July 19, 2011

Nutrition Research: Dried Fruit Improves Diet and Reduces Weight

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According to a new study published in Nutrition Research, eating dried fruit improves one's diet and reduces weight. Specifically dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium were affected. Researchers report:

Dried fruit consumers had improved MyPyramid food intake, including lower solid fats/alcohol/added sugars intake, and a higher solid fats/alcohol/added sugars score (11.1 ± 0.2 vs 8.2 ± 0.1) than nonconsumers. The total Healthy Eating Index 2005 score was significantly higher (P < .01) in consumers (59.3 ± 0.5) than nonconsumers (49.4 ± 0.3). Covariate-adjusted weight (78.2 ± 0.6 vs 80.7 ± 0.3 kg), body mass index (27.1 ± 0.2 vs 28.1 ± 0.2), and waist circumference (94.0 ± 0.5 vs 96.5 ± 0.2 cm) were lower (P < .01) in consumers than nonconsumers, respectively. Dried fruit consumption was associated with improved nutrient intakes, a higher overall diet quality score, and lower body weight/adiposity measures.

My favorite dried fruit is 100% Organic Bake-Dried Mango!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 12, 2011

Are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Found in Meat Causing Rise in Diabetes?

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Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are dangerous chemicals that have been banned but still remain in our environment and food supply because they take a long time to degrade. PCBs and DDT are some of the most infamous POPs.

If you are an omnivore, you are exposed to these chemicals, as they are stored in the fatty tissues of animals. A new study has found a link between POPs and the increase of diabetes, according to Mother Jones.


I've always associated our diabetes problem with the steady rise in sweetener consumption since the early '80s, triggered by the gusher of cheap high-fructose corn syrup that opened up at that time. But another culprit may be contributing, too: exposure to certain pesticides and other toxic chemicals. A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal Diabetes Care found a strong link between diabetes onset and blood levels of a group of harsh industrial chemicals charmingly known as "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs), most of which have been banned in the United States for years but still end up in our food (hence the "persistent" bit--they degrade very slowly)...

The researchers identified a group of 725 diabetes-free elderly Swedes and tracked them for five years, studying the level of POPs in their blood. Thirty-six of them ended up contracting Type 2 diabetes--and the ones who did had significantly higher POP levels than the ones who didn't. The researchers stress that the study's sample size is small, but their findings build on other recent data suggesting a POP/diabetes connection. Evidence for such a link is "piling up," David Carpenter, head of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, told Reuters...

How are these awful chemicals sticking around and still causing trouble decades after being banned? POPs accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals--and transfer to the animals that eat them, including humans who eat meat and fish. In industrial animal farming, livestock are often given feed that includes animal fat, which helps POPs hang around in the food chain. "We feed the cow fat to the pigs and the chickens, and we feed the pig and chicken fat to the cows," one expert told Elert. The widespread practice of feeding "poultry litter"--chicken feces mixed with feathers, dead chickens, and feed remnants, including beef products--to confined cows is another way these toxins keep cycling though the food chain. Why would the meat industry engage in such feeding practices? Simply put, because they're cheap.

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Wildebeast1

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2011

Support the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011

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The cosmetic industry is largely unregulated in the US. Women and young girls apply thousands of chemicals to their faces every day. The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 needs support to protect us from harmful make up products!

The Breast Cancer Fund explains:

Formaldehyde in hair-straighteners, heavy metals in makeup, phthalates in perfume and parabens in lotion. Chemicals linked to cancer don't belong in our everyday cosmetics, yet current law allows it.

That's why the Breast Cancer Fund has been rallying for major change in the cosmetics industry for six years, on behalf of people affected by breast cancer and as a founding partner in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Now we--and you--have a voice and a vehicle in Congress for truly safe, nontoxic cosmetics. On Friday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This bill (H.R.2359) would give the FDA the authority it needs to ensure that personal care products are free of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, infertility and other serious health problems.


Contact your representative and help move this important bill through Congress.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 5, 2011

Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Yogurt

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If you are lactose intolerant but love dairy products, Green Valley Organics has the solution for you!

Peace & Harmony In Your Stomach.

Dairy power to the people, especially the lactose intolerant people!

For you and your family, we've created rich, creamy Green Valley Organics™ real dairy yogurt and kefir. Unlike other lactose free options there is no compromise on taste. They're simply delicious by any standard. Made from organic ingredients, our fresh and flavorful, lactose free dairy foods will make you feel good inside. And with all their protein, calcium and Flourish™, our proprietary blend of 10 live & active cultures, they're as good for the body as they are for the soul.

Our company has been committed to digestive health for over 40 years.
So when we say it, you can believe it.
Give peace (in your stomach) a chance.


I am not lactose intolerant, although I have had trouble with casein. This yogurt is delicious, especially with raspberries and granola, and you would never know that it was lactose free from the flavor.

These dairy products start from milk on humane, small farms, and then is cultured in a solar powered facility.  
 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2011

Harvard: Six Cups of Coffee Reduces Prostate Cancer by 60%

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If you are a man and drink a lot of coffee, you no longer need to feel guilty. Apparently, that coffee offers you protection from deadly prostate cancer, according to a new study. Decaf showed similar results.

Baseline of Health Foundation reports:


The study, conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, showed that regularly consuming six or more cups of coffee daily can reduce your risk of developing lethal prostate cancer by 60 percent.1 If that sounds like more coffee than you can handle in one day, drinking one to three cups a day provides some benefit too. That amount was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of fatal prostate cancer compared to those who don't drink coffee at all...

Also, the benefits were the same whether the men consumed caffeinated coffee or decaf, so it is likely related to the antioxidants in coffee rather than the caffeine. On the other hand, previous studies have found that caffeine2 can regulate the circulation of testosterone, dyhydrotestosterone, and other sex hormones, as well as keep insulin levels in check, which is believed to have an influence on the prostate.

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by chichacha

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 17, 2011

Natural Poison Oak Remedies: Marie Original PO Soap

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With summer time outdoor adventures comes the risk of poison oak (PO) or ivy exposure. This plant can cause a mild rash to one that is intolerable. One solution I have found for my children, who do not always respect PO in the same way I do by sticking to the trail, is Marie Original Poison Oak Soap.

Poison Oak Soap helps remove the oils of the poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac plants from the skin, and speeds up healing of poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac and other minor skin rashes. Herbs with a natural antihistamine action help stop itching and redness, and promote healing of the skin. Marie Original Poison Oak Soap is a completely natural blend of essential oils, herbs, extracts, clay, oatmeal and glycerin soap and does not contain any artificial ingredients, dyes or scents.

My son has very sensitive skin, both sensory and physically. He loves Marie's PO soap and requests it at bath time. He associates with relief from previous itchy rashes and with prevention. I used to think any soap and water could wash away the oils of PO, but now I am a firm believer in Marie's Original Poison Oak Soap.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 8, 2011

New Chapter Bone Strength: Whole Food Calcium

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Calcium is an important supplement for women as they age.

If you're 30+, you're losing bone.
The truth is, bone density peaks at age 30. After that, it declines at .5% - 1% per year in both women and men. And while it spikes briefly for women following menopause, by age 65 -70 both women and men resume losing bone density at the same rate. Western diets simply don't provide enough calcium. No wonder so many doctors recommend taking a calcium supplement.

I've tried many different calcium supplements. From health food store brands to commercial ones, most calcium upsets my stomach. Not so for plant-based calcium sources, such as New Chapter Bone Strength Take Care:
Many people think that all calcium supplements are created equal. The truth is that the most common form of calcium supplement today is derived from limestone or rock. We don't eat rocks as part of our balanced diet, so why would we choose to supplement our bone health nutritional needs with limestone?

Our bodies understand and seek whole food sources of nutrition. That's why New Chapter formulated Bone Strength Take Care with a whole-food plant source of calcium, magnesium, and other important trace minerals.

The calcium complex in Bone Strength Take Care is derived from a specific plant form called Lithothamnion Calcareum, sustainably harvested from pristine shores along the Icelandic coastline. Much like organic vegetables, this sea plant is allowed to mature naturally and then sustainably harvested to deliver its optimal nutritional value.

Calcium must be completely dissolved in order to be absorbed. The plant-based calcium found in Bone Strength Take Care grows in a honeycomb structure and is extremely porous, which dramatically increases the calcium's surface area. Stomach acid can then come into greater contact with the calcium, making it easy to dissolve. Calcium carbonate sourced from limestone has a much smaller, rocky surface area and is more difficult to dissolve.


No wonder I cannot digest the rock based calcium supplements!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 18, 2011

Really Natural Health: New Chapter Every Woman's One Daily

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Now that I am getting older, I've decided it is time to take a multivitamin. New Chapter Every Woman's One Daily is an organic, whole food vitamin designed for active women.

All of New Chapter's Multi-vitamins are probiotic and whole. The herbs and cultured whole-food vitamins & minerals in each formulation work together to promote optimal health and deliver condition-specific benefits - not just address nutrient deficiencies.* The nutrient needs of men and women can be vastly different - the same can be said for people under forty versus over forty. New Chapter's formulation team takes exacting care with each nutrient in all of our targeted daily Multi-vitamins to benefit the specific needs of the individual.

I trust New Chapter.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 12, 2011

New Study on Cellular Phones and Your Brain

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It's relatively common knowledge that cell phone usage is affecting our brains. We've all heard the news that the radiation could cause brain tumors or cancer, and some of these studies have been refuted.

A new study has found that cell phones affect our brain's metabolism. The Baseline of Health Foundation reports:

Now, a new study has proven unequivocally that the radiation emitted from cell phone antennas alters our brain activity. While these effects may not necessarily be harmful, it's impossible to argue any longer that cell phone usage has no physical impact on brain tissue.

The research, which took place through the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, focused on the brain's increased metabolism of glucose while using a cell phone.1 The 47 study volunteers underwent PET scans while holding cells phones to their heads that were either off or on but muted. The scientists discovered that more than 50 minutes of exposure to a cell phone that is on boosts activity in the area of the brain nearest the antenna by approximately seven percent.

The amount of electromagnetic radiation coming off of a cell phone is relatively small, but this study was designed to pick up even small changes in brain metabolism. And it leaves no question that the brain responds to the weak signals when they are in close proximity. Since it is only within the last 20 years that cell phone use has truly exploded, its long-term effects are as yet unknown, and the research performed to date is inconclusive as to exactly how much -- and what kind of -- damage we are causing when we use cell phones regularly.


Although the size of this study is small with only 47 subjects, the results confirm that we should limit our time on cell phones. I think that texting is a better options, as you hold the device away from your body.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 10, 2011

Atlanta: Fluoridated Water is a Civil Rights Issue

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The controversy over fluoridated water and its benefits versus health risks has taken a new turn. In a part of the country known for its history of the civil rights movement, civil rights leaders believe mandatory fluoridation violates these basic human rights of equality. Natural News reports:
On April 18, Atlanta civil rights leaders called for an end to Georgia's mandatory water fluoridation practices April on the grounds that it negatively and disproportionately impacts the health of black families and the poor... Studies show that despite fluoridation, tooth decay is higher in blacks. Dental fluorosis, caused by overexposure to fluoride which can result in pitting of tooth enamel and mottling of the teeth, is also higher in blacks.

The Department of Health and Human Services proposes to lower water fluoride levels to alleviate the growing dental fluorosis epidemic but the Fluoride Action Network submitted scientific evidence to HHS indicating that, to preserve health, fluoridation must stop completely...

"I am most deeply concerned for poor families who have babies." Young said. "If they cannot afford unfluoridated water for their babies' milk formula, do their babies not count?"

"This is an issue of fairness, civil rights, and compassion," he said. "We must find better ways to prevent cavities, such as helping those most at risk for cavities obtain access to the services of a dentist."


Image:  Attribution Some rights reserved by wwarby

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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