Avocado Health Benefits: The World’s Most Perfect Food?


avocado-xavocado-and-leaves

Did you know that the avocado has been called the world’s most perfect food and has many health benefits?

It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.

The avocado (Persea gratissima or P. americana) originated in Puebla, Mexico and its earliest use dates back to 10,000 years B.C. Since AD 900, the avocado tree has been cultivated and grown in Central and South America. In the 19th century, the avocado made its entry into California, and has since become a very successful commercial crop. Ninety-five percent (95%) of U.S. avocados are gown in Southern California.

The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.

Foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, are widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart, a brilliant brain and eagle eyes.

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, brain-imaging expert and author of the New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life counts avocados as one of the top brain-healthy foods that can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

That’s not only because of the avocado’s health benefits omega-3 fatty acid content but also its…

Vitamin E content — An international journal called Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, reported its findings from years of clinical trials — high doses of Vitamin E can neutralize free radicals and the buildup of proteins to reverse the memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients; reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s in the early stages and retard the progression of the disease;

Folate content — helps to prevent the formation of tangled nerve fibers associated with Alzheimer’s.

The virtues and benefits of the avocado are too numerous to mention.

But Here Are Just a Few More Avocado Health Benefits That Its Nutritional Profile Provides:
  • Monounsaturated Fats — These types of fats help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.
  • Folate — This water-soluble B vitamin promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”
  • Lutein — This is a carotenoid (a natural pigment) that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.
  • Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
You can add these avocado benefits to your diet in many ways:
  1. The easiest way is to cut the avocado in half and sprinkle it with herbal seasoning or maple syrup.
  2. Chop the avocado and add it to a salad, or use it as a topping or side garnish for soup.
  3. Mash an avocado and spread it on bread or a bagel (in place of butter or cream cheese).
  4. Cut an avocado in half and fill the little hollow (left after you remove the pit) with your favorite healthy topping such as herbed rice or couscous.
  5. Make an avocado dressing or the crowd-pleasing guacamole dip to add flavor to raw or steamed vegetables. You can easily find many avocado recipes online.

Blended with fruit, avocados make a rich and delicious snack, side dish or dessert — and produces highly-nutritious baby food which delivers “good fat” for baby’s brain and physical development.

Before you indulge in avocados to your heart’s content, however, remember that they have lots of calories because of their fat content. According to WebMD, “A medium-sized avocado contains 30 grams of fat, as much as a quarter-pound burger”.

That’s why diet experts have long urged Americans to go easy on avocados in favor of less fatty fruits and vegetables. But now nutritionists are taking another look.

They’re finding that most of the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated — the “good” kind that actually lowers cholesterol levels. Thanks to this new understanding, the U.S. government recently revised its official nutrition guidelines to urge Americans to eat more avocados.

Source: http://csglobe.com

 

Oregon Pushes To Ban GM Salmon And Mandate GMO labelling.


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Three legislative bills were recently introduced that would require all GMOs to be properly labelled, as well as prohibit the import and sale of GM salmon. The bill would not only require all GMOs to be labelled in the state of Oregon, but any food products that  contain GMOs that are not properly labelled beginning on January 1, 2014 will be deemed misbranded with the manufacturer held liable for breaking the food labelling requirements. If the bill isn’t passed, a new bill as a backup will be introduced that will at least require all GE salmon to be properly labelled. You can view the three bills below.

The Oregon House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources recently heard testimony on the three bills. Supporters of GMO labelling throughout the state have been busy spreading the word about the lack of proper GMO safety testing. GMOs have been linked to causing organ damage, gastrointestinal problems, allergies, and even cancer. Biotech employees are required to wear a full body suit and mask while spraying our food with toxic chemicals, on top of the GMOs. The Centre for Food Safety, a nonprofit public interest and environmental advocacy group, says GMO labelling legislation has been proposed in nearly half of all states. Even though a single one has yet to pass, awareness about the presence of GMOs throughout the food supply is growing.

“The profit-driven motives to prohibit GMO labelling are reprehensible and represent an egregious indictment of the current health care system,” said Dr. Mary Zesiewicz, a board-certified psychiatrist, to state lawmakers in Colorado during a recent hearing. During her testimony, Dr. Zesiewicz explained that she has “seen an alarming increase in chronic health conditions” at her practice, many of which appear to be linked to GMO consumption. (2)

All across the world people are waking up and paying attention to what is happening within the food industry. It’s funny how the major shareholders in multinational food an biotech corporations are also major shareholders in major multinational pharmaceutical corporations, like fidelity investments, the vanguard group and state street corporation. A genetically engineered food is a product that has had its DNA artificially altered. The safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption is not adequately tested. There have been no long-term studies conducted on the safety of genetically engineered foods. Over 50 countries that make up a majority percentage of Earth’s population currently require mandatory labelling for all GMO “food.”

Not to long ago, Barack Obama signed a bill into law that allows Monsanto and other biotechnology companies to override United States federal courts on the issue of planting experimental genetically engineered crops all across the US. This act gives more authority to the corporations then it does the US government. This new law forces the USDA to approve all GMO planting permits desired by the Monsanto corporation and other biotech firms no matter what. You can read more about it here.

GMO labelling was introduced to give people the freedom to choose between GMOs and conventional foods. If food is produced using genetic engineering, it must be indicated on its label. Although they shouldn’t be, labelling practices are quite complicated and must be regulated along side issues of legality, feasibility, standardization and coherence. What must be labelled and why shouldn’t be so complicated, but it is. It’s no secret that those who work for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) have admitted that corporate interests force the agencies to change policies that harm their agenda. The UCS sent question surveys to approximately 8000 workers from both the FDA and USDA, over half who work as field inspectors responded saying that their agency practices harm public health in order to appease corporate interests.

Most foods that contain any genetically modified plants or micro organisms that were used in production require indication of some sort. This is a problem because numerous products are exempt from labelling obligations. These exemptions primarily concern additives, and processing aids, but also apply to meat, milk and eggs. The United States has openly admitted to believing that there is no difference between GMOs and natural organisms. The FDA and USDA, along with the Codex Alimentarius Committee, suggest that no country should require mandatory GMO labelling on food items. This is ridiculous, science has already shown that GMOs act differently in the body and are a threat to health. Workers usually have to wear full body suits and masks when spraying our food with toxic chemicals. They are toxic chemicals that are responsible for mutating cells and causing cancer. Cancer is a billion dollar industry and big pharmaceutical companies fund all major medical research.

The Council on Foreign Relations put out a statement not to long ago saying:

The United States has not experienced any regulatory failures. There have been no major food safety scares, and the minor ones have had a short lives political impact. The United States has in place a relatively well-established set of national regulatory bodies which appear to function reasonably well. The United States has experienced a decline in public confidence in government regulation due to the perception that it was ineffective, so they created a new set of regulatory institutions and administrative mechanisms to improve public accountability. (1)

It’s funny how The Council on Foreign Relations is headed by the Rockefeller family. The Rockefeller’s and it’s foundation is heavily involved with all of the major food corporations that control the worlds food supply, not to mention that this family has their hand in the same corporations that control the health/pharmaceutical companies as well. Why do we give so much credibility to these corporations and the people that run them? Why do we continue to believe everything that is written and ‘sourced’ from corrupt organization? All it takes is a little research. People say “what can we do about it?” Well the first step is becoming aware, then the next step is to begin making changes you can make yourself. From there, things will expand outwards. Don’t forget, you always have a choice. You can buy organic, grow your own food or choose to minimize your GMO and conventional food consumption.

I live in Canada and fortunately my country does have a regulation on GMOs. But we are no different, the corporations that control the food industry and the governing bodies that set the standards are global organizations. Countries can easily hide behind the ‘right act’ simply by setting regulations. Canadian regulation of foods derived from biotechnology is a seven to ten year process to research, develop, test and assess the safety of a new GM food. By the time this is complete, the damage has already been done. The problem is, labelling is only required if there is a health and safety issue. The same group of people who fund the medical industry and all of it’s research are funded by the big pharmaceutical companies, which are the same group of people who own the food industry! Conflict of interest, don’t you think? It’s time to stop handing over our power to multinational corporations.

Sources:

http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/regulation/regulatory_process/

http://www.cfr.org/genetically-modified-organisms/regulation-gmos-europe-united-states-case-study-contemporary-european-regulatory-politics/p8688 (1)

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/sr-sr/pubs/biotech/reg_gen_mod-eng.php

http://www.naturalnews.com/039734_Oregon_GM_salmon_GMO_labeling.html (2)

http://www.oregonrighttoknow.org

http://www.denverijournal.com/article.php?id=8362

Source: Collective Evolution

Many urban tap water systems loaded with SSRI antidepressant drugs.


drinking-tap-water

As you may recall, the Associated Press (AP) released the results of a groundbreaking investigation it conducted back in 2008 concerning the presence of pharmaceutical drugs in the water supply. In this report, it was revealed that at least 41 million Americans are exposed daily to tap water containing trace amounts of antibiotics, sleeping pills, and even sex hormones. Now, a new report by TheFix.com brings to light the presence of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, in the water supply, and the genetic havoc they may potentially be wreaking on human health.

But it now appears that many Americans do not even have a choice whether or not to willingly take SSRIs anymore, as the toxic chemicals are being quietly piped through water taps unseen. Though they are in far lower doses than what comes from the pharmacy, and in heavier dilution, these trace amounts of SSRIs can add up, especially when consumed perpetually over long periods of time. And since they are also accompanied by many other types of pharmaceutical drugs, their effects on the environment and humans are largely unknown.

“There’s a good chance that if you live in an urban area, your tap water is laced with tiny amounts of antidepressants (mostly SSRIs like Prozac and Effexor), benzodiazepines (like Klonopin, used to reduce symptoms of substance withdrawal) and anti-convulsants (like Topomax, used to treat addiction to alcohol, nicotine, food and even cocaine and crystal meth),” writes Matt Harvey. “Whether or not this psychoactive waste has any effect on the human nervous system remains unclear, but when such pharmaceuticals are introduced into the ecosystem, the fallout for other species is demonstrable — and potentially dire.”

Exposure to SSRIs found to damage DNA, induce neurological damage

A 1999 paper published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives revealed that a steady stream of pharmaceuticals continuously makes its way back into water supplies due to inadequate filtration techniques. Pharmaceutical substances are often smaller than the filtration devices used at municipal water treatment plants to carry out solid waste, which means unknown levels of such substances make it right back into your water glass if you drink tap water.

Beyond this, Harvey cites the fact that studies have linked SSRI exposure to genetic defects and other health problems. Minnows subjected to tap water spiked with a combination of SSRIs and anti-convulsants at the University of Idaho, for instance, exhibited 324 genetic alterations associated with neurological disorders like autism — and these small fish were only exposed to the tainted water for a mere 18 days!

“Studies have shown that regular doses of SSRIs can sometimes damage human DNA, most notably in sperm,” adds Harvey. “The minnows offer evidence that even trace amounts of SSRIs can infiltrate DNA.”

So what can we all do to avoid this unwelcome pharmaceutical exposure? The first thing would be to install a whole-house water filtration system capable of capturing and removing drug particulates, especially if you live in an area served by a municipal water source. You can also contact your local water treatment facility and request information about its filtration methods, and whether or not they capture drug traces.

Source: http://csglobe.com

Beating the Child Killers.


Ask most people to name the two biggest causes of death among children, and they will most likely say malaria and HIV. In fact, it is pneumonia and diarrhea – the “forgotten killers” – that are responsible for the highest death toll, claiming more than two million of the most vulnerable lives every year.

Together, these two diseases account for 29% of all deaths of children under five years old.& That is more than double the total for HIV and malaria combined, and nearly as many as all other infectious diseases, injuries, and other post-neonatal conditions put together.

Yet as shocking as these statistics are, what is perhaps even more surprising is just how preventable pneumonia and diarrhea are – so much so that it would be quite feasible to introduce measures that by 2025 would reduce their death toll to almost zero. That is precisely what we are now aiming to do.

An ambitious new plan, called the Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea, launched this month by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, aims to step up existing interventions and pool global efforts, with the goal of reducing the number of deaths from pneumonia to less than three children per 1,000, and of diarrhea-related deaths to below one in 1,000. This would effectively end the preventable deaths of more than two million children every year.

For any other infectious disease or global health threat, achieving this kind of reduction in incidence rate and mortality would be nothing short of miraculous. Yet, for pneumonia and diarrhea, we have every reason to believe that we can succeed, because we already know what works.

For example, infants who are not exclusively breastfed for the first six months have a ten-fold increase in the risk of death from diarrhea, and are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia. Similarly, basic sanitation, such as improved hand washing and access to clean water, and better nutrition can also produce significant risk reduction, much of which can be achieved through simple education programs.

Immunization is also highly effective. Vaccinating children against rotavirus, for example, can protect them from a pathogen that is responsible for 37% of all diarrhea deaths in children under five, thus saving 450,000 lives every year. Similarly, vaccines exist to protect against pneumococcal disease, which accounts for a half-million pneumonia-related deaths annually.

When combined, these interventions significantly reduce both pneumonia and diarrhea; the problem is that, too often, they do not reach the children most at risk, such as those living in extreme poverty or hard-to-reach communities in the world’s poorest countries. That is why we now need the Integrated Global Action Plan.

The two diseases share so many common causes and risk factors, prevention strategies and interventions, and delivery platforms for care in clinics, communities, and schools that it makes sense to bring them together. But, if those hard-to-reach children are to benefit, our efforts must be scaled up significantly.

Until recently, this simply would not have been possible, at least not on the immunization front. The vaccines protecting against rotavirus and pneumococcal disease are both barely more than a decade old. In the past, such new vaccines would take, on average, 15 years to reach developing countries – and then at prices that would place them beyond the reach of those most in need.

This is one of the reasons why my organization, the GAVI Alliance, was created: to help accelerate the introduction of new vaccines and make them more affordable and accessible in developing countries. Through our unique public-private business model, we have worked with our partners to help increase supplies of these vaccines while simultaneously bringing down their price. Indeed, since 2006, the price of rotavirus vaccine has fallen by 67%, to just $2.50 per dose, while the price of a dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has plummeted by 90%, to $3.50.

Such price reductions have and will continue to play a crucial role in saving the lives of millions of children and achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds. To date, GAVI has helped countries immunize more than 13 million children against pneumococcal disease and five million children against rotavirus, with plans to strengthen its efforts in countries where immunization coverage is below 70%.

None of this means that we will not still face significant obstacles. But the one thing that we know about immunization is that we can reach everyone. We did it with smallpox, which has now been eradicated, and we are doing it with polio (with less than 100 cases worldwide this year). The challenge now is to do the same with all of our life-saving vaccines – particularly those that target the biggest killers of children.

Source: project syndicate

Touchy Feeling Bionic Hand Closer to Reality.


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A new and better bionic hand under development connects directly to the nervous system and could one day return dexterity and sensation to amputees, researchers say.

In recent years, a plethora of bionic hands have emerged for amputees. However, surveys of those using such artificial hands have revealed that up to 50 percent of amputees do not use the prosthesis regularly, due to poor functionality, appearance and controllability.

NEWS: First Bionic Eye See Light of Day

So, to improve the amount of dexterity and sensation of these bionic hands, scientists reasoned they could use interfaces that link the hands with the nervous system, potentially enabling intuitive control and realistic sensory feedback.

“Our dream is to have Luke Skywalker getting back his hand with normal function,” researcher Silvestro Micera told TechNewsDaily, referencing the hero in “Star Wars” who gets an artificial hand after his real one is cut off. [Brainpower: Human Minds May Soon Control Prosthetic Limbs]

Micera is the head of the translational neural engineering lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, which is one of the collaborators helping to develop the new bionic hand.

In a four-week clinical trial, Micera and his colleagues found they could improve the sensory feedback an amputee received from bionics by using electrodes implanted into the median and ulnar nerves in the arm near the stump. This helped deliver feelings of touch.

In addition, the researchers analyzed motor neural activity from the nerves, signals used to help control muscles. They found they could tease out signals related to grasping to help control a prosthetic hand placed near the amputee but not physically attached to the person’s arm. In other words, it may be possible to develop an artificial hand that can transmit signals to and respond to data from the brain.

NEWS: Bionic Suit Helps Paralyzed Woman Complete Marathon

“We could be on the cusp of providing new and more effective clinical solutions to amputees in the next years,” Micera said.

Micera and his colleagues also announced a new clinical trial that will soon connect the prosthetic hand directly to a patient as part of the Italian Ministry of Health‘s NEMESIS project. They hope to further improve sensory feedback and overall control of bionics this way.

A key problem is how electricity from the electrodes can inflame cells, forcing the body to grow tissue around the electrodes that dampen signals to and from the bionic hand. Micera suggested drugs or coatings on the electrodes might help prevent such inflammation.

Natural hands normally possess 22 degrees of freedom, meaning they can flex 22 different ways — for instance, they can spread fingers apart. While 22 degrees of freedom are currently unrealistic for prosthetic hands, the four or five different grasping tasks the research team’s device can provide can be very helpful, Micera said.

In the future, artificial hands may connect not only with nerves in the periphery of the nervous system, such as those in the limbs, but may also link with the spinal cord. “A hybrid solution that combines both approaches may be the way to go,” Micera said.

NEWS: Bionic Legs Allows Paraplegic to Stand and Walk

Future research might also have amputees prepare for what bionic hands might feel like using virtual-reality experiments that could help them reconstruct their body images. “In the medium term, we’d like to have virtual-reality environments for training patients,” Micera said.

Still, much work remains before artificial hands are as capable as natural ones.

“I think the Luke Skywalker hand is probably 20 or 30 years away, maybe even more,” Micera said.

The scientists recently detailed their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

Source: Discovery channel

BBC News – Kepler telescope spies ‘most Earth-like’ worlds to date


http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22200476

GlaxoSmithKline accused of paying rivals to delay generic medicine.


http://m.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/apr/19/glaxosmithkline-gsk-oft-generic-seroxat-paroxetine

Quarter of a million children let down by ‘substandard’ nurseries.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk

/education/10006450/Quarter-of-a-million-children-let-down-by-substandard-nurseries.html

Protected: Man, 25, is first to die from measles in South Wales outbreak.


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