time periods, 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2008. What they found showed a clear trend: boys and girls are getting heavier. The number of overweight boys rose from 27 percent to 35 percent, and girls, 25 percent to 33 percent.

That extra weight has some pretty serious consequences. Children whose body mass or waistline measurements landed them in the top 25 percent of their age group were twice as likely to have high blood pressure than those whose numbers were in the lower 25 percent.

Insufficient Potassium

Kids aren’t reaching for the saltshaker as much as they used to and sodium is not the blood pressure bogeyman that the medical industry believes. That said, high sodium intake without sufficient potassium is a problem.

The numbers of kids who consumed more than 3,450 mg of sodium per day dropped from 40 to 30 percent between the two time periods. However, 80 percent of children studied took in more than 2,300 mg, the recommended daily limit. Kids who ate the most sodium were 36 percent more likely to have high blood pressure.

Normal Blood Pressure Levels

For an adult, physicians look for numbers under 120/80. But for a child, the recommended readings vary, depending on age and gender, and can even be above what is considered healthy for an adult.

Normal blood pressure for an 8-year-old boy is between 111/75 and 120/80. For an 8-year-old girl, the range is from 112/74 to 118/78. Normal for a 12-year-old boy is 119/79 to 127/83, for a 12-year-old girl, 120/79 to 126/82.

Be a Good Role Model

If your niece sees you steering clear of burgers and fries and heading for a salad instead, she might follow suit. Talk to kids about why going to the farmers’ market beats Burger King. Better yet, let them figure it out for themselves. Take them to a community garden, or “you pick ‘em” strawberry field, and taste how good a berry or bean straight from the earth tastes.

You can also petition your local school to include more kale and carrots and less hot dogs and hash browns on their menus. For inspiration and guidance, see the Center for Ecoliteracy’s Rethinking School Lunch Guide.

 

 

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Acupuncture Alleviates Arthritis Pain http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/acupuncture-alleviates-arthritis-pain/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/acupuncture-alleviates-arthritis-pain/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 20:20:27 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17477 fotolia_7674763

 

Having arthritis turns your life into an endless search for pain relief.

I know. I’ve been there.

Heaven forbid you should leave home without your meds! Or misplace that precious bottle of pills…

But today I’ve got good news about real relief for you. And it isn’t about a new drug…

 Solid Evidence

Over the past 4 decades, Western researchers have put acupuncture under the microscope to find out if it truly works.

Their conclusion? It kills pain, including arthritis pain.

One recent large study found that acupuncture plus standard care eased pain and disability from osteoarthritis better than just standard care.

Published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, the study found that patients measuring around 50 on the WOMAC scale (measuring severity of pain, stiffness and joint performance) dropped to an average of 30 after 15 acupuncture treatments. Those who were not treated remained at 50.

That’s a huge drop in pain. Just think of what you could do with your life if a third of your pain disappeared!

Long-Lasting Results and Twice as Effective

Another study found that acupuncture was twice as effective as standard medical care for back pain (not necessarily from arthritis), and its benefits continued for a year after the 10 treatments were over.

Even more impressive is a new, rigorous and detailed meta-analysis of 29 acupuncture studies involving 18,000 patients.

The results? Acupuncture again outperformed standard care for people suffering from osteoarthritis and chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.

That’s some pretty solid evidence that acupuncture works!

Relief without the Pain

The last thing you want when you are in pain is more pain. So I’m not surprised when I’m asked if having needles stuck in your skin hurts.

The truth is most people don’t feel any pain at all. Some people feel discomfort or small pains. Everyone I know would rather receive acupuncture than deal with the side effects of drugs.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t work for everyone. For some, the results really can seem miraculous. For others, it’s a huge help in pain management, but it might take time to see results. And for a few, it makes no difference. You’ll know where you fall after your initial appointments.

Finding the Right Acupuncturist at the Right Price

It’s now possible to get recommendations on a good acupuncturist from many doctors. Another great option is asking your friends and family. As more people are turning to acupuncture than ever before, chances are you know some who has tried it.

The rapidly-growing network of community acupuncture clinics works to make safe, effective acupuncture affordable for everyone. You can find a list of clinics here.

Acupuncture is no longer seen as a mysterious practice and many insurance now companies cover it. Here are tips for talking to them about acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Pain-Relief, Whole Foods for Healing

Eat right, exercise, and see if acupuncture can help you find the ultimate pain relief.

Acupuncture means less pain medication and greater mobility.

I’ll take that any day!

But to truly heal, you have to stop eating the foods that can lead to arthritis and start eating healthy “whole” foods that will rebuild your joints. Check out my arthritis-healing diet at MyHealingKitchen.com or in my book, Arthritis Interrupted.

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How Yoga Relieves Arthritis Pain http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/how-yoga-relieves-arthritis-pain/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/how-yoga-relieves-arthritis-pain/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:36:30 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17414 118151_4922

 

The next time your poor arthritic joints are aching, strike a pose — a yoga pose, that is. Chances are, stretching might be just the thing you need to ease the pain.

It seems crazy to move and stretch when you are in pain, doesn’t it? But, believe me, it really works — and I am living proof.

Certain yoga postures are my favorite way to relieve pain and soreness. That’s why I’d like to spend a little time telling you how yoga perfectly complements an arthritis-healing diet.

Inactivity Feeds Arthritis

Your arthritis loves it when you slouch on the couch and work a desk job. This makes your muscles weaken a little bit each day and your bones degenerate.

And that means more and more joint pain.

Weaker muscles also make it harder to maintain your balance, so you end up tripping and falling, which causes cuts and bruises — and maybe even a broken bone or hip.

In addition, German researchers have found that inactivity among the elderly is linked to an increase in chronic diseases and a lower quality of life (including a decline in mobility, cognitive performance, memory, and life expectancy).

Exercise Your Pains Away… Gently

On the other hand, gentle exercise like yoga stretches will strengthen your muscles, expand your range of motion, and make you more stable on your feet.

Better yet, a 2008 metastudy found that gentle exercise and stretching stimulate production of a natural pain-killing anti-inflammatory substance called PGC1α. Scientists have found that PGC1α halts osteoarthritic joint inflammation (which means less pain) and also prevents muscle-wasting. As an extra bonus, it reduces your risk of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.

Doesn’t that make you want to roll out your yoga mat right now?

Yoga Without the Pretzel Bends

I know we see plenty of pretzel poses on the fancy yoga magazines, but those are done by advanced practitioners who live, eat, and breathe yoga.

That’s not me — or you.

Beginner’s yoga – also known as “gentle yoga” – is something else entirely. You start with simple poses to slowly and safely build up your strength, flexibility, and balance.

Easy Ways to Begin

Peggy Cappy’s DVD Easy Yoga for Arthritis is a great place to start, and shows how to change poses to make them easier.

But it’s even better to attend a class, if you can. Here’s why…

The Benefits of Personal Attention

In a class, the instructor can help you modify the poses for your special needs. If you are nervous about your physical limitations, try starting with a few individual classes. This way the instructor can get you settled with modified poses from the very start. When you transition into a class, you’ll be more confident and know how to participate safely.

Besides, classes are fun. You get to meet interesting people and make new friends. That’s important, because if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t keep doing it.

Never Push Through Pain

No matter what type of exercise you do, it’s important to notice the difference between the discomfort of stiff muscles and joints stretching more than they are used to, and the pain of something going seriously awry.

If something hurts, stop! Yoga should never hurt. Listen to your body, and ask your teacher for help if something doesn’t feel right.

How do you find a class?

Here are a couple pointers for finding good yoga instructors…

Check the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the U.S. or the Yoga Alliance for certified yoga instructors in your town.

Check the Yoga for Arthritis Table put together by Johns Hopkins to find out which type of yoga will work for you (there is a confusing array of yoga styles). Then you can call local yoga schools to find out which style they teach and if they have gentle or beginning yoga classes.

Ask the instructors if they have experience modifying poses for people with physical challenges. Some instructors even specialize in “therapeutic yoga,” which focus on specific physical problems such as arthritis, neck and shoulder pain, and back pain

Whatever You Do, Just Get Started!

Can’t find a class? Invite some friends to follow Peggy’s video with you. Serve some arthritis-healing snacks and have a yoga party that meets regularly!

Whatever you do, move more and slouch less — even if you start with just moving your arms and legs around on that couch.

Use the old adage “Move it or lose it” to motivate you. Because it’s absolutely true.

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Diabetes on the Rise in Americans http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/diabetes-on-the-rise-in-americans/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/diabetes-on-the-rise-in-americans/#comments Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:30:33 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17411 file000218950602

 

The number of Americans living with Type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. What’s worse, many of them don’t even know they have it.

A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more than 29 million Americans – roughly 1 in 11 persons – have the disease. That’s three million more than the last time the CDC released diabetes statistics in 2011.

The CDC estimates that about a quarter of these adults living with diabetes don’t even know they are suffering from the condition — they have not been diagnosed by a doctor.

Pre-Diabetes

An additional 86 million Americans have what’s called “pre-diabetes.” That means their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes.

Most people with pre-diabetes don’t have symptoms, but they are at high risk for developing heart disease. Left unchecked, the CDC estimates that 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes in five years.

 Type 2 Diabetes Isn’t Just for Adults Anymore

It’s not just more adults that are developing Type 2 diabetes — children and teenagers are as well. According to the same report, the number of youth under the age of 20 who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes has risen from 3600 per year to over 5000 per year.

Experts believe that the increase in obesity among young people is tied to the new epidemic. More than 80 percent of all children and adolescents with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese and are not getting enough physical activity.

Lower Your Risk

Fortunately, Type 2 diabetes is preventable — and even reversible. A diet rich in “whole” foods is key. Choose whole grains over highly processed carbohydrates, water and tea over soda and other sugary drinks, and healthy fats like extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil over refined vegetable oils like corn and canola oils.

If you are overweight, losing just 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your risk of developing diabetes in half. Just get up and get moving — long bouts of hot, sweaty exercise aren’t necessary. With a healthful diet and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week, you can keep Type 2 diabetes at bay.

 

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Berries for Better Blood Pressure http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/berries-for-better-blood-pressure/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/berries-for-better-blood-pressure/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:37:19 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17408 szWrI2uCLd1pYGdVufefzTAloZdnD0veDVrCPNUGvWo

A bowl of sweet, fresh berries is “good medicine” for your blood pressure, according to recent research.

These new findings add to the long list of health benefits that berries provide, including better eyesight and a stronger immune system.

And thanks to this new research, we’re getting a clearer picture than ever of just how much they can heal our hearts.

In fact, berries are one of nature’s most important superfoods for your overall cardiovascular well-being.

How Berries Improve Your Heart Health

A recent study from Harvard showed that eating blueberries just once a week reduced hypertension by 10% in people over 60. That’s an impressive drop just for putting blueberries on your Monday oatmeal! Harvard researchers also found that strawberries drive down levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a blood marker for inflammation that is an excellent indicator of cardiovascular risk.

In a separate study, women who ate 16 or more fresh or frozen strawberries per week lowered their CRP levels by 14%.  That’s just a bit more than two strawberries a day!

Another Harvard study found that younger women eating three servings a week of blueberries or strawberries reduced their risk of heart attack by 32%. This 18-year study also showed that eating berries in your younger years increases protection in your older years.

How Berries Work Their Health Magic

Berries are effective heart-healers in several ways. For example, one blueberry contains 16 specific nutrients that battle free radicals, fight inflammation, or both. These are key elements in lowering your blood pressure and protecting entire cardiovascular system.

The researchers in these studies believe that the red and blue pigments in blueberries (called anthocyanins) help dilate arteries (widening them so blood flows more freely) and aid in dissolving artery plaque (the gunk that collects on blood vessel walls and causes heart attack and stroke).

Over a dozen helpful nutrients in one berry! That’s incredible medicine.

And No Sugar Blues

Worried about the sugar content of berries? There’s no need.

Berries are relatively low in natural sugar and won’t spike your blood glucose. They’re also super-high in fiber and healing nutrients, with the highest nutrient-to-calorie ratio of all fruits.

So, if you have an out-of-control sweet tooth and are trying to break your sugar habit, berries are the perfect treat.

Finding the Best Berries

Organic fresh and frozen berries are the ones to shop for. Steer clear of canned berries and juice, and go easy on dried berries, as the sugars are more concentrated.

If you can’t find these, ask your grocer to purchase organic frozen berries, which are less perishable and carry less of a risk of being tainted with pesticides. They run about $3–4 for a bag and will last one person about a week.

Vary Your Berries and Savor Their Benefits

Try buying a pint of blueberries this week and a quart of strawberries next week. Are blackberries available for the picking at a local farm? Definitely go for it!

Add them to a bowl of steel-cut Irish oats (never eat instant oatmeal because it is too refined) and top with full-fat yogurt and nuts for breakfast. Or just have them with yogurt as a snack. Either way, he’ll be doing your blood pressure a big favor.

Bottom line: it’s better to pop berries than blood pressure pills!

 

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Celery Seed Extract Eases High Blood Pressure http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/celery-seed-extract-eases-high-blood-pressure/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/celery-seed-extract-eases-high-blood-pressure/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:42:55 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17391 file0001730397441

 

Long second fiddle to peanut butter in that delectable low calorie snack, celery is starting to receive its just praises. Researchers are learning that extract made from celery seeds can be a boon to those looking to lower their blood pressure.

Every part of the celery plant – including the stalk, leaves, seeds and juice – has been used over the years as both food and medicine. From ancient Rome to modern times, celery has fascinated people. It has been hailed as an aphrodisiac, a nerve soother, sleep aid, a treatment for anxiety, gout, and arthritis, and even as a cure for hangovers!

But it was its use in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine as a muscle relaxant that sparked the attention of the Western world.

A Drop in Both Systolic and Diastolic Numbers

A recent pilot studyfound that regularly consuming an extract of celery seed containing 85 percent 3nB significantly lowered blood pressure in hypertensive men and women in just six weeks. At the end of the study, the average decrease in systolic blood pressure (top number) was 8.9 mmHg and the average decrease in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) was 8.5 mmHg. Talk about impressive results!

Because this was a pilot study and no control group was used, larger and longer studies need to be done before recommendations can be made. However, if you have high blood pressure you might want to discuss adding a celery seed extract to your regime with your doctor.

It’s in the Oils

The characteristic odor of celery comes from one of the volatile oils contained in the seeds and leaves called 3-n-butyl phthalide (3nB). Phthalides are a class of phytochemicals, powerful plant compounds that have amazing health-protecting qualities. The phthalide 3nB gets its blood pressure lowering power by acting as a muscle relaxant in much the same way that medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers work. The relaxation of muscles around blood vessels allows them to expand which in turn lowers blood pressure.

Unlike drugs, these phthalides don’t cause any side effects like dizziness or fatigue. Phthalides also act as diuretics, lowering the pressure inside our blood vessels even further.

Getting Celery into Your Diet

As well as with its classic companion, peanut butter, try celery sticks with almond butter, hummus or a yogurt dip. Celery also makes for a great addition to salads, like in one of my favorites: Celery Salad, Hearts of Palm Cherry Tomatoes, and Raspberry Vinaigrette.

When it comes to choosing a celery seed extract supplement it is caveat emptor. Unfortunately, like some supplements, you can’t know for sure how well a particular celery seed extract supplement will work, but there are couple of steps you can take when choosing one:

  • Buy from a known and reputable company.
  • Check the company’s website for quality assurance information and be certain that they state that they follow Good Manufacturing Practices.

 

 

 

 

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Eat Broccoli to Improve Your Arthritis http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/eat-broccoli-to-improve-your-arthritis/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/eat-broccoli-to-improve-your-arthritis/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:35:47 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17388 Broccoli4

 

Broccoli is one mean green when it comes to battling osteoarthritis! You definitely want it on your team.

Unfortunately, too many cooks prepare it improperly, which decreases its power as an arthritis superfood. But today, I’m going to help you fix this problem.

How Broccoli Beats Arthritis

When fighting arthritis, a crucial first step is to halt the destruction of joint tissue, so that you can begin to rebuild it.

Broccoli contains a remarkable natural substance that does just this. Called sulforaphane, this wonder-working nutrient blocks the enzymes that destroy joint cartilage in people with osteoarthritis. (This is exactly what COX-2 inhibitor drugs do — only broccoli does it naturally.) This means you experience less pain because there is less inflammation in your joints.

Clinical Studies Demonstrate Broccoli’s Power

A series of preliminary studies like this one suggest that the sulforaphane in broccoli and broccoli sprouts can halt the arthritic destruction of your joints.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Center were so excited about this benefit that they attempted to patent broccoli sprouts, which have 10–100 times the sulforaphane of mature broccoli. Here’s why they were interested:

Unlike Arthritis Drugs, Broccoli Does Not Damage Joints

A well-kept, but heavily-researched secret is that anti-inflammatory drugs and arthritis medications actually accelerate joint destruction by halting the body’s natural joint repair process.

You see, your joints are continuously rebuilding themselves from life’s wear and tear. Without this capacity, your joints wouldn’t last very long at all.

The most damaging drugs are popular painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin® and Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®) and celecoxib (Celebrex®), among many others. They are collectively known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).

Given the vast array of studies demonstrating how NSAIDs damage joints, researchers speculate that skyrocketing NSAID use over the past 20–30 years might be the cause of the current osteoarthritis epidemic.

Don’t Go There! (Except in Emergencies)

These drugs are very valuable when it comes to breaking the “inflammation cycle.” That said, because of their adverse side effects you shouldn’t rely on them on a daily basis and.

You can keep your joints cool and calm by focusing your diet on the anti-inflammatory superfoods such as broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, tart cherries, berries, wild Alaskan salmon, full-fat yogurt, and a wide variety of nuts.

 How to Get the Most from Your Broccoli

Knowing how to prepare broccoli properly is essential to optimizing its medicinal benefits.

The main thing you need to know is that the sulforaphane in broccoli is a bit picky about heat. In fact, when broccoli is fully cooked, a new study show sulforaphane plummets by 90%.

Sulforaphane Super Secrets

Another little-known fact: Sulforaphane doesn’t show up in broccoli until you chew it. That action combines two separate compounds in the broccoli to create sulforaphane.

The first compound (glucoraphanin) is relatively heat-stable, but the second (an enzyme called myrosinase) begins to break down at 150°F (boiling begins around 212°F). So steaming broccoli lightly is the way to go.

Something else you might not know: Researchers found that frozen broccoli can’t make sulforaphane at all! That’s appalling news to many of us who use frozen broccoli for fast healthy meals. (The consolation prize: you still get vitamin K’s arthritis-easing benefits.) Another secret: broccoli powders do not contain sulforaphane.

Radish = How to Multiply Broccoli’s Sulforaphane Power

Eating broccoli raw is one way to go, but recent studies show ways to get around the heat problem.

Simply add cooked or frozen broccoli to another source of myrosinase, like fresh broccoli sprouts, radishes (which can be daikon, horseradish, wasabi, or common radish) or arugula. One study shows that even small amounts of daikon can make sulforaphane levels jump.

The second trick is to warm raw broccoli to 140°F (well below boiling). Scientists have discovered that sulforaphane production actually increases at this temp. By 157°F, the myrosinase is being destroyed and sulforaphane levels are falling again.

But Raw Is Awesome Too

If you can imagine yourself nibbling on raw broccoli, here’s a yummy tip from one of our readers:

Pulse equal amounts of roughly chopped raw broccoli and cauliflower florets in a food processor until fine, toss in some chopped walnuts, then dress with extra virgin olive oil and lemon. Serve as a side dish.

This also makes a great salad if you toss in sunflower seeds, grated carrots, or other garden veggies, chopped raisins and chopped fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro work well). The chopped raisins add a hint of sweetness to this dish, and that makes a big difference to some folks.

Trust me, there are few more flavorful ways to heal your joints!

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Walking Off Type 2 Diabetes http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/walking-off-type-2-diabetes/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/walking-off-type-2-diabetes/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:02:14 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17229 Baby Boomers - Couple walking

 

New research from George Washington University shows that taking a short 15-minute stroll after a meal is a great way to lower your blood sugar and keep it under control.

 It’s All About Timing — For Seniors, Especially

The study participants were at least 60-years-old and at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes because they had high blood sugar levels.

Researchers had them take 45-minute walks either at 10:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m., or three after-meal walks. The 10:30 a.m. and the post-meal walks were the best at reducing their blood glucose levels over 24 hours. But here’s a surprise: The after-meal walkers did significantly better than the sustained walkers at lowering blood glucose levels for up to three hours after the evening meal.

This is great news because it is the post-meal blood sugar spike that is the most damaging to your body. Now we know that a well-timed stroll can keep blood sugar levels down.

“These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent physical activity on a daily basis, especially if the short walks can be combined with running errands or walking the dog,” said lead study author Loretta DiPietro, PhD, MPH, in a press release.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

According to the Mayo Clinic, walking helps to keep your weight down and your bones strong, while also improving circulation and giving your moods a lift.

This new study shows that even brief activity sessions throughout the day can make a big difference to overall health — especially for seniors.

What does a good walker look like? Posture is key. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed and back. Swing your arms freely, with a little bend at the elbow. Your stomach muscles should be contracted just a little, and your stride should flow easily, with your foot rolling from heel to toe.

 Exercise “Buddy Power”

Have trouble getting motivated on your own? Invite a friend along. Take someone to dinner in a location that invites a post-meal stroll, such as a lovely downtown promenade, on the waterfront, or even around a city block.

Chances are you’ll strengthen your friendship or relationship, too. Lots of people find that they connect better when they take a walk together; sometimes moving bodies make for a moving conversation.

 

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Cherries Are Good For Much More Than Just Pies http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/cherries-are-good-for-much-more-than-just-pies/ http://myhealingkitchen.com/featured-articles/cherries-are-good-for-much-more-than-just-pies/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:45:06 +0000 http://myhealingkitchen.com/?p=17221 1427368_65040912

 

Sweet or sour, cherries are nutritional powerhouses with so many incredible health benefits. One cup of fresh cherries has just 90 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. They pack a hefty dose of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron and folate, too. But that’s not all…

Cherries are rich in phenolic compounds and other phytonutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. These compounds help prevent and repair the damage that is done to the body’s cells by free radicals and are thought to reduce the risk of several chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Research on the phytochemicals in cherries continues to grow, adding more benefits to the list.

5 Reasons to Eat Cherries

Add it all up and there are many reasons to include cherries as a regular part of your diet. Here are five of the best:

  1. Improve your cardiovascular health:Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the anthocyanins in tart cherries act in a similar manner as prescription drugs used to regulate fat and glucose levels in the body. Regulating fat and glucose levels can reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. As an added bonus for diabetics, cherries have a low glycemic index so they won’t raise blood sugar levels.
  1. Protect yourself against cancer: Sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and the anthocyanins cyanidin, and quercitin which may act synergistically to fight cancer by keeping cancerous cells from growing out of control.
  1. Enhance your sleep: Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps you to feel sleepy. Studies show that drinking two servings a day of tart cherry juice improved sleep quality and duration as well as sleep time.
  1. Fight inflammation: For those who suffer from arthritis and gout, you will be relieved to find out that adding just ½ cup of tart cherries to your diet can reduce uric acid in the blood and reduce the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
  1. Ease post-workout soreness: If you’re looking for a way to fight post-workout soreness, then look no further than a bowl of cherries. Studies suggest that the anthocyanins in cherries can relieve muscle and joint soreness similar to how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs act.

The Short Cherry Season

Whether you like cherries sweet or tart, there is just a brief window of time to enjoy them fresh. The short cherry season – lasting only about four weeks – gives us sweet cherries from the Pacific Northwest and California, and sour cherries also known as “pie” or “tart” cherries from Michigan. But this year, those delectable sweet cherries may be in short supply. California, which is one of the largest producers of sweet cherries, had a warm winter and a light harvest. That will likely translate to high prices in the months ahead.

Reaping the Benefits of Cherries

While there are no established guidelines as of yet to the amount of cherries you should eat, experts suggest that consuming 1–2 servings of cherries a day can provide many of the health benefits mentioned above. Examples of what constitutes a serving includes ½ cup dried cherries or 1 cup frozen.

Cherries can be added to everything from your morning oatmeal and smoothies, to pork dishes and a spinach salad with walnuts. Of course, you could even serve the sweet ones as dessert at your next summer barbeque!

 

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