Anti-nutrients? Are you letting them scare you off whole foods?….Part 3 of 3

Oxalates in greens? It’s another tempest in a teapot. Please show me the clinical data that healthy people need to limit oxalate-rich food. I’ve seen none. Only claims, passed around the internet. Hypothyroidism does not dictate that we avoid this very important, phenomenally nutritious class of vegetables and greens.

Goitrogens in broccoli, cabbage, kale? Let’s use some common sense. Let’s say a food has sustained human life for thousands of years, and dozens or even hundreds of studies show it to be dramatically healthy. (I’m referring to broccoli, cabbage, and kale—the crucifers.) Let’s say we break down the many complex parts of the broccoli plant, and we find one that, when chemically isolated, is harmful.

We might do well to trust that the synergy in 100 different co-factors in that food are time-tested. How can you do a study to show that the complex interplay of factors in a powerful plant food yields long life and superior energy for humans? Scientists want to parse and isolate. If they find the heavy-hitter nutrient, they might be able to put it in a pill. Altered slightly, it might be patentable and worth $1 billion.

I’m not saying that natural, food-based supplements have no value. But nothing is going to come close to the synergistic, nearly incomprehensible effects of the plants they were derived from. The impact of the aloe vera plant on digestion, and burn healing….it’s nearly inestimable. You know this if you’ve ever cut a stalk off your aloe vera plant and applied it to a sunburn, which then doesn’t peel, and feels dramatically better, and is gone the next day. (Or if you put a stalk of your aloe vera in your green smoothie, watch what it does to your digestion that day, WOW.)

Whole plant foods are dramatically helpful  for us to fuel a long, vibrant life. When you dig to the bottom of these “tempests in a teapot” controversies about anti-nutrients, you invariably learn that research shows the “anti-nutrient” to be neutral or even helpful to normal, healthy humans.

If you’ve read this blog series and are now going to avoid whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, or apple seeds, you’ve missed the point entirely. Whatever OTHER food you eat instead of that whole plant food—animal flesh, or packaged foods—has far worse than an anti-nutrient or two. They have heat-damaged carcinogenic oils, no fiber, refined sugar, chemicals from solvents and preservatives and flavor enhancers and packaging and colorings.

You’re simply far better off eating whole foods. Virtually always.

swine flu prevention: should you worry?

I hope you aren’t worried about the swine flu.   Like you, I’ve been reading all about it.   I am simply not worried.   Not because I don’t understand the risk, but because by following a few simple practices, you minimize your risk, and the rest is in God’s hands anyway, where we would do well to leave the remainder.   “Do your best and forget the rest,” as Tony says in P90X, the extreme workout regimen I started this week.   Or, as an embroidery sampler said that my mother did, hanging on her wall as I was growing up, “God grant me the wisdom to change the things I can and accept the things I cannot.”

All that written, I got the devastating news last night that my beautiful 36-year old cousin I grew up with, who had no known health problems and was a normal weight, has passed away on the way to the hospital of cardiac arrest after contracting the flu.   (Swine flu is not suspected.)   My extended family is reeling and we are praying for her young family that includes three little boys.

I don’t think the answers lie in extreme precautions, running out and buying gas masks and paraphernalia.   Experts I have read say that the little germ masks won’t do us a bit of good against the swine flu.   Washing your hands well, not touching doorknobs and other things in public, and staying out of crowds is common sense wisdom.

Adding to your food storage some power foods and natural remedies against illness is wise.   Vitamin C, colloidal silver, oregano, garlic, sproutable seeds/nuts/grains, spirulina, cacao, goji berries, cayenne, aloe vera, and ginger.

Drink lots of water (half your weight in ounces), jump on a rebounder, get enough sleep, and get out in the sun at least 15 minutes daily for your Vitamin D–these four things are paramount to keep your immune system supported and lymph fluids moving and draining.   Minimize stress and maximize love in your life.   Don’t exhaust your adrenal glands with eating sugar, and nourish all the organs of your body with whole plant foods, mostly raw.

Thinking that because we’re healthy and have nourished our immune system should give us lots more confidence, but of course it was the healthy/young in the population who died en masse in the flu epidemic of 1918.   (Usually those with strong immune systems do well, and I see no evidence to the contrary so far with the swine flu.)   So observing the simple precautionary behaviors mentioned above would be wise as well.

Indulging in fear and panic is not wise, and it’s paralytic and unhelpful anyway.  My prediction is that this is not going to be a massive pandemic; it will go away soon, though we may have a Round 2 in the fall.   Most who get the swine flu will find that it’s no worse than the usual influenzas that some people contract in the winter.

If I’m right, that will give you some time to focus on preparedness, including a three-month supply of food so you could stay home if you needed to.

 

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 8 of 9]

Brewer’s (nutritional) yeast

Brewer’s or “nutritional” yeast is grown on barley, and it is often used as a supplement, especially for nursing mothers.   It is high in protein, and it is also extremely rich in B vitamins.   It has been linked to reduction of symptoms of diabetes, eczema, constipation, and hypoglycemia.

It is also one of very few plant sources of B12.   Vegetarian lifestyles are often criticized because of low Vitamin B12, and while vegetarians may not actually be suffering from low B12 (depending on which study you are looking at), using aloe vera and nutritional yeast are good ways to address that, if you are avoiding all red meat as many health-conscious vegetarians and vegans do.

Cayenne

Cayenne has long been used not only as a “heat” spice, but also for the medicinal purpose of opening the arteries and preventing cardiac events.   Cayenne is well known to herbalists for its ability to accelerate and intensify the effects of other herbs.   It will add heat and interesting flavor to your smoothies, and it will also open your blood vessels, improving blood flow.

extra ingredients for green smoothies [part 2 of 7]

We had a very informative teleseminar on alkaline water and the group buy on IONIZERS tonight!   Watch here for the recorded seminar tomorrow, and the prices / offer of a free shower filter (removing chlorine, etc.) tomorrow–the DEALER PRICES are good through Fri. midnight.

On to more green smoothie ingredients you should try:

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is an inexpensive extra ingredient is something I would encourage everyone to use in green smoothies, except pregnant women until further testing is done for that population.   I keep an aloe vera plant in my windowsill for quick and effective treatment of burns or scrapes.   (You simply cut a spear from the plant, slice it in half, and rub the inner pulp on the sunburn or stovetop/curling iron burn for dramatic healing.)   You can buy these plants in nurseries, and they grow wild in some climates, such as in Arizona.

Aloe vera has been extensively studied for its immune-stimulating effects, and hundreds of research papers have been published documenting some very interesting benefits.   One I find most interesting is the fact that it contains Vitamin B12, one of the only plant-based sources of this nutrient, so adding this ingredient to smoothies can help vegans and vegetarians achieve complete nutrition.   Additionally, the plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.   It heals ulcers and reduces asthma symptoms.

I often cut a large spear, wash it, and throw it in my green smoothie as well.   Having your own plant is inexpensive, compared to the slightly processed and nutritionally inferior product you can buy in health food stores.   (It’s still excellent nutrition, in the jug from the health food store, just not as powerful as a spear from the raw plant.)   A small amount is best, as you can overdo with this ingredient and cause too much bowel stimulation, especially if you are new to green smoothies and transitioning from a fairly typical American diet.

Ginger

Ginger is an ingredient I add to my smoothies almost daily.   The most inexpensive place I find to buy it is Asian stores, and I always pick some up when I stop by the Asian market for my cases of young Thai coconuts.   The unpeeled ginger “roots” last a few weeks in the fridge.   (I also look through their interesting greens selection while I’m at the Asian market and take home some cabbages, for variety in green smoothies.)   Fresh ginger is not actually a root, but rather an underground stem.   You peel the brown outer layer off and add an inch or two, or more, to any smoothie.   It adds a lovely flavor, but it also has powerful anti-inflammatory, digestive-function strengthening, and anti-nausea properties.   It’s a great natural remedy for motion sickness, morning sickness, and intestinal gas.   If someone struggles with feeling nauseous while starting a green-smoothie habit, I recommend adding as much ginger as you can.   It is a warming herb and helps stimulate blood circulation and promotes decongestion, and it can help knock down a fever.