Marvellous Moringa Special

moringa-specials

 

The many health benefits of Moringa oleifera

by Michael Ravensthorpe

(NaturalNews) Moringa oleifera, also called the drumstick tree, is a tree that grows in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. It is also cultivated throughout Central and South America and Africa due to the ease with which it grows in tropical and sub-tropical environments.

While moringa remains relatively unknown in the West, it has developed a reputation in its native lands for its unusually high nutritional value. Indeed, health researchers have started to give it nicknames such as “The Miracle Tree” and “The Elixir of Long Life” due to its miraculous healing abilities. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of moringa and see whether these names are justified.

 

 

 

 

Moringa’s health benefits

Antioxidant activity – According to analysis, the powdered leaves of the moringa tree (which is the way most people consume moringa) contains 46 types of antioxidants. One serving, in fact, contains 22 percent of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants on Earth, and a whopping 272 percent of our RDI of vitamin A. Antioxidants help to neutralize the devastating impact of free radicals, thereby guarding us from cancer and degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration and cystic fibrosis.

Rich in amino acids – The leaves of the moringa tree contain 18 amino acids, eight of which are essential amino acids, making them a “complete” protein – a rarity in the plant world. Indeed, moringa’s protein content rivals that of meat, making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Protein is, of course, needed to build muscle, cartilage, bones, skin and blood and is also needed to produce enzymes and hormones.

Calcium and magnesium – One serving of moringa leaves provides us with approximately 125 percent of our RDI of calcium and 61 percent of our RDI of magnesium. These two trace minerals work in synergy; while calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth, we also need magnesium to help us absorb it. Since moringa contains generous quantities of both, it is especially good at guarding us from osteoporosis and other bone conditions.

Extensive nutrient concentrationsMoringa leaves contain 90 different types of nutrients, including four times more calcium than milk, four times more potassium than bananas, four times more vitamin A than carrots, 50 times more vitamin B3 than peanuts, 36 times more magnesium than eggs, and 25 times more iron than spinach. It also includes high amounts of additional nutrients such as dietary fiber, iodine, lutein, zinc, selenium, zeatin and beta-carotene.

Produces a healthy oil – Although moringa is mostly celebrated for its leaves, its seeds also have a worthwhile purpose: the pods contain almost 40 percent of an edible, non-drying oil called “ben oil,” which is comparable to olive oil in nutritional and antioxidant value. Ben oil is odorless, sweet-tasting, clear and – most importantly – lasts indefinitely. In fact, moringa leaf powder is also immune from spoiling, making both the tree’s oil and leaves excellent survival foods.

Nourishes the skin – Due to their trace mineral content, dried and powdered moringa leaves are great for nourishing the skin. Indeed, more and more cosmetic companies are starting to include moringa extracts in their products for this reason. Moringa creams and lotions can be applied topically on the desired areas, thus allowing the nutrients to soak into, and rejuvenate, the skin.

Regularly consuming moringa leaves has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved digestion and mood, immune-boosting effects and, thanks to their high fiber levels and low fat and calorie levels, weight loss.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.lifeinhealth.org

http://www.thetahealth.co.za

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Spiralling to Great Health with Spirulina

PRODUCT  Spirulina powder

Image result for vegan images

DESCRIPTION  200 g of wholly healthy organic spirulina powder, high in chlorophyll protein

The recommended daily dose is typically between three to five grams. You can spread the dose out to twice or three times a day if you like. It is safe to take higher doses, but this is a good place to start.  Remember to increase your intake of spring or filtered water when taking spirulina to help it absorb into your system

 

Image result for spirulina images

 

BENEFITS  Healthy for Vegetarians — More Protein than Red Meat

When you think of protein, you probably imagine sitting down to a meal of organic eggs or grass-fed beef or maybe even drinking a whey protein shake

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you may turn to plant-protein sources such as nuts, beans, lentils, and soy products. Unfortunately, soy is not the health food it claims to be. None of the above-mentioned sources of protein compare to the protein punch delivered by spirulina. Spirulina is 65-71 percent complete protein compared to beef, which is only 22 percent, and lentils, which is only 26 percent

In addition to being protein-rich, spirulina is an excellent source of vital amino acids and minerals easily assimilated by your body. You would need to consume only two tablespoons of spirulina as a protein substitute for a meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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one of very many vegan body builders

 

 

STILL MORE BENEFITS!

  • Chlorophyll benefits include helping fight cancer, improving liver detoxification, speeding up wound healing, improving digestion and weight control, and protecting skin health
  • The primary reason chlorophyll is considered a superfood is because of its strong antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. Chlorophyll benefits the immune system because it’s able to form tight molecular bonds with certain chemicals that contribute to oxidative damage and diseases like cancer or liver disease
  • Cholesterol lowering – Thankfully, there are natural ways to lower one’s cholesterol. Avoiding fructose and grains, and getting appropriate exercise top the list, but spirulina may also help. According to a study done on elderly male and female patients ages 60-87, those given eight grams of spirulina per day for 16 consecutive weeks showed lower cholesterol levels than those who were given a placebo
  • According to studies, spirulina is being successfully used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including those who’ve been poisoned by arsenic-contaminated water
  • Candida – If you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lupus or fibromyalgia, chronic candida yeast can both cause and worsen your symptoms. Spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial flora in your gut, which can help keep candida overgrowth under control
  • Improves liver detoxification
  • Speeds up wound healing – Chlorophyllin seems to slow the rate at which harmful bacteria reproduce, making it beneficial for wound healing and preventing infections
  • Protects skin – There’s some evidence that chlorophyll benefits skin healthy due its antiviral effects, allowing it to help stop the development of cold sores within the mouth or genital area caused by the herpes simplex virus. Some early studies have found that when chlorophyll-containing ointment or cream is applied to skin it helps reduce the number of sores that appear and speeds up healing time, making it a natural herpes treatment. (8)
  • Chlorophyll might also be able to protect the skin from shingles, reducing symptoms like painful sores, plus lower the risk for skin cancer. Injecting chlorophyll directly into the skin or applying it via lotion has been found to help reduce the recurrence of cancerous cells in people with basal cell carcinoma, a very common type of skin cancer.
  • Improves digestion and weight control – another way that chlorophyll improves detoxification is by speeding up waste elimination, balancing fluid levels and reducing cases of constipation.  Additionally, preliminary research shows chlorophyll benefits the metabolism and increases the likelihood of success with weight-loss efforts.  It seems to help promote weight loss by controlling appetite hormones and improving obesity-related risk factors, all without the scary side effects of most commercial weight-loss supplements

 

Image result for spirulina images

FURTHER INFORMATION

You’ve undoubtedly heard of chlorophyll, and you probably know that plants couldn’t without it. But what is chlorophyll exactly, and are there chlorophyll benefits for humans?

As we learned back in science class, chlorophyll is a type of plant pigment responsible for the absorption of light in the process of photosynthesis, which creates energy. So why is it important for humans beyond sustaining plant life? Turns out, chlorophyll is linked to natural cancer prevention, blocks carcinogenic effects within the body and protects DNA from damage caused by toxic molds like aflatoxin — very similar to way in which chlorophyll-rich chlorella has anticancer effects.

And that’s just one of the five major chlorophyll benefits for human health, all of which help cleanse the body and allow it to function at an optimal level


 

Acknowledgement for information : https://draxe.com/chlorophyll-benefits/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

 

Top five chlorophyll benefits - Dr. Axe

 

CONTRA INDICATIONS?

Can Chlorophyll Ever Cause Toxicity?

Because it’s completely natural, chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are not known to be toxic. In fact, over the past 50 years there have been practically no toxic effects attributed to their consumption, even in people with weak immune systems, such as those healing from cancer.

While the risk for toxicity is extremely low, chlorophyllin supplements might cause minor side effects like green discoloration of urine or feces, temporary discoloration of the tongue, or mild indigestion/diarrhea. These usually go away quickly and are only caused by supplemental chlorophyllin use, as opposed to eating foods that naturally contain chlorophyll.

In pregnant women, chlorophyll or chlorophyllin supplements haven’t been researched very much, so at this time it’s not recommended that they’re used during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.

One interaction to keep in mind is that certain medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitizing drugs) can interact with chlorophyll. This means taking these medications along with chlorophyll can increase sensitivity to sunlight even more and make you susceptible to burns. Use chlorophyll supplements carefully if you take photosensitive drugs or are especially prone to sunburns, blistering or rashes when you’re exposed to UV light.


How to Get More Chlorophyll: Top Chlorophyll Food Sources
Chlorophyll foods - Dr. Axe

 

 

This product is not designed to diagnose, treat or prevent any condition

Fabulous Fulvic Acid

7 Fulvic Acid Benefits & Uses: Improve Gut, Skin & Brain Health

Fulvic acid - Dr. Axe

Considered the ultimate “nutrient booster,” we can benefit from fulvic acid when we take it as a supplement or acquire it naturally from coming into contact with more dirt/soil outdoors. How? As an active chemical compound, fulvic acid works in a way that helps us absorb and use other nutrients better — such as microbiota/probiotics, antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals.

Because it’s able to improve how our cells take up things like antioxidants and electrolytes, fulvic acid has become popular for slowing down aging, improving digestive health and protecting brain function. (1) Due to its unique chemical structure, it’s able to fight free radical damage that contributes to the process of aging and nearly every chronic disease there is.

So what is fulvic acid exactly, and how does it benefit health? Let’s dig in.


 

7 Fulvic Acid Benefits and Uses

Fulvic acid is one of two classes of humic acidic, organic compounds found in the earth’s soils, rock sediments and bodies of water. Over the past several decades, we’ve learned a lot more about how humic substances found in dirt, including fulvic acid, can actually improve human gut health and therefore immune functions. While people used to obtain higher amounts of humic acids naturally from the soil, today they often turn to food-grade supplements to boost their nutrient intake and improve gut health.

Fulvic acid is found in nature as a product of microbial metabolism processes, which means it’s produced when organic plant matter decomposes and millions of beneficial healthy bacteria are released. That’s why fulvic acid is able to do the following:

1. Improves Gut Health and Immune Function

Fulvic acid and other humic acids contain a plethora of nutrients that improve gut health, including: trace minerals, electrolytes, fatty acids, silica (which boosts collagen synthesis), prebiotics and probiotics. These help nourish the digestive tract and also boost the ability of “good bacteria” to repopulate and form a healthy “microbiome” environment. We need a strong digestive system to build immunity, help control hormone production, regulate our appetite, reduce our stress response and much more.

For hundreds of years, an ancient remedy known as shilajit, which contains roughly 50 percent to 60 percent fulvic acid, has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a wide scope of health benefits that can be traced back to poor digestive/immune health. A poorly working gut is where many chronic health conditions take shape, which is why leaky gut syndrome is so harmful. (2)

As a result of gut permeability (when particles are able to escape through the gut lining and enter the bloodstream where they shouldn’t normally be), inflammation is triggered and autoimmune reactions can occur. There is some evidence that consuming fulvic acid can help decrease digestive disorders and other issues, including: SIBO symptoms(small intestine bacterial overgrowth), inflammatory bowel disorders, bacterial infections (respiratory, urinary tract, etc.), or the flu and common colds, for example.

2. Helps Boost Digestion and Nutrient Absorption

Acquiring enough electrolytes and other trace minerals is important for proper metabolic functions, digestive health and nutrient assimilation. Organisms we obtain from fulvic acid can be taken in small doses and still cause fast, significant improvements in the ratio of bacteria living in the gut, helping lower many unwanted digestive symptoms like constipation, bloating, diarrhea and food sensitivities.

Besides providing raw nutrients, fulvic acid transports minerals and other nutrients to cells more effectively, boosts absorption rate of nutrients by making cells more permeable, and fights inflammation within the digestive organs. (3)

Another benefit of taking fulvic acid as a supplement is that it helps restore the body’s optimal pH level. By alkalizing the body and preventing an overly acidic environment from forming, humic acids might be able to help prevent long-term illnesses from developing and improve defense against harmful bacteria, fungus, yeast and other organisms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Protects Cognitive Health

A 2011 study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that fulvic acid has several antioxidant, nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease. (4) A contributing factor to the development of cognitive disorders is free radical damage and also a type of protein called tau, but studies show that fulvic acid helps lower the length of tau fibrils and their morphology, disassembling their performance and stopping disease progression. The researchers concluded that fulvic acid is likely to provide new insights in the development of potential natural treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Improves Detoxification

Humic acids are beneficial for digestion and improving energy because of their detoxifying abilities. As a form of natural chelation therapy, humic acids are capable of binding to and breaking down toxins and metals that enter the body through the food supply, water, prescription medications, household products and air pollution.

Within the environment, fulciv acid is found in not only soil and rock, but also streams, lakes and ocean water. Humic acids form complexes with ions that are commonly found in the environment, creating tight humic colloids binds that help with water filtering, agriculture processes and detoxification  The presence of carboxylate and phenolates within humic acids gives them the ability to act like natural chelators, which means they form chemical complexes that are important for regulating bioavailability of metal ions like iron, calcium, magnesium and copper within the human body and environment.

Studies have found that humic acids have ion-selective electrodes that can be used for attracting heavy metals — even for filtering soils and water because they help bind to things like copper and iron. Research shows they’re even effective at geochemical processing of soils and aquatic environments at much lower concentrations than other types of chemicals. (5)

 

Fulvic acid benefits and uses - Dr. Axe

 

5. Lowers Free Radical Damage and Inflammation

Free radicals are present inside of all us, since they have roles for fighting pathogens, supplying energy and regulating hormones, but too many speeds up the aging process and results in disease formation. The combination of our exposure to environmental pollutants, low nutrient intake, and harmful activities like smoking, too much UV light exposure and eating processed foods has created a big problem in regard to raising free radical damage.

Fulvic acid contains antioxidants that counter the effects of free radicals and also help detoxify the body of many toxins that contribute to the problem: chemicals used in agriculture, radioactive waste and heavy metals, for example. It also helps extend the permeability and life of cells by providing electrolytes that have numerous functions within the heart, muscles, brain and digestive tract. (6)

6. Improves Energy Levels and Lowers Pain

Many people taking fulvic acid have reported improvements in energy levels, probably due to increased detoxification, lower levels of inflammation and free radical damage, and higher intakes of electrolytes and other key nutrients.

According to research done by Doctors Across Borders, studies have found that as natural and organic electrolytes, humic acids activate and energize nearly every biological process in the body. An electrolyte is soluble in water and works by conducting electrical currents, helping cells survive in the face of damage caused by things like emotional stress, uncontrolled infections, unbalanced diet, prolonged loss of sleep and surgical shocks. (7)

This also makes fulvic acid useful for lowering chronic nerve pain, headaches, joint pain caused by arthritis, or bone and muscle pains associated with aging. There’s some evidence that fulvic acid’s electrolytes can help reduce swelling, decrease inflammation, soothe and relax muscles, and improve circulation. Conversely, an electrolyte imbalance can cause these symptoms to worsen.

7. Repairs and Protects the Skin

Some evidence suggests that humic acids can help protect the skin and treat wounds or irritations caused by things like eczema, bug bites, scrapes and rashes associated with fungus/microbes. A study published in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology found that fulvic acid supplementation significantly improved symptoms associated with eczema, even compared to other other eczema treatments. (8)

Historically, fulvic acid has been used as a rash remedy to help treat poison ivy, poison oak, viral infections, spider bites and athlete’s foot. While this benefit is based more on anecedotal evidence than clinical studies, it makes sense considering fulvic acid improves circulation and immunity while lowering pain and susceptibility to infections.


How Fulvic Acid Works

As a supplement made for human consumption, fulvic acid can be found in liquid form and also as a solid, mineral substance. Something unique about fulvic acid compared to other organisms found within soil is that it’s able to easily pass through cellular membranes, allowing it to be properly absorbed and also boosting assimilation of other nutrients or supplements. (9) In fact, it has benefits for plants, soil fertilization and water/agriculture supplementation for the same reason — it improves plants’ ability to grow due to how it increases permeability of plant membranes that absorb nutrients from the ground.

Its structure is made up of aromatic, organic polymers with many carboxyl groups that release hydrogen ions, resulting in an electric charge that helps attract free radicals, heavy metals and other toxins within the body, allowing it to act like a detoxification agent. Once it becomes reactive with metals, fulvic acid helps them become more soluble in water, which means they’re carried out of the body more easily.

As a major source of key electrolytes and antioxidants, fulvic acid helps slow down aging and control inflammation. It’s been shown to improve various cellular processes, muscle functions, digestive abilities, heart and brain health. Fulvic acid helps cells absorb the amount of minerals they need and discard of waste by acting as an ion transporter. It also stimulate the immune system to help defend the body from things like viruses and infections. (10)


Fulvic Acid vs. Folic Acid: Are They Similar?

Folic acid and fulvic acid might sound similar, but they’re actually very different. Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin, which is why they are sometimes called vitamin B9. Folate occurs naturally in folate foods (especially vegetables, whole grains and beans), but folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin that’s added to some foods and supplements.

Most people assume that folate and folic acid are the same thing with similar benefits, but in fact folic acid is not naturally occurring like folate is and not usually capable of producing the same effects. Still, it’s estimated that about 35 percent of adults and 28 percent of all children in the U.S. use supplements containing folic acid, yet it’s been shown to act differently in the body than folate when it comes to helping with cellular functions, nutrient synthesis, liver and kidney health.

While folate is easily and naturally absorbed and utilized in the small intestines, folic acid requires the presence of a specific enzyme named dihydrofolate reductase, which research suggests is relatively rare in the body. Because of this, folic acid can remain in the bloodstream and cause side effects, including changes in sex hormones, cognitive problems like trouble concentrating, inability to sleep, mood changes and deficiencies in certain nutrients like vitamin B12 deficiency. Instead of taking folic acid supplements, you’re better off preventing folate deficiency by eating foods like leafy greens, such as spinach, Brussels sprouts, beef liver, broccoli, peas and beans.


Fulvic Acid Dosage and Supplement Facts

Here are several ways you can use fulvic acid as a supplement: (11)

  • Liquid or “water fulvic acid”: There’s some evince that fulvic acid is more bioavailable when taken in liquid form as opposed to solid or chunk-form, which must be broken down by the digestive system before the nutrients can be utilized by the cells. When taken as a liquid, it seems to enter cells more easily. Read dosage directions carefully since using too much can alter mineral levels in a potentially dangerous way. Most liquid products come in extract form and require using about 12 drops at a time with 16–20 ounces of filtered water.
  • Solid fulvic acid supplements: Fulvic acid is a yellow color and doesn’t have a very appealing taste on its own. That’s why many people choose to mix powdered fulvic acid into juice, a smoothie, etc., to mask its unpleasant taste. You can add fulvic acid to liquid or take it with supplements to help supercharge their abilities and improve bioavailability. It’s recommended that you use fulvic acid with filtered water (not tap, chlorinated water). Liquid products might be sterilized to a lesser degree, which preserves beneficial heat and chemical-sensitive nutritional components, so avoid supplements that say “sterile humic acids.”
  • Organic crops: Although this is an indirect way to get fulvic acid, you also consume more by eating organic produce since it’s used to naturally replenish minerals and other nutrients within soil and commonly present in natural fertilizers for growing organic crops. Buying organic foods increases your nutrient intake in several ways, because oftentimes modern farming methods don’t allow for the enrichment of soil to occur, instead overcrowding fields and using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to inhibit natural microbial strains we need.

Regarding dosage and when to take fulvic acid, this depends on if you take medications and when you eat. It’s a good idea to take fulvic acid around the time of eating since it counteracts and detoxifies contaminants — such as pesticides, chemicals, etc., found in foods that are not organic. You can take it a half hour before eating or two hours after eating to improve detox abilities. If using medications, take fulvic two hours after or before. Chlorine interacts with humic acids in a negative way, so always use filtered water if possible.

There are various brands available today, but shilajit is one ancient supplement used in Ayurvedic medicine that has a lot of research supporting its benefits. It contains 85 minerals in ionic form, as well as triterpenes, humic acid and high amounts of absorbable fulvic acid. (12)

 

Fulvic acid forms - Dr. Axe

 


Why We Need Exposure to Soil-Based Organisms

The nonstop use of antibiotics, food pesticides, hand sanitizers and detergents, along with antibacterial overkill, in our germ-fearing culture might seem like a good thing — but in reality, just like other animals we are meant to come into contact with earth’s many organisms. Today, the fact that we live in an oversanitized world poses real health problems, including lowering our ability to absorb nutrients from our diets, impairing immunity, and raising susceptibility to infections and other illnesses.

On top of acquiring less natural bacterial organisms from the outdoors, we’re also running low in many key nutrients due to modern farming practices that deplete soils and lower plants’ antioxidants, vitamins and mineral content. Most adults and children today come into contact with less dirt, soil, organic crops or plants, and ocean water than past generations did, meaning our immune systems don’t have the chance to become familiar with many different organisms and therefore don’t learn to protect us as well as they could.

In the past, our food supply was higher in naturally occurring fulvic acid and other nutrients because soils were less depleted, pesticide/herbicide chemicals were sprayed far less often, and people were less concerned about sanitizing their produce until it was squeaky clean. Unfortunately, many people today don’t have access to many organic foods and are deficient in at least several key nutrients, due to eating a highly processed diet and also as an effect of oversanitizing, which causes poor gut health.

Because our immune system is largely made of healthy bacteria that live within the gut and thrive off of various nutrients, our overly clean, highly processed lifestyle makes absorption of nutrients more difficult and raises the risk for many health problems and deficiencies associated with poor gut health. Research has shown that exposure to more natural organisms found in soil, such as fulvic acid, has benefits for:

  • digestion
  • boosting nutrient absorption
  • gut health
  • immunity
  • cognitive functioning
  • improving energy levels
  • protecting us from infections, viruses, yeasts and fungus
  • boosting skin health
  • slowing down aging
  • and more

Are There Any Fulvic Acid Side Effects?

Research suggests that fulvic acid is safe for most people to take, although there hasn’t been much research done in special populations, such as those with impaired immune systems or pregnant women. It seems to be mostly safe and pose few side effects because an overdose isn’t possible, considering it’s completely natural, found in all soil and easily flushed from the system once consumed.

The side effects that are known seem to come about when people take high amounts of fulvic acid in pure form. It’s best to start slowly and increase your dosage in increments to make sure you experience no side effects. Diluting fulvic acid is safer than taking it alone in high amounts.

If you have a disorder that results in abnormal immune functions, such as an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, you shouldn’t take fulvic acid without being monitored since it can activate the immune system and complicate your condition. Because not enough is known about how it affects hormones in pregnant women, it’s also best to stay away from using fulvic acid supplements if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding (although consuming it in small amounts from dirt and produce is perfectly fine).


Fulvic Acid Takeaways

  • Fulvic acid is considered the ultimate nutrient booster that improves gut health and immune function, helps boost digestion and nutrient absorption, protects cognitive health, improves detoxification, lowers free radical damage and inflammation, improves energy levels and lowers pain, and repairs and protects the skin.
  • You can supplement with fulvic acid in different forms: liquid or water fulvic acid, solid fulvic acid supplements, and organic crops.
  • Research has shown that exposure to more natural organisms found in soil, such as fulvic acid, has benefits for digestion, boosting nutrient absorption, gut health, immunity, cognitive functioning, improving energy levels, boosting skin health, slowing down aging, and protecting us from infections, viruses, yeasts and fungus.
  • The side effects that are known seem to come about when people take high amounts of fulvic acid in pure form. It’s best to start slowly and increase your dosage in increments to make sure you experience no side effects. Diluting fulvic acid is safer than taking it alone in high amounts.

Read Next: 9 Signs of Folate Deficiency & How to Reverse It

Josh AxeDr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world…Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

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Fat and sick? – dehydration could be why

Hydration pointers

Best consume water that has either a zero ppm (parts per million particulate matter) or very close thereto, such as distilled or reverse osmosis water.   The body cannot process inorganic matter which makes up the ppm count.   (ref : www.aquariusthewaterbearer.com for much more information in this regard).
Best not to consume icy cold water as it hits the body with a shock!

Did you know that when you start feeling thirsty your body is already dehydrated? The best practice is to sip water throughout the day. Always have it handy!

If you’re not a morning person, have two glasses of water right after you wake up. It will boost up your blood pressure to normal levels, and it’s way healthier than having your first coffee on an empty stomach

Also, don’t think that sweetened juices, soda or tea will hydrate you as well as water does. It’s actually the opposite! Sugar, as well as salt, makes your body waste precious water just to clean it out from your system. And if you love your coffee, make sure to drink one extra glass of water for every cup you have.

And as an added bonus, drinking water speeds up your metabolism and makes you feel more ‘full’. You will eat less once you start drinking more! It’s the safest and healthiest way to lose some weight.

Dehydration-Makes-You

The magic of kefir

Kombucha’s multitude of benefits

 

7 Reasons to Drink Kombucha Everyday

Benefits of Kombucha
Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage of black tea and cane sugar that is used as a functional food.  Kombucha contains b-vitaminsenzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic), which have the following health benefits:

  • Improving Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Increasing Energy
  • Cleansing and Detoxification
  • Immune Support
  • Cancer Prevention

The sugar-tea solution is fermented by bacteria and yeast and is commonly known as aSCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). You can make kombucha yourself at home or buy it for $3-5 a bottle at most health food stores and some coffee shops. An article published in the journal Food Microbiology has established that the following probiotics make up this health elixir.

Good Bacteria and Yeast (Probiotics):

  • Gluconacetobacter (>85% in most sample)
  • Acetobacter (<2%)
  • Lactobacillus (up to 30% in some samples)
  • Zygosaccharomyces (>95%)

Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.

7 Health Benefits of Kombucha Infograph

Why Every Person Should Drink Kombucha

In the newest research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha: It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity. We agree! In fact, according to research there are 5 main health benefits of kombucha.

#1 Detoxification – The detoxifying capacity of kombucha is immense. A perfect example has been observed in its ability to counteract liver cell toxicity. In one study, the liver cells being evaluated were protected from oxidative injury and actually maintained their normal physiology, in spite of being exposed to the toxin! According to researchers, this was “probably due to its antioxidant activity and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
#2 Digestion – Naturally the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system. However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probioticsand enzymes. Extensive work has even been conducted to test kombucha’s ability to prevent and heal leaky gut and stomach ulcers. No surprise to us, it was proven to be as effective as drugs like Prilosec, which are commonly prescribed for heartburn, GERD, and ulcers.
#3 Energy – Kombucha’s ability to invigorate people has been credited to the formation of iron that is released from the black tea during the fermentation process.  It also contains some caffeine and b-vitamins, which can energize the body. Through a special process known as chelation, the iron released helps to boost blood hemoglobin, improving oxygen supply to tissues and stimulating the energy producing process at the cellular level. In other words, by helping the body create more energy (ATP), the ancient tea can help those who regularly drink stay energized for extended periods of time.
#4 Immune Health – The overall effect that kombucha has to modulate the immune system is best seen in its ability to control free radicals through unbelievable antioxidant measures. Clinically proven to decrease oxidative stress and related immuno-suppression, a powerful antioxidant known as D-saccharic acid-1, 4-lactone (DSL) has been discovered during the kombucha fermentation process that is not found in black tea alone. Also, we know the probiotics found in kombucha support the immune system. Scientists suspect that DSL and the Vitamin C present in kombucha are its’ main secrets in protecting against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, tumors and overall depression of the immune system.
#5 Joint Care – Kombucha can help heal, repair and prevent joint damage in a number of ways. Kombucha is loaded with glucosamines, which increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. This supports the preservation of collagen and prevents arthritic pain. In the same way it supports joint collagen it can also support collagen of the entire body and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
#6 Cancer Prevention – Kombucha has also been proven beneficial for cancer prevention and recovery.  A study published in Cancer Letters found that by consuming glucaric acid found in kombucha reduced the risk of cancer in humans. President Reagan reportedly drank kombucha daily as part of his regimen to battle stomach cancer.
#7 Weight Loss – Data from a study in 2005 showed evidence that kombucha can improve metabolism and limit fat accumulation.  Though we’ll need to see more studies before we can confirm these results, it makes sense that kombucha supports weight loss since it’s high in acetic acid and polyphenols which have in other studies been proven to increase weight loss.
As you can see kombucha boasts many health benefits! So drink up for your health. Have you ever made or consumed kombucha?  Do you consume it for the health benefits or for the taste?   References:

  • American Cancer Society. Kombucha Tea. Available at:http://www.cancer.org
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Protective effect of kombucha tea against tertiary butyl hydroperoxide induced cytotoxicity and cell death in murine hepatocytes. Indian J. Exp Biol 2011; 49:       511–524.
  • Bhattacharya S, et al. Hepatoprotective properties of kombucha tea against TBHP-induced oxidative stress via suppression of mitochondria dependent apoptosis. Pathophysiology 2011; 18:221–234.
  • Banerjee D, et al. Comparative healing property of kombucha tea and black tea against indomethacin-induced gastric ulceration in mice: possible mechanism of action. Food Funct 2010; 1: 284–293.
  • Danielian LT. Kombucha and Its Biological Features. Meditsina, Moscow, 2005.
  • Dufresne C, et al. Tea, kombucha and health: a review. Food Res Int 2000; 33: 409–421.
  • Fu NF, et al. Clearance of free silica in rat lungs by spraying with chinese herbal kombucha. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013; 2013:790792.
  • Marsh AJ, et al. Sequence-based analysis of the bacterial and fungal compositions of multiple kombucha (tea fungus) samples. Food Microbiol 2014; 38:171-8.
  • Rashid K, et al. An update on oxidative stress-mediated organ pathophysiology. Food Chem Toxicol 2013; 62:584-600
  • Sai Ram M, et al. Effect of kombucha tea on chromate(VI)-induced oxidative stress in albino rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2010; 71: 235– 240.
  •  Vīna I, et al. Current Evidence on Physiological Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage and Expected Health Effects. J Med Food 2013; [Epub ahead of print]

Magical black cumin seeds

 Note : BIO-SIL stocks black cumin seed oil.

Please see www.biosil.co.za 🙂

black cumin oil

Black Cumin Seeds provide many wonderful health benefits

by Tony Isaacs

(NaturalNews) The prophet Mohammad reportedly said that seeds of the black cumin plant could cure anything but death itself. While that may seem to be quite the tall order, black cumin (Nigella sativa) does in fact have remarkable healing and health properties that make it one of the most powerful medicinal plants known to man.

Black cumin is a part of the buttercup family and the seeds are dark, thin, and crescent-shaped when whole. The seeds have been used for many centuries in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and India. Today, black cumin seeds are used as a seasoning spice in different cuisines across the world due to their nutty flavor. Besides their culinary uses, black cumin seeds also have a wealth of important health benefits and are one of the most cherished medicinal seeds in history.

The seeds of the black cumin plant contain over 100 chemical compounds, including some yet to be identified. In addition to what is believed to be the primary active ingredient, crystalline nigellone, black cumin seeds contain: thymoquinone, beta sitosterol, myristic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, protein, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and phosphorous.

Black cumin seeds have a particularly long and strong history use in Egypt. When archaeologists found and examined the tomb of Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamen (King Tut), they found a bottle of black cumin oil, which suggested that it was believed to be needed in the afterlife.

Physicians to the Egyptian pharaohs frequently used the seeds after extravagant feasts to calm upset stomachs. They also used the seeds to treat headaches, toothaches, colds, and infections. Queen Nefertiti, renowned for her stunning beauty, used black seed oil, likely due to its abilities to strengthen and bring luster to hair and nails.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on black cumin which have shown that compounds from the seeds help fight diseases by boosting the production of bone marrow, natural interferon, and immune cells.

Several of the studies have shown that black cumin seed extract could assist individuals with autoimmune disorders and could possibly help to fight cancer. One recent study on black cumin seed oil demonstrated that it was effective against pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and most difficult to treat cancers.

See: www.naturalnews.com/023348.html

Black cumin is one of the very few botanicals that have shown such effectiveness (the other most notable one is oleander extract).

One of black cumin’s most popular and effective uses is the treatment of diseases related to the respiratory system: including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and cold symptoms. The seeds help increase body tone, stimulate menstrual period, and increase the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers.

Black cumin seed oil helps calm the nervous system, quells colic pain, stimulates urine production, helps treat pertussis, improves digestion and helps prevent and lower high blood pressure.

The seeds are very effective in curing abscesses and tumors of the eye, abdomen and liver, probably due in great part to the anti-tumor compound beta-sitosterol found in the seeds.

Black cumin also:

*stimulates energy and helps in recovery from fatigue and low spirits.
*is an effective cure for skin conditions such as allergies, eczema, acne, psoriasis and boils.
*is anti-parasitic.
*treats flatulence, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, constipation and dysentery.

NOTE: Those who decide to use black cumin seed oil should check labels and product information carefully. Black cumin is commonly referred to as black seed oil, black onion seed, black caraway, black sesame seed, and other names, but only Nigella sativa is true black cumin.

Sources included:

http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/benef…
http://ezinearticles.com/?Discover-The-Amazi…
http://www.dietary-supplements-guide.com/Bla…
http://ezinearticles.com/?Debunking-False-De…

About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group “S.A N.E.Vax. Inc” which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone “Ask Tony Isaacs – featuring Luella May” forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group “Oleander Soup” and he serves as a consultant to the “Utopia Silver Supplement Company“.

 

 

Our Second Brain

Gut instincts:

The secrets of our second brain

When it comes to your moods, decisions and behaviour, the brain in your head is not the only one doing the thinking

image 

IT’S been a tough morning. You were late for work, missed a crucial meeting and now your boss is mad at you. Come lunchtime you walk straight past the salad bar and head for the stodge. You can’t help yourself – at times of stress the brain encourages us to seek out comfort foods. That much is well known. What you probably don’t know, though, is that the real culprit may not be the brain in your skull but your other brain.

Yes, that’s right, your other brain. Your body contains a separate nervous system that is so complex it has been dubbed the second brain. It comprises an estimated 500 million neurons – about five times as many as in the brain of a rat – and is around 9 metres long, stretching from your oesophagus to your anus. It is this brain that could be responsible for your craving under stress for crisps, chocolate and cookies.

Embedded in the wall of the gut, the enteric nervous system (ENS) has long been known to control digestion. Now it seems it also plays an important role in our physical and mental well-being. It can work both independently of and in conjunction with the brain in your head and, although you are not conscious of your gut “thinking”, the ENS helps you sense environmental threats, and then influences your response. “A lot of the information that the gut sends to the brain affects well-being, and doesn’t even come to consciousness,” says Michael Gershon at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York.

If you look inside the human body, you can’t fail to notice the brain and its offshoots of nerve cells running along the spinal cord. The ENS, a widely distributed network of neurons spread throughout two layers of gut tissue, is far less obvious, which is why it wasn’t discovered until the mid-19th century. It is part of the autonomic nervous system, the network of peripheral nerves that control visceral functions. It is also the original nervous system, emerging in the first vertebrates over 500 million years ago and becoming more complex as vertebrates evolved – possibly even giving rise to the brain itself.

image

Digestion is a complicated business, so it makes sense to have a dedicated network of nerves to oversee it. As well as controlling the mechanical mixing of food in the stomach and coordinating muscle contractions to move it through the gut, the ENS also maintains the biochemical environment within different sections of the gut, keeping them at the correct pH and chemical composition needed for digestive enzymes to do their job.

But there is another reason the ENS needs so many neurons: eating is fraught with danger. Like the skin, the gut must stop potentially dangerous invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, from getting inside the body. If a pathogen should cross the gut lining, immune cells in the gut wall secrete inflammatory substances including histamine, which are detected by neurons in the ENS. The gut brain then either triggers diarrhoea or alerts the brain in the head, which may decide to initiate vomiting, or both.

You needn’t be a gastroenterologist to be aware of these gut reactions – or indeed the more subtle feelings in your stomach that accompany emotions such as excitement, fear and stress. For hundreds of years, people have believed that the gut interacts with the brain to influence health and disease. Yet this connection has only been studied over the last century. Two pioneers in this field were American physician Byron Robinson, who in 1907 published The Abdominal and Pelvic Brain, and his contemporary, British physiologist Johannis Langley, who coined the term “enteric nervous system”. Around this time, it also became clear that the ENS can act autonomously, with the discovery that if the main connection with the brain – the vagus nerve – is severed the ENS remains capable of coordinating digestion. Despite these discoveries, interest in the gut brain fell until the 1990s when the field of neurogastroenterology was born.

We now know that the ENS is not just capable of autonomy but also influences the brain. In fact, about 90 per cent of the signals passing along the vagus nerve come not from above, but from the ENS (American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, vol 283, p G1217).

The feel-good factor

The second brain also shares many features with the first. It is made up of various types of neuron, with glial support cells. It has its own version of a blood-brain barrier to keep its physiological environment stable. And it produces a wide range of hormones and around 40 neurotransmitters of the same classes as those found in the brain. In fact, neurons in the gut are thought to generate as much dopamine as those in the head. Intriguingly, about 95 per cent of the serotonin present in the body at any time is in the ENS.

What are these neurotransmitters doing in the gut? In the brain, dopamine is a signalling molecule associated with pleasure and the reward system. It acts as a signalling molecule in the gut too, transmitting messages between neurons that coordinate the contraction of muscles in the colon, for example. Also transmitting signals in the ENS is serotonin – best known as the “feel-good” molecule involved in preventing depression and regulating sleep, appetite and body temperature. But its influence stretches far beyond that. Serotonin produced in the gut gets into the blood, where it is involved in repairing damaged cells in the liver and lungs. It is also important for normal development of the heart, as well as regulating bone density by inhibiting bone formation (Cell, vol 135, p 825).

But what about mood? Obviously the gut brain doesn’t have emotions, but can it influence those that arise in your head? The general consensus is that neurotransmitters produced in the gut cannot get into the brain – although, theoretically, they could enter small regions that lack a blood-brain barrier, including the hypothalamus. Nevertheless, nerve signals sent from the gut to the brain do appear to affect mood. Indeed, research published in 2006 indicates that stimulation of the vagus nerve can be an effective treatment for chronic depression that has failed to respond to other treatments (The British Journal of Psychiatry, vol 189, p 282).

Such gut to brain signals may also explain why fatty foods make us feel good. When ingested, fatty acids are detected by cell receptors in the lining of the gut, which send nerve signals to the brain. This may not be simply to keep it informed of what you have eaten. Brain scans of volunteers given a dose of fatty acids directly into the gut show they had a lower response to pictures and music designed to make them feel sad than those given saline. They also reported feeling only about half as sad as the other group (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 3094).

There is further evidence of links between the two brains in our response to stress. The feeling of “butterflies” in your stomach is the result of blood being diverted away from it to your muscles as part of the fight or flight response instigated by the brain. However, stress also leads the gut to increase its production of ghrelin, a hormone that, as well as making you feel more hungry, reduces anxiety and depression. Ghrelin stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain both directly, by triggering neurons involved in pleasure and reward pathways, and indirectly by signals transmitted via the vagus nerve.

In our evolutionary past, the stress-busting effect of ghrelin may have been useful, as we would have needed to be calm when we ventured out in search of food, says Jeffrey Zigman at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2011, his team reported that mice exposed to chronic stress sought out fatty food, but those that were genetically engineered to be unable to respond to ghrelin did not (The Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol 121, p 2684). Zigman notes that in our modern world, with freely available high-fat food, the result of chronic stress or depression can be chronically elevated ghrelin – and obesity.

Gershon suggests that strong links between our gut and our mental state evolved because a lot of information about our environment comes from our gut. “Remember the inside of your gut is really the outside of your body,” he says. So we can see danger with our eyes, hear it with our ears and detect it in our gut. Pankaj Pasricha, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology in Baltimore, Maryland, points out that without the gut there would be no energy to sustain life. “Its vitality and healthy functioning is so critical that the brain needs to have a direct and intimate connection with the gut,” he says.

But how far can comparisons between the two brains be taken? Most researchers draw the line at memory – Gershon is not one of them. He tells the story of a US army hospital nurse who administered enemas to the paraplegic patients on his ward at 10 o’clock every morning. When he left, his replacement dropped the practice. Nevertheless, at 10 the next morning, everyone on the ward had a bowel movement. This anecdote dates from the 1960s and while Gershon admits that there have been no other reports of gut memory since, he says he remains open to the idea.

Gut instincts

Then there’s decision-making. The concept of a “gut instinct” or “gut reaction” is well established, but in fact those fluttery sensations start with signals coming from the brain – the fight or flight response again. The resulting feeling of anxiety or excitement may affect your decision about whether to do that bungee jump or arrange a second date, but the idea that your second brain has directed the choice is not warranted. The subconscious “gut instinct” does involve the ENS but it is the brain in your head that actually perceives the threat. And as for conscious, logical reasoning, even Gershon accepts that the second brain doesn’t do that. “Religion, poetry, philosophy, politics – that’s all the business of the brain in the head,” he says.

Still, it is becoming apparent that without a healthy, well-developed ENS we face problems far wider than mere indigestion. Pasricha has found that newborn rats whose stomachs are exposed to a mild chemical irritant are more depressed and anxious than other rats, with the symptoms continuing long after the physical damage has healed. This doesn’t happen after other sorts of damage, like skin irritation, he says.

It has also emerged that various constituents of breast milk, including oxytocin, support the development of neurons in the gut (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, vol 55, p 1592). This might explain why premature babies who are not breastfed are at higher risk of developing diarrhoea and necrotising enterocolitis, in which portions of the bowel become inflamed and die.

Serotonin is also crucial for the proper development of the ENS where, among its many roles, it acts as a growth factor. Serotonin-producing cells develop early on in the ENS, and if this development is affected, the second brain cannot form properly, as Gershon has shown in mutated mice. He believes that a gut infection or extreme stress in a child’s earliest years may have the same effect, and that later in life this could lead to irritable bowel syndrome, a condition characterised by chronic abdominal pain with frequent diarrhoea or constipation that is often accompanied by depression. The idea that irritable bowel syndrome can be caused by the degeneration of neurons in the ENS is lent weight by recent research revealing that 87 out of 100 people with the condition had antibodies in their circulation that were attacking and killing neurons in the gut (Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, vol 18, p 78).

If nothing else, the discovery that problems with the ENS are implicated in all sorts of conditions means the second brain deserves a lot more recognition than it has had in the past. “Its aberrations are responsible for a lot of suffering,” says Pasricha. He believes that a better understanding of the second brain could pay huge dividends in our efforts to control all sorts of conditions, from obesity and diabetes to problems normally associated with the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Yet the number of researchers investigating the second brain remains small. “Given it’s potential, it’s astonishing how little attention has been paid to it,” says Pasricha.

Mental illnesses of the gut

A growing realisation that the nervous system in our gut is not just responsible for digestion (see main story) is partly fuelled by discoveries that this “second brain” is implicated in a wide variety of brain disorders. In Parkinson’s disease, for example, the problems with movement and muscle control are caused by a loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. However, Heiko Braak at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, has found that the protein clumps that do the damage, called Lewy bodies, also show up in dopamine-producing neurons in the gut. In fact, judging by the distribution of Lewy bodies in people who died of Parkinson’s, Braak thinks it actually starts in the gut, as the result of an environmental trigger such as a virus, and then spreads to the brain via the vagus nerve.

Likewise, the characteristic plaques or tangles found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s are present in neurons in their guts too. And people with autism are prone to gastrointestinal problems, which are thought to be caused by the same genetic mutation that affects neurons in the brain.

Although we are only just beginning to understand the interactions between the two brains, already the gut offers a window into the pathology of the brain, says Pankaj Pasricha at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. “We can theoretically use gut biopsies to make early diagnoses, as well as to monitor response to treatments.”

Cells in the second brain could even be used as a treatment themselves. One experimental intervention for neurodegenerative diseases involves transplanting neural stem cells into the brain to replenish lost neurons. Harvesting these cells from the brain or spinal cord is not easy, but now neural stem cells have been found in the gut of human adults (Cell Tissue Research, vol 344, p 217). These could, in theory, be harvested using a simple endoscopic gut biopsy, providing a ready source of neural stem cells. Indeed, Pasricha’s team is now planning to use them to treat diseases including Parkinson’s.

-by Emma Young, New Scientist

Filed under brain second brain ENS digestion

Easy Peasy Healthy Fermentation process

Unlock the True Potential of Vegetables

  • By Kaare Melby
    Organic Consumers Association, January 23, 2014 

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s All About Organics page and our Organic Transitions page.

Want to boost your immune system, increase the nutrient content in your food, improve your mental health and detox your body? Fermented vegetables are for you!

Fermentation is the process that occurs when the natural bacteria in a vegetable break down the food’s complex elements into more digestible forms. When fermentation occurs, vegetables become easier to digest, allowing your body to work less, while reaping more benefits. And those benefits include higher levels of available nutrients, and live cultures of pro-biotic bacteria (kind of like the good stuff in yogurt). These pro-biotic bacteria can improve your digestion, boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and detox your body.

Worried that fermenting is risky? No need! Fermented veggies are actually safer than raw vegetables, because the fermentation process actually kills off any unwanted or dangerous bacteria that may exist on the food prior to fermentation. According to the USDA, there has “never been a single case of food poisoning reported from fermented vegetables.”

Fermented foods have been around for eons. Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture.  It’s often considered to be the practice that first ushered our ancient relatives from the natural world, into a culturally driven world. In fact, the word ‘culture’ is another word for fermentation. Sandor Katz, who has written several books on the subject, calls it “a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism, and a spiritual path, all rolled into one.”

And the good news is that it’s a simple process that even the most novice cook can accomplish.

To get started, you’ll want to choose vegetables that are fresh, local, and organic, as your ferment will be only as good as the ingredients you start with. You can ferment any vegetable, but some work better than others. It’s best if you experiment and find a mix of vegetables that you enjoy. Here at the OCA office, we like to mix as many fresh organic veggies together as possible. Not only does this create a variety of textures and flavors, but it also creates a wider variety of beneficial bacteria in the end product.

If you are looking for a good place to start, cabbage is easy to process, and makes a great ferment. Raddishes, carrots, turnips, apples and beets also make good ferments. The fermentation process creates a wonderful flavor that is often refered to as “sour.” But you can add more or different flavors in any way you want. Onions and garlic are great additions, and you can use fresh or dry herbs, and spices, too. The best approach is to experiment until you discover what combination of flavors you like most.

Here’s how to get started.

What you need
•    Fresh vegetables
•    A knife or grater
•    A glass or ceramic jar for fermentation (quart sized, wide-mouth canning jars work well)
•    A smaller jar that fits inside the fermentation jar (small jelly jars work great)
•    Salt
•    Clean water
•    A clean towel
•    Rubber band to fit over the mouth of the fermentation jar
•    Herbs and spices (optional)

What to do

• Chop/shred/grate vegetables, salting lightly as you go. You want to get all of the vegetables as uniform in size as possible. This way, they ferment at the same rate. Vegetables like carrots and radishes do well grated, while it’s best to slice up that cabbage or onion. As you chop or grate the vegetables, add small pinches of salt. But not too much—fermentation only needs a little. Try tasting as you go. The vegetables should taste only slightly salty.

• Mix the veggies well. You want to make sure that the salt is spread out evenly throughout all the vegetables. Taste the veggies, and add more salt to taste if needed. If you are going to add any herbs or spices, add them now.

• Let the vegetables sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As they sit the salt will start to draw the liquid out of the vegetables.

• Squeeze the vegetables to release their juices. Take handfuls of vegetables and squeeze as hard as you can, keeping the juice that comes out. You want to get as much juice out of them as possible.

• Tightly pack the vegetables into the fermenting jar and cover with collected juice. As you fill the jar with the vegetables, be sure to pack them down tightly to the bottom of the jar. This will help release more juice, and remove any air bubbles that get stuck in the vegetables. Add any remaining juice once the jar is filled. Be sure there is enough liquid to completely cover the vegetables. If you need to, use a mixture of salt and water to bring the juice level up over the vegetables. You don’t need too much salt for the water, just enough to make it taste like seawater.

• Fill the smaller jar with salt water, then place it on top of the vegetables in the fermenting jar. The purpose of the second jar is to hold the vegetables under the liquid in the jar. This will help the fermentation process by preventing “scum” from forming on the top of the ferment.

• Cover the fermenting jar with a clean towel, and secure it with the rubber band. Using a towel to cover the jar ensures that gases can escape, without letting any dirt or bugs get in.

• Let it ferment! Put the jar in an easily accessible area, and keep an eye on it. In about 24 hours you will begin to see air bubbles in the vegetables. This is how you know it’s working. After a few days, the ferment will start to smell sour. Taste it at every stage. This will help you determine how fermented you like your vegetables. Some people like “young” ferments that have only fermented a few days, while others like “mature” ferments that have been fermenting for months. If there is a white layer of “scum” that forms just scrape it off. It’s ok if you don’t get it all. When you like the flavor, remove the towel and smaller jar, put a lid on the fermentation jar and put it in your refrigerator. When the ferment cools down, the fermentation process rapidly slows, and you will be able to enjoy your fermented foods for several weeks or longer.

That’s it! Now you know the secret to unlocking the true potential of your vegetables. To learn more, check out Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation,”  available through Chelsea Green Publishing. Good luck and happy fermenting!

Kaare Melby is social media coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association.

 

Source: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29135.cfm

 

Sprouts – wonderful sprouts

food

Sprouts boost energy, digestion and immunity

by Jonathan Landsman

(NaturalNews) Conventional farming practices destroy the soil; generate poor-quality food and pour tons of unwanted chemicals into our environment. The use of GMOs, toxic pesticides and antibiotics pose devastating consequences to human health. Fortunately, on an individual level, there is a simple solution to many of these dangerous health issues.

Learn how to grow organic food – for pennies per pound. Imagine enjoying fresh food (every day) filled with essential amino acids, antioxidants plus many other immune boosting nutrients. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, we’ll talk about the benefits of sprouting and indoor gardening – without the need for soil or farming expertise.

Visit: http://www.naturalhealth365.com and enter your email address for show details + FREE gifts!

6 ways that indoor organic gardening can improve your life

1. Lower your food bill: With rising fuel costs; droughts and poor farmland yields – there seems to be no end in sight to rising grocery store food prices. But, there is an answer, did you know that seeds can multiply 7-15 times their weight. In other words, you get lots of food for pennies per pound – when growing your own food.

2. Greater nutritional value: Most conventionally-grown produce lacks nutrition and they’re filled with toxic chemicals that destroy human health. Organic sprouts have a greater concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals, enzymes, RNA, DNA and bioflavonoids compared to the mature version of the plant.

3. Chemical-free: When growing 100% organic sprouts – you never need to use GMOs, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, fumigants or any other cancer-causing chemicals. I often say ‘know the source of your food’ – well, developing your own indoor garden is the best way to achieve food security.

4. Quick and easy. Even in cold weather conditions, anyone can enjoy fresh, living food – 365 days per year.

5. Improve your immune system. Growing your own delicate, easy-to-digest, sprout food can supply a huge amount of enzymes to improve your digestion and immunity. Remember, without enzymes – there is no life.

6. Better for the environment. Growing your own fresh, living sprouts will dramatically reduce the ‘time in transit’ fuel costs related to conventionally-grown agricultural products. It’s the ultimate local organic food.

On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour – Jonathan Landsman and ‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz reveal the health benefits of building an indoor (organic) sprout garden. Don’t miss this amazing show!

This week’s guest: ‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz, a top expert on sprouting and indoor gardening

Learn how to save money and grow your own organic food – quickly and easily – Sun. Jan. 19

‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz is the author of several books on health, diet, and nutrition including, Sprouts the Miracle Food and Wheatgrass Nature’s Finest Medicine. Steve is one of the world’s leading proponents of sprouting, juicing, fasting, wheatgrass, indoor gardening, raw foods and pure water.

After 20 years of disappointment with orthodox medicine, Steve became symptom-free through his use of diet, juices, and fasting. In 1980, he founded “The Sprout House”, a “no-cooking” school in New York City teaching the benefits of a living foods diet. Featured on PBS and several other major media outlets, his sprouting inventions, including the “Hemp Sprout Bag” have sold nationwide and helped thousands of people live healthier lives.

Grow an indoor organic food garden. On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour – Jonathan Landsman and ‘Sproutman’ Steve Meyerowitz will talk about the health benefits of sprouts; why sprouts are more nutritious; how to set up an inexpensive indoor garden plus much more.

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