Archive for the ‘Functional Food’ Category

Why You Should Avoid Red Meat

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Back in the year 2001, I decided to become a staunch Seventh – day Adventist believer, and after relaxing my spirituality, I have come to discover that the lifestyle I adopted has increased my strength and vigor in daily performance of personal and corporate duties. Alertness duration, ease of conception, muscle’s ability to strain on heavy load, and general good health, measured against the period that I was a slug, lazy boy, has, according to me, been influenced by the positive change of lifestyle.

Adventists have an organized teaching on health that focus on the four facets of human life and this is spiritual, mental, physical and social. On physical, emphasis are on eight sure ways that a man can be spiritually fit without taking in a lot of diet prescription and dos and donts found in most of the health guidance we come across from other spheres of life. The eight sure steps to health and happiness are given as Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in Divine Power whose acronym is NEW START.

On nutrition, the importance of consuming a lot of vegetables and fruits is emphasized with warning against consumption of meat and meat products. Special emphasis is laid on the advantages of abstaining totally from red meat.

Causes of tumor and cancer cells have been greatly attributed to the presence of such cells in the red meat that we consume. Though it has been found that meat protein is good for you health because meat provide you with the eight essential amino acids, it has been shown by scientific studies and research that those who consume a lot of red meat are more likely to contract cancer than those who major their diet on vegetables and fruits. Other research areas on functional foods have considered that more than 98% of foods considered functional foods are from the plant kingdom.

Reasons why red meat is not healthy for humans is due to the fact that a lot of meat sold in the market are not ‘natural’ meat but meat that come from ranches kept under ‘artificial’ conditioning for good muscles. Feeding and chemical treatment given to the animals meant for slaughter makes the animals grow big, fat and huge within a very short time, with the chemicals (hormones, antibiotics, and enzymes) depositing on the muscles and get their way to the human body. These chemicals react with the human body physiological functions in many ways some of which are yet to be fully understood and appreciated.

Even if red meat is consumed from a domesticated animal through the traditional way, there is risk of zoonotic disease transmission due to improper care and animal husbandry. A lot of dieses are shared between the animals and man, and since the proper level of hygiene to totally isolate these ailments from the tissues of the animal by chemical or/and heat treatment would sometimes mean denaturisation the animal protein, it would be prudent just to forgo consumption of red meat (or even all kinds of meat if so considered) for the advantage of your own well being.

Recent studies have also shown that overcooking of meat (if you might just want to overcook it in order to get rid of all kinds of diseases associated with improper cooked meat) would also be a major cause of cancer. And even to under do the cooking poses your health to risk of acquiring the cancer you would want to avoid by overcooking.

And finally, some logical reasoning; if we did not tend thousands and thousands of slaughter animals, especially those that feed on a lot of green vegetables, and cultivate just enough greens for human consumption, we would save a lot in resources and everyone would get sufficient food since one animal consumes quantity of greens that could feed over 10 people. Don’t you think that being a vegetarian could reduce the rate of global warming?

Understanding the Link Between Fatigue & Leaky Gut Syndrome

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Do you feel lethargic, fatigued, and find that you have trouble focusing or concentrating at specific times of the day? If so, the complication you are experiencing with cognition and energy may be attributed to a unique digestive complication known as Leaky Gut syndrome. In adults who live with this complication, there is a marked risk for long term effects on both physical performance as well as mental performance.

Leaky Gut syndrome, LGS, is the term used to describe a unique digestive health complication that is implicated by the size and spacing of the cells in the intestinal wall. In healthy adults, the intestinal wall tissue is comprised of cells that are space to such a specification that food particles and nutrients we digest are not permitted to enter the bloodstream directly. When living with LGS, these same tight spaces are malformed, leading to a greater likelihood of leakage of digestive particles into the bloodstream and then creating complications in the brain.

When our bloodstream is overloaded with what the body perceives as “foreign objects”, a natural immunity response occurs, causing inflammation. When inflammation sets in, our brain and nervous systems are not permitted to function at optimal levels. It is important, therefore, to keep the blood stream healthy and free of as few toxins as possible.

To determine if Leaky Gut syndrome is the culprit behind your fatigue, lethargy, and general lack of focus and concentration, it is important to determine how you feel after you eat or drink certain products. If, when consuming caffeine, you feel bloated and as if you have much distention in the abdomen, this could be indicative of a Leaky Gut complication.

When suffering from complications that may be related to LGS, it is important to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist to determine what treatment may be needed. Once confirmed as LGS, most physicians will recommend a lifestyle change to a very strict diet that will control symptoms and reduce inflammatory response in the body when nutrients pass the intestinal wall and into the blood stream. The key to optimal health, however, lies in protecting the bloodstream as best as possible by keeping all nutrients in the intestinal wall for proper digestion and physiological use.

Sources: The Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Carol Turkington, p. 106.

Top 10 Probiotic Foods

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Probiotic foods contain live bacteria that are beneficial to human health. These bacteria strengthen the digestive system and help eliminate toxins and improve overall health. Many probiotic foods can be helpful in staying fit and losing weight as well. The top ten Probiotic foods are as follows

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is the most popular probiotic product containing the bacteria: Lactobacillus Acidophillus. Yogurt was also the first known Probiotic health food. Since the 1920s it became known as acidophilus milk and was used as more than just a food item. If you want to buy yogurt for this reason you should shop for brands with live cultures.

2. Buttermilk

Buttermilk also carries Probiotic health benefits. This can be used on its own or as an addition to fresh fruit smoothies. Buttermilk can also be used when baking and as a substitute for regular milk in many recipes.

3. Kefir

Kefir grains are used to make a drink that is also contains fermented milk. The process of fermentation is done overnight. The drink has a very sour taste and is made more palatable by mixing with it with fresh fruit or sweeteners.

4. Tempeh

Tempeh is a soy product that has been fermented. The result is a beneficial mold binding the whole soy beans together. The texture of Tempeh is a lot like meat and it is a great replacement for meat in vegetarian dishes; as it has proteins and vitamin B12.

5. Miso

Miso comes from the Japanese and is made by fermenting beans and grains. It is used as a seasoning for sauces, soups and spreads. Popular types of miso include Shiromiso (white miso), Kuromiso (black miso) and Akamiso (red miso).

6. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is actually a kind of pickled cabbage that is fermented in brine. Many people don’t know that this popular food is probiotic as well.

7. Kim Chi

Kim Chi is the Korean version of Sauerkraut and this fermented cabbage has a pungent smell and spicy flavor. Koreans use it as relish or side dish.

8. Brewer’sYeast

This is actually a by product of the beer making process. The nutrients that are cast off as beer is being made, come together in the form of Brewer’s Yeast to serve as a beneficial probiotic.

9. Soy Sauce

Soy Souce is very popular and contains probiotic benefits. Fermented soy sauce is a great idea to use with soups, rice and Asian food recipes.

10. Pickled Vegetables

Almost all kinds of pickled vegetables contain probiotic nutrients that will ensure a better digestion and healthy immune system.

It is also important to note that PREBIOTICS are foods that probiotics are known to consume. Having prebiotics like honey, fruit, raw apple cider vinegar, sprouted wheat and tomato will help the bacteria to thrive in your digestive system and aid better health.

Top 10 Probiotic Containing Food Sources

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Probiotic foods are becoming very popular these days. Probiotic foods contain a live bacterium, which is supposed to be beneficial to humans and not harmful in any way. Although many people have had mild stomach upsets, diarrhea or flatulence when first starting this diet. Usually these foods are digested easy. Do you know what foods contain probiotics? I am going to share with you a few products that contain probiotics.

One- Yogurt made from milk inoculated with thermophilus, streptococcus and lactobacillus or acidophilus. Milk may come from cows, goats, sheep or even water buffalo. Yogurt helps to fight eczema.

Two- Laloo’s goat milk frozen yogurt contains s. thermophillus, l. bulgaricus and l. acidophilus along with bifidus. Lactose intolerant people tolerate frozen yogurt pretty good.

Three- Good belly juice contains lactobacillus plantarum 299y, which helps with irritable bowl syndrome. This juice contains twenty billion live probiotics per serving.

Four- Attune wellness bars contain five times more live active cultures than yogurt and has less sugar. Attune bars promote healthy immune systems and digestive systems by fighting colds and flu.

Five- The Dan active dairy drink helps fight colds and flu.

Six- A few other food sources containing probiotics is, some soft cheeses, buttermilk, miso soup, tempeh, kefir. These products include the lactobacilli and bifid bacteria, which are components of lactaid acid bacteria that are present in fermented dairy products.

Seven- Kashi Vive Cereal contains active probiotic cultures and ginger. This cereal contains an excellent source of calcium and vitamin d.

Eight- Sauerkraut is hypoallergenic and easily digested and loaded with vitamins b and c. Sauerkraut helps to fight breast cancer in women.

Nine- Chocolate is another source for probiotics and has four times the good bacteria as ones contained in dairy products.

Ten- Pickles are a great source of probiotics and can be used in many food recipes.

There are advantages to using probiotics. They help remove gas and decompose waste. Keeps your digestive system balanced. It is useful for women and men who have taken antibiotics for a long period and helps to stimulate the immune system reducing the chance for infections. Probiotics control growth of pathogenic bacteria and viruses by crushing toxins and producing antibodies and anticarcinogens. Improves and reduces inflammation. Probiotics reduces high blood pressure and cholesterol. Probiotics help to balance sex hormones and improve fertility and lowering your chance of new growth of substances that cause cancer.

The disadvantage of using probiotics is side effects which usually are mild and include, gas or bloating, infections that require antibiotics and to much stimulation of the immune system.

Before trying any new foods or supplements please consult with your doctor first. He or she knows your health history and can advise you on what will or will not work best for you.

For more information on probiotics please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probiotic

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Bones

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

According to the FDA, during growth the body “builds a scaffold of protein and fills this in with calcium-rich mineral (“Bone”).” Vitamin D is also needed to help the body absorb and use the calcium. Obviously, protein and calcium are therefore the most important things you need to develop and promote healthy bones throughout your life. Vitamin D can easily be taken as a supplement to help your body use the calcium. It’s recommended that you get 1,200mg of calcium each day until your mid-twenties. These are the top 10 foods to include in your diet for healthy, strong bones.

1. Milk
Milk is the absolutely best food to promote healthy bones. Milk has high levels of calcium, as well as protein. Milk almost always has vitamins D and A added as well, making it a perfect strong-bone food. One cup of milk has about 300mg of calcium.

2. Yogurt
Yogurt can be a great source of calcium and can easily be packed in a lunch or eaten at breakfast. A serving of yogurt has about 300mg of calcium, as much as milk.

3. Calcium-fortified soy milk
This type of soy milk has no lactose, making it a great option for those that suffer from lactose-intolerance. It also has 300mg of calcium.

4. Tofu
Half a cup of tofu has 250mg of calcium to help your bones, giving a boost of calcium to individuals that have lactose-intolerance or those that do not eat animal products.

5. Frozen yogurt
This frozen treat has about 100mg of calcium, making it a bone healthy treat.

6. Cheese
Cheese is a great source of calcium for your bones and can be used in cooking, on a salad, with crackers, or enjoyed by itself. Different varieties of cheeses have differing amounts of calcium so be sure to check the nutritional information. Grated parmesan cheese, for example, has an overwhelming 1,376mg of calcium per cup! That’s more your recommended daily amount and almost 5 times the amount of milk!

7. Broccoli
Each cup of chopped broccoli, boiled, contains more than 200mg of calcium, a great option for vegetarians looking to improve the health of their bones.

8. Collard greens
One cup of this vegetable has almost 350mg of calcium for your bones, better than a glass of milk! Foods like collard greens and broccoli show that you don’t just need dairy foods to increase the chances of healthy bones.

9. Oatmeal
Instant, flavored oatmeal that’s been fortified has about 150mg of calcium, which is helpful for helping your children reach their daily amount of calcium to help them grow strong, healthy bones.

10. Chocolate pudding
Another healthy treat that’s great for kids, each 1/2 cup serving of chocolate pudding made with mix has about 150mg of calcium.