Watch Dr Fuhrman's inspirational TED talk. Better health than ever before is possible. A "nutritarian" diet seems like a miracle cure for heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Dr. Fuhrman is "on a mission to share the power of nutritional excellence." It is more therapeutic than medication and the results can touch your heart.
Over the years I seen many articles on the benefit of Hibiscus and have purchased tea like the Celestial Seasonings brand pictured below. I recently purchased a bag of the dried flowers after being reminded of their amazing benefits by nutritionfacts.org. If you don't know, Hibiscus, is the same flower you might find in your backyard. Originally from Hawaii, it packs a wallop of nutrition. If you're trying to find an alternative to coffee, this might help you on your way. Want to lower your blood pressure or increase your good cholesterol? Consider this a plus. It's a bit tart so a few teaspoons of sugar alternative, like Erythritol, helps (see a video on this sugar substitute in my previous post). Add it to your smoothies or keep it in your fridge as a treat when you get the urge for something sweet. To prepare, steep 1/2 cup of the dried flowers in 4 cups of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Add your sugar alternative and serve either hot or chilled over ice. You may also add the almost equally beneficial pomegranate juice (straight, no sweeteners) to cut the tartness. To read more about the benefits of this amazing flower, see this Mother Earth News article.
Surely you've read that sugar is bad for you. The evidence keeps mounting. So what's a sweet tooth addict to do? Isn't Stevia OK? Mmmm, maybe not. Watch this 2 minute video explain some of the scientific evidence and then hop over to Nutritionfacts.org and watch a couple of other videos in the series on sugar substitutes:
Aspartame Induced Fibromialgia
Is Stevia Good for You?
Thanksgiving 2013 is less than 3 weeks away and you might consider serving these delicious Thanksgiving inspired, plant-based recipes. They were generously contributed by Plant-Based Dietician, Julieanna Hever, who hosts a TV series called, "What Would Julieanna Do?" which airs on Veria Living TV. These recipes are 100 percent whole food, plant-based, sugar, oil and salt free.
Find the complete recipes here:
Fall Harvest Chowder
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Kale Salad with Mustard Dressing
Berry Apple Relish
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
I usually reserve recipes for, well, the recipe section, but there is so much good news here, I think you'll understand. Having a smoothie for breakfast can be an easy, quick and heart healthy choice. This one is particularly heart healthy and here are a seven reasons why you might want to drink your breakfast:
1. It's a good way to eat more greens. Add some spinach, kale, or romaine lettuce and you'll be on your way to having your daily dose of greens.
2. The blender does the chewing for you and helps release all the goodness in your food.
3. Cranberries contain polyphenols and they may boost heart health by alleviating arterial stiffness. And, blueberries help reduce atherosclerosis. Not to mention that both of these antioxidant rich berries help prevent urinary tract infections by blocking bacterias ability to bind to the bladder's wall.
4. Oatmeal can lower your cholesterol. It's soluble fiber binds to cholesterol and ushers it out of the system.
5. Clinic studies have shown pomegranates to be heart healthy. From Dr. Fuhrman, Pomegranate "not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away."
6. Flax seeds, which need to be ground to be bioavailable, are rich in lignans and omega 3 fatty acids and "scientific studies have confirmed that flax seeds have a positive influence on everything from cholesterol levels and constipation to cancer and heart disease."
7. "Soy's lunasin peptide is "nutritional magic" for your heart. Lunasin is a naturally occurring peptide found in soy that disrupts production of cholesterol in the liver and clears LDL from bloodstream." from news-medical.net.
If you're concerned about soy, you can substitute unsweetened almond milk.
Heart Healthy Smoothie
If you haven't been to Dr. Greger's website, NutritionFacts.org, I highly recommend it as a great resource for fast and easy to understand video's about nutritional studies and health. I can't believe it's been a year since I posted Dr. Greger's 2012 video, "Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death" here. He's done it again this year, for free I might add, with "More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases." His entertaining presentation of interesting health and nutrition data may even make you chuckle. His video has had over 1 millions views already. Although it's an hour long, there are many tidbits that will help you stay focused and determined to eat a plant-based diet. Enjoy!
More Than an Apple a Day: Preventing Our Most Common Diseases
I've been writing this blog for about a year and a half, but you may have noticed that I don't share much personal information. I figure that maybe you're not that interested in hearing about me. The more I thought about that, though, the more I realized that the blogs I like and feel connected to are the ones that do share about themselves. So with that in mind, I thought I'd share my personal health journey. I'm not just talking about losing weight and lowering cholesterol although they are a part of it. It's about dealing with my increasing episodes of heart palpitations.
First, although most palpitations are harmless, if you are experiencing undiagnosed heart palpitations, it's best that you have it checked out by a doctor. I've had sporadic heart palpitations for most of my life and 25 plus years ago I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse (MVP). Nothing to worry about, they said. When the palpitations increased recently, I decided it was time to look again. A stress echo test revealed that I actually don't have MVP, but just a small leak. Apparently, the test for measuring MVP has changed over the years and many were diagnosed with MVP that didn't have it. The stress echo test revealed that my heart valves are all good, but why the palps? My cardiologist's first inclination was to medicate and do more tests because one of the causes can be plaques or blockages in your heart. My cardiologist did not ask any questions about changes to my diet or what was happening in my life.
Although I wore a heart monitor for a month, I was not willing to do a nuclear stress test because of the radiation exposure. The monitor revealed some non-dangerous palpitations and a few atrial fibrillations. (Note: the decision to forgo a nuclear stress test was purely a personal decision. This test does offer a relatively non-invasive way to measure blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress).
So off I went to do some research. I discovered that there's another simple ultrasound test that can reveal a lot about your heart. Why not do something less invasive first, I reasoned. It is actually recommended by Dr. Fuhrman. It's a scan of your carotid arteries in your neck and is about 95% correlated with what's happening in your heart. Check out more info about this at Dr. Fuhrman's site. I found out that,
I had to post photos of these amazing looking potatoes - yams, yokon gold and purple. They look so colorful, especially in their raw state. I made this for a Fourth of July party. There's a slight change from my original recipe, Roasted Potato & Green Bean Salad, and I thought you might like this idea for your dressings. That is, the addition of avocado. Since I am staying away from processed fat, the addition of avocado adds the creaminess that a mayonnaise would. Throw the ingredients in the blender and you have this delicious dressing for any of your veggie dishes.
Dressing: 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbl. grainy mustard, 1-2 tsp. maple syrup, 1/2-1 avocado (depending on size). Blend on low until combined. See the complete recipe here: Roasted Potato & Green Bean Salad
I'm passing along to you this great email I received from Dr. Fuhrman about the benefits of tomatoes. If you are interested in receiving these emails yourself you can sign up here: Dr. Fuhrman's Email and Newsletter Signup.
I can't say enough good things about Dr. Fuhrman's approach to health and nutrition. I often turn to him when I have health questions and I've read several of his books and follow his nutritarian food pyramid.
Add more tomatoes to your diet by doing trying these few simple things and read why they are so important, according to Dr Fuhrman, below. Oh, and tomatoes are good for your skin, too.
Tomatoes protect against heart attack and stroke
Carotenoids are a family of over six hundred phytochemicals (including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) that help to defend the body’s tissues against oxidative damage, which is a natural byproduct of our metabolic processes. Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to chronic diseases and aging.1
Lycopene is an extremely potent antioxidant. Health benefits of lycopene include:
I've always liked those little guys that populate my gut. They help digest my food and keep me healthy. After all, over 80 percent of your body's immunity is built in the intestinal tract by the friendly bacteria balance that resides there.
You've probably heard that a round of antibiotics can wreak havoc on your system since they can't distinguish between the good bacteria and the bad. Antibiotic use may be fueling an increase in many illnesses like type 1 diabetes, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease. Disruption of your gut bacteria may even affect metabolism and body weight.
Apparently they can have more influence than I realized. New studies have shown that they can affect your brain. Watch this interesting video from Dr. Gregor and Nutritionfacts.org to find out how your brain function and are your gut are connected. Then think about adding more of the good guys back into your diet. Vegan versions include sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables, soy yogurt, miso, tempeh or supplements. Kimchi, a Koren version of spicy pickled cabbage is becoming popular, too. Trader Joe's has a vegan Kimchi version made with napa cabbage, garlic and chilies. Be sure to look for live and active cultures on the label. And, look for my post on making your own sauerkraut soon or try this Reuben Sandwich recipe.