Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits and Uses


Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Story at-a-glance

  • The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are far reaching, as it has shown promise for heart health, diabetes and weight loss. ACV can also alleviate symptoms of acid reflux, sinusitis and sore throat, and even for skin problems
  • Apple cider vinegar is a great all-around cleaning product – it’s a powerful natural cleaner and can neutralize odors
  • Try apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse, deodorant, or mouthwash (diluted)

Vinegar is said to have been discovered around 5,000 BC, when unattended grape juice turned into wine and then vinegar. Originally used as a food preservative, vinegar’s medicinal uses soon came to light.

Hippocrates used vinegar to manage wounds, while medical practitioners in the 1700s used it to treat everything from poison ivy and croup to stomach aches. Vinegar was even used to treat diabetes.1

Vinegar, which means “sour wine” in French, can be made from virtually any carbohydrate that can be fermented, including grapes, dates, coconut, potatoes, beets, and, of course, apples.

The benefits and uses of apple cider vinegar (ACV) are now known to many (more on this later), which is why this is becoming a staple in many people’s kitchen pantries.

Traditionally, vinegar is made through a long, slow fermentation process, leaving it rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, and more, giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and many other beneficial properties.

As reported in Medscape General Medicine:2

“The slow methods are generally used for the production of the traditional wine vinegars, and the culture of acetic acid bacteria grows on the surface of the liquid and fermentation proceeds slowly over the course of weeks or months.

The longer fermentation period allows for the accumulation of a non-toxic slime composed of yeast and acetic acid bacteria, known as the mother of vinegar.”

“Mother” of vinegar, a cobweb-like amino acid-based substance found in unprocessed, unfiltered vinegar, indicates your vinegar is of the best quality. Most manufacturers pasteurize and filter their vinegar to prevent the mother from forming, but the “murky” kind is best, especially if you’re planning to consume it.

Vinegar is not only useful for cooking, it’s useful for health purposes, cleaning, garden care, hygiene, and much more. In fact, a jug of vinegar is easily one of the most economical and versatile remedies around. I recommend keeping it in your home at all times…

Health Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

There are no official guidelines concerning taking vinegar internally. Some people take one to two teaspoons a day, mixed in a glass of water, before meals or in the morning, and report benefits from doing so. The risk of taking small amounts of vinegar is low, and research suggests it may have some real health benefits.

Diabetes

Vinegar is said to be anti-glycemic and has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. It’s thought that the acetic acid in vinegar may lower blood sugar by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates, which is accomplished either by accelerating gastric emptying or increasing the uptake of glucose by bodily tissues.3

One theory is that vinegar might inactivate some of the digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates into sugar, thus slowing the conversion of complex carbohydrate into sugar from a meal into your bloodstream.

This gives your body more time to pull sugar out of your blood, preventing your sugar levels from spiking.  Quite a bit of research supports the use of vinegar as a diabetic treatment as well.

One study found that vinegar treatment improved insulin sensitivity in 19 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes and 34 percent of those with pre-diabetes.4

Yet another study found taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes by up to 6 percent by the morning.5

Heart Health

Vinegar supports heart health in multiple ways. As explained in the Journal of Food Science:6

“Polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, which is present in high levels in apple cider vinegar, could inhibit oxidation of LDLs and improve health by preventing cardiovascular diseases.”

One study showed that vinegar could lower cholesterol in laboratory rats,7 while another study on rats found their blood pressure could be lowered by the acetic acid in vinegar.8

Vinegar has also been found to decrease triglyceride levels and VLDL levels (the damaging form of cholesterol) in animal studies.9

Weight Loss

Vinegar may help you lose weight, as it appears to have an anti-obesity effect by increasing satiety and reducing the total amount of food consumed.

For instance, when volunteers consumed a small amount of vinegar along with a high-carb meal (a bagel and juice) they consumed less food for the remainder of the day. The reduction equated to about 200 to 275 calories a day – an amount that would result in a monthly weight loss of up to 1.5 pounds.10

In addition, separate research found taking vinegar along with bread not only lowered glucose and insulin responses, but also increased levels of satiety. The rating of satiety was directly related to the acetic acid level in the vinegar.11

Sinus Congestion

Apple cider vinegar helps to break up and reduce mucous in your body, helping to clear your sinuses. It also has antibacterial properties, making it useful for infections. Here’s what to do:12

1.Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm filtered water, and then stir until it’s thoroughly mixed.

2.Pour some of the mixture into your palm (make sure you wash your hands first) and then snort it up one nostril at a time. Plug the other nostril with the other hand. Repeat to the other side.

Sore Throat

The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar may be useful for sore throats as well. Gargle with a mixture of about one-third cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water as needed. You can also use undiluted ACV for this:13

1.Sip a small of amount of undiluted apple cider vinegar.

2.If you can withstand it, repeat several times a day.

3.There should be a 30-minute gap in between each sip. Make sure to drink water after each dose.

Acid Reflux and Other Digestive Ailments

Acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach. You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water daily. The pectin in apple cider vinegar may also help to soothe intestinal spasms.

In addition, ACV not only effectively stimulates digestive juices that help the body break down food, but it also contains healthy acids like isobutryic, acetic, propionic and lactic acid that can control the growth of unwanted yeast and bacteria in your stomach and throughout your body.14

Skin Irritations

Apple cider vinegar works for a variety of skin ailments, from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn. You can either apply it directly to the irritated area or try soaking in a bath with about one cup of vinegar added.

Warts

Topical application of apple cider vinegar may help remove warts, likely because of the high levels of acetic acid it contains.15You can try soaking a cotton ball in vinegar and applying it to the wart, covered, overnight.

1.Soak a cotton ball in ACV.

2.Applying the cotton ball over the wart and keep it well covered.

3.Leave it on overnight, and remove in the morning.

Energy Boost

Apple cider vinegar contains potassium and enzymes to help banish fatigue. Plus, its amino acids may help prevent the buildup of lactic acid in your body, further preventing fatigue.16

Boost Liver Detoxification

Studies found that ACV plays a role in liver detoxification, and may stimulate circulation. It also has healing properties that can affect the skin and blood and eliminate harmful environmental toxins in the body. Apple cider vinegar can also cleanse the lymph nodes and promote better lymph circulation, which can contribute to improved immune system response.

Candida Overgrowth

Too much Candida bacteria, which is actually a naturally occurring yeast, in your body has been linked to many different health issues, including yeast infections, fatigue, poor memory, depression, headaches, sugar cravings.

Candida overgrowth usually happens when the body is too acidic from excessive intake of processed foods or sugar, or if there’s insufficient good bacteria in your system. Because ACV is fermented with a beneficial yeast, it can serves as a prebiotic for healthy bacteria, essentially helping good bacteria grow.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses Around Your Home

Generally, you can use distilled white vinegar for household use and the cider vinegars, made from fermenting fruits such as apples, for consumption. However, if you prefer you can use apple cider vinegar around your home as well.

Natural Cleaning

Vinegar is one of the best natural cleaning agents there is, and this is largely due to its antimicrobial properties. When added to food, the organic acids in vinegar (especially the acetic acid) pass into cell membranes to kill bacteria.  Foods fermented with vinegar have a natural arsenal of antimicrobial organic acids, including acetic, lactic, ascorbic, citric, malic, propionic, succinic, and tartaric acids.

One study found acetic acid to be lethal to even E. coli O157:H7, while other research has shown substances such as acetic acid, lemon juice, or a combination of lemon juice and vinegar to be effective against salmonella.17

Weed Killer

Vinegar is very effective to control weeds in your garden. Howard Garrett, also known as The Dirt Doctor, shared his recipe for vinegar-based herbicide (this spray will injure any plant it touches, so use it only on those you want to remove):

Herbicide Formula

1 gallon of 10 percent (100 grain) vinegar

Add 1 ounce orange oil or d-limonene

Add 1 tablespoon molasses (optional – some say it doesn’t help)

1 teaspoon liquid soap or other surfactant (such as Bio Wash)

Do not add water

Neutralize Odors

Apple cider vinegar in a bowl will help to neutralize odors in your home.

Fruit and Veggie Wash

Vinegar is one of the best natural agents for removing certain pesticides and bacteria from your fresh produce. Try a solution of 10 percent vinegar to 90 percent water as a bath to briefly soak produce. Just place your veggies or fruit in the solution, swish them around, and rinse thoroughly (don’t use this process on fragile fruits like berries since they could be damaged in the process or soak up too much vinegar through their porous skins).

Natural Polishing Agent

Apple cider vinegar can be used to polish different metals:18

For silver: Mix half a cup of vinegar with 2 tablespoons baking soda. Soak the silver for a few hours and then rinse.

For brass, bronze and copper: Create a paste by mixing equal parts salt and vinegar, and then coat the items completely, rubbing them until the tarnish is gone. Rinse with cold water and dry with a clean towel.

Hygiene and Beauty Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

You might even want to keep some apple cider vinegar in your bathroom cabinet…

Hair Rinse

Apple cider vinegar helps remove product build-up and balance your scalp’s pH level. Try a weekly rinse of one-third cup of vinegar mixed with four cups of water. For dandruff, do this instead:19

1.Spraying your scalp with equal parts vinegar and water (mixed).

2.Wrap a towel around your head and leave it to sit for an hour.

3.Wash out and repeat up to twice a week.

Facial Toner

Diluted apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball makes a simple facial toner and cleanser to help prevent breakouts. It might even help bruises to fade faster.

Deodorant

Apple cider vinegar helps kill odor-causing bacteria, so dab a bit under your arms for a natural deodorant.

Oral Health

Gargling with diluted apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate bad breath and whiten teeth. Keep in mind, however, that apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. The main ingredient is acetic acid, which is quite harsh, so you should always dilute it with water before swallowing.

Pure, straight apple cider vinegar could damage your tooth enamel or the tissues of your mouth and throat. (There is, in fact, one reported incident of long-term esophageal damage to a woman who got an apple cider vinegar supplement capsule stuck in her throat.)

Foot Odor and Body Odor

Wiping your feet down with apple cider vinegar can help to eliminate odor-causing bacteria and smells from your feet. Rubbing it on your armpit20 can also help neutralize body odor.

Soothing Aftershave

Throw away your artificial chemical-based aftershave and settle for ACV instead. Just dilute it in an equal portion of clean water, shake well, and then apply to your face after shaving.21

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar in Your Cooking

There are many creative ways to use apple cider in cooking. Try it in homemade marinades and sauces, soups, or even smoothies. You can even add it to baked goods (it will add extra lift) and, of course, use it in salad dressing (try it mixed with olive oil, garlic, and mustard, for instance).22

Vinegar is good on fish as well and serves as a great tenderizing marinade for meat, giving it a good bit of zing. And it’s tasty drizzled over cooked greens or as a base for a cucumber salad. You can also try your hand at pickled vegetables using vinegar.

Vinegar is also a vital addition to homemade bone broth. When it comes to making broth, the vinegar helps leach all those valuable minerals from the bones into the stockpot water, which is ultimately what you’ll be eating. The goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water.

If you’re consuming vinegar for therapeutic reasons but don’t enjoy the flavor, you can alternatively consume other fermented foods to get the beneficial acids. This will then also help to recolonize your gut with beneficial bacteria. However, vinegar is easier and certainly safe to use, so you can certainly include it in your diet if you enjoy it.

Choose Your Vinegar Wisely: Avoid Distilled Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is excellent for cleaning and laundry, but for health purposes you’ll want to avoid the perfectly clear, “sparkling clean” varieties you commonly see on grocery store shelves. Instead, you want organic, unfiltered, unprocessed vinegar, which is murky.

As mentioned, that murkiness is caused by a cobweb-like substance called the “mother,” and it is indicative of a high-quality product. Finally, if you are considering taking apple cider vinegar medicinally, long-term excessive use could conceivably cause low potassium levels and can adversely affect your bone density – so moderation is important.

In addition, apple cider vinegar could theoretically interact with diuretics, laxatives, and medicines for diabetes and heart disease. If you are under the care of a physician and you want to try a course of apple cider vinegar, talk to your physician first to make sure it won’t interfere with any of the medications you are currently taking.

Advanced Added Bonus for Even MORE Benefits

You can consider using fermented vegetables. Like vinegar, it is a mild acid but instead of acetic acid like vinegar, it has lactic acid. In addition to being useful for many of the items above, properly fermented vegetables will provide you with two major benefits, they will help to replenish and improve your gut microbiome, and if a high vitamin K2 starter culture is used they will also provide you with useful doses of vitamin K2, which is every bit as important as vitamin D and works synergistically with vitamin D.

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Stem cell therapy reverses blindness in animals with end-stage retinal degeneration


Stem cell therapy reverses blindness in animals with end-stage retinal degeneration
Synaptic integration of graft retina into host mice. 3-D observation of contact between host bipolar cells (green) and graft retina (red). 

A stem cell-based transplantation approach that restores vision in blind mice moves closer to being tested in patients with end-stage retinal degeneration, according to a study published January 10 in Stem Cell Reports. The researchers showed that retinal tissue derived from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) established connections with neighboring cells and responded to light stimulation after transplantation into the host retina, restoring visual function in half of mice with end-stage retinal degeneration.

 “Our study provides a proof of concept for transplanting stem cell-derived retinal tissues to treat patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa or ,” says senior study author Masayo Takahashi of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology. “We are planning to proceed to clinical trials after some more additional studies, and hope to see these effects in patients as well.”

End-stage is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss and blindness in older individuals. Typically, patients with conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration lose vision as a result of damage to the outer nuclear layer of light-sensitive photoreceptor cells in the eye. There is no cure for end-stage retinal degeneration, and currently available therapies are limited in their ability to stop the progression of vision loss.

One strategy to restore vision in patients who are blind from outer retinal degeneration is cell replacement. Toward that goal, Takahashi and her team recently showed that stem cell-derived retinal tissues could develop to form structured outer nuclear layers consisting of mature photoreceptors when transplanted into animals with end-stage retinal degeneration. But until now, it was not clear whether transplantation of these cells could restore visual function.

In the new study, Takahashi and first author Michiko Mandai of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology set out to address that question. To do so, they first genetically reprogrammed skin cells taken from adult mice to an embryonic stem cell-like state, and then converted these iPSCs into retinal tissue. When transplanted into mice with end-stage retinal degeneration, the iPSC-derived retinal tissue developed to form photoreceptors that established direct contact with neighboring cells in the retina.

“We showed the establishment of host-graft synapses in a direct and confirmative way,” Mandai says. “No one has really shown transplanted stem cell-derived retinal cells responding to light in a straightforward approach as presented in this study, and we collected data to support that the signal is transmitted to host cells that send signals to the brain.”

 Moreover, almost all of the transplanted retinas showed some response to light stimulation. The key to success was to use differentiated retinal tissue instead of retinal cells, which most researchers in the field use. “The photoreceptors in the 3D structure can develop to form more mature, organized morphology, and therefore may respond better to light,” Takahashi explains. “From our data, the post-transplantation retina can respond to light already at one month in mice, but since the human retina takes a longer time to mature, it may take five to six months for the transplanted retina to start responding to light.”

Remarkably, this treatment strategy restored vision in nearly half of the mice with end-stage retinal degeneration. When these mice were placed in a box consisting of two chambers that independently delivered electric shocks on the floor, they were able to use a light warning signal to avoid the shocks by moving into the other chamber. “We showed that visual function could be restored to some degree by transplantation of the iPSC-derived retina,” Mandai says. “This means that those who have lost light perception may be able to see a spot or a broader field of light again.”

New transplant technique restores vision in mice
3-D observation of contact between GFP-positive host bipolar cells (green) and CtBP2-tdTomato in the graft outer nuclear layer (red). DAPI marks the cell bodies of the graft retinal sheet. 

To make the findings more applicable to patients, the researchers are currently testing the ability of human iPSC-derived retinal tissue to restore visual function in animals with end-stage retinal degeneration. If these experiments are successful, they will then test the safety of this protocol in part by assessing how the host retina responds to the graft. At the same time, they will continue to search for ways to increase the ability of graft photoreceptors to integrate with the host , with the ultimate goal of moving to clinical trials in humans.

“It is still a developing-stage therapy, and one cannot expect to restore practical vision at the moment,” Takahashi cautions. “We will start from the stage of seeing a or large figure, but hope to restore more substantial vision in the future.”

Even Organic Factory Farms Hate Transparency


organic farm

Story at-a-glance

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic standards do not address animal welfare
  • In April 2016, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule to amend organic livestock and poultry practices to provide for the animals’ welfare
  • While some of the changes are a step in the right direction, others favor industrial livestock production (CAFOs) and will essentially legalize organic CAFOs for producing eggs and poultry

There’s a widespread belief in the U.S. that animals raised on organic farms are treated more humanely than animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). This may be true in some cases, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic standards do not address animal welfare.

Despite this, a survey conducted for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found 68 percent of those surveyed expected animals raised on organic farms “have access to outdoor pasture and fresh air throughout the day.”

Another 67 percent believed “[organically raised] animals have significantly more space to move than on non-organic farms.”1

These beliefs, however, are often not the reality on organic farms, especially large organic farms that are owned by major food corporations and operate similarly to conventional CAFOs (making them essentially organic CAFOs).

USDA Proposed Rule on Organic Animal Welfare Falls Flat

In April 2016, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule to amend organic livestock and poultry practices to provide for the animals’ welfare. As reported by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the changes proposed by the USDA include:2

Distinct welfare provisions are provided for mammalian and avian livestock Outdoor access for poultry cannot have a solid roof overhead
Outdoor space requirements for poultry must be less than 2.25 pounds of hen per square foot of outdoor space Outdoor space must have 50 percent soil cover
Indoor space requirements for poultry must be less than 2.25 pounds of hen per square foot of indoor space (allowances up to 4.5 pounds per square foot are made for pasture based and aviary style production systems) Further clarity on justifications for confinement indoors for livestock and poultry
Further clarity on physical alterations that are allowed and prohibited Proposed implementation timeline following the issuance of a final rule: one year for all new organic operations; three years for new livestock housing construction; five years for all certified operations to be in full compliance

While some of the changes are a step in the right direction, others favor industrial livestock production (CAFOs) and will essentially legalize organic CAFOs for producing eggs and poultry.

The Cornucopia Institute, which engages in educational activities supporting sustainable and organic agriculture, noted, for instance, that:3

  • Porches should not be considered outdoor access in poultry operations
  • Birds need a minimum of 5 square feet each outdoors
  • Vegetation should be required in all outdoor areas for poultry
  • One of the dairy proposals allows cows to defecate and urinate on bedding, which jeopardizes animal health and conflicts with the requirement to keep animals clean

Glaring Issues With USDA’s Organic Animal Welfare Proposal

The public comment period on the USDA’s draft rule ended on July 13, 2016, with organic supporters like The Cornucopia Institute calling it a “giveaway to factory farm interests masquerading as organic.” They continued:4

“Cornucopia policy experts and scientists claim that the options presented in the USDA’s draft rule could confine birds to as little as [1] square foot indoors and only require farms to provide [2] square feet of ‘pasture’ outdoors, half of which could be covered with concrete.”

“At best, the USDA proposal delays enforcement for five to seven years allowing continued factory farm confinement production,” said Mark A. Kastel, senior farm policy analyst at the Cornucopia Institute.5 Kastel continued to Mercola.com:

“If corporate agribusiness, and a friendly USDA, succeed in blurring the lines, consumers won’t be able to tell if their organic food is coming from a factory farm or a family farm that truly subscribes to organic practices.

Besides for many people who want to make sure livestock are treated respectfully, unless we have good enforcement, it becomes near impossible to differentiate between the phony-baloney organic brands and [the] ones that offer enhanced nutrition, like elevated omega-3 levels, that people expect when animals are provided access to pasture.”

Industry Groups Balk at Looking Out for Animal Welfare

The organic industry is a mixed bag made up of small farms raising food the right way and large CAFOs that have gotten into the organic market and sell an organic line.

One of the scenarios that prompted to USDA’s draft proposal in the first place was the fact that millions of chickens could be raised in squalid conditions on a CAFO, yet still labeled as organic.6

The reality is that corporate interests want to raise food in industrial CAFO settings yet still get a piece of the organic pie by labeling the questionably raised foods organic.

So far, they’ve been getting away with it, and they don’t want that to change. In comments filed under the USDA’s draft organic rule, for instance:

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association argued the USDA doesn’t have authority to put animal welfare standards in place under the organic program, and said the rule implies organically raised food is superior to conventionally and “vilifies conventionally raised livestock.”7

Cal-Maine Foods, the largest U.S. egg producer, Rose Acre Farms and Herbruck Poultry argued that the proposed requirements would be nearly impossible for big organic egg producers to comply.

They even went so far as to say the proposals could potentially jeopardize bird and human health.8

The National Chicken Council (NCC), which represents Tyson, Perdue and other large poultry producers, also took issue with the proposed organic rule, specifically the suggestion that porches do not qualify as organic access.

The poultry giant claimed allowing birds outdoors could risk bird health and food safety while increasing costs for organic producers.9

So, basically, they want Americans to believe that keeping birds cooped up in close quarters is a better way to prevent disease than giving them access to fresh air and sunlight — an argument that defies commonsense and reason.

In short, organic CAFOs want to continue to raise animals in confinement and oppose measures that would require provisions that let farm animals be farm animals (like scratching around freely in the dirt, feeling the sun on their backs and foraging for their native diets).

North Carolina CAFO Waste Pits Are Environmental Disasters

If there were any question that raising animals in CAFOs is a disaster for all parties involved (except, maybe, for those raking in the profits), you need only look to North Carolina, where residents are reeling from the effects of living near hog CAFOs.

Every year, 15,000 Olympic pools’ worth of waste come from North Carolina’s CAFOs — the hog CAFOs alone, according to an analysis of maps and data of the state’s CAFOs by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to EWG:10

A new analysis by EWG and Waterkeeper Alliance shows that wet waste, primarily from pigs, in North Carolina’s industrial agricultural operations produce almost 10 billion gallons of fecal waste yearly, enough to fill more than 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools … Nestled near the Atlantic coast, these counties are beset with numerous air and water quality problems.”

In addition, poultry operations in the state produce more than 2 million tons of dry animal waste annually. The wet animal waste is often applied to croplands as “fertilizer” or dumped into waste lagoons. The open pits allow pathogenic microbes and chemicals to enter the air and waterways. Of the state’s more than 4,100 waste pits, EWG found that:

  • 37 were located within one-half mile of a school
  • 288 within one-half mile of a church
  • 136 within one-half mile of a public water well
  • 170 within the state’s 100-year floodplain

This isn’t a problem unique to North Carolina; unfortunately, it’s a familiar scene in many U.S. CAFO states. Alex Formuzis, senior vice president, communications and strategic campaigns for the EWG, wrote of the reality of living near a CAFO:11

“The smell from the manure and ammonia plume dangling above your property is so strong it often triggers vomiting, nause[a] and lung and eye irritation. The tap water could very well contain traces of the offending and dangerous swine waste, too, forcing you to buy and drink bottled water.

The waste saturates your property and builds up along the exterior of the house, attracting droves of flies, mosquitos, rats and snakes. Depression sets in as you and your family face the fact you’ve become prisoners in your own home.

A home you own, pay taxes on, and had hoped would be a safe and comfortable place to live, raise a family and grow old in. This is a slice of the American dream turned into a nightmare, courtesy of the industrial swine operation that borders your property.

Welcome to life alongside a factory farm. This is the reality of [residents of North Carolina] and tens of thousands of other Americans in this state, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Missouri and beyond.”

TTIP May Also Stand in the Way of Increased Access to Healthier, Humanely Raised Food

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and Europe that’s supported by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), which represents major U.S. meat and poultry producers. According to a report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), which promotes sustainable food, farming and trade systems, TTIP would result in a corporate meat takeover and policy that favors industry over the public interest.

Provisions in TTIP would allow the global meat industry’s global power to grow. They use the example of transnational meat corporations such as JBS and Smithfield, which they say “could be newly empowered to challenge regulations that hurt their bottom line …”12 According to IATP:13

“The U.S. simply lacks essential rules that should curb the meat industry’s wors[t] practices that cost taxpayers millions in environmental and public health costs … With TTIP, the EU industry will also ensure that pending decisions on critical issues such as cloning and glyphosate are made with trade ‘competitiveness’ in mind and not the public interest.

A TTIP deal would basically hand over Europe’s animal farming sector on a silver platter to transnational meat corporations — through tariffs and quota expansions, but definitively through the sweeping de-regulatory changes the industry hopes to win through the accord.”

How to Find Truly Humanely Raised Food

At this point, it’s very difficult to tell from food labels alone whether the food you buy has been raised humanely or not. Even an organic label does not give you the whole picture. Unfortunately, unless you do a lot of research, it may be nearly impossible to sort the good from the bad.

That’s where The Cornucopia Institute’s organic egg report and scorecard, which took six years to produce, is invaluable. The scorecard is designed to help consumers and wholesale buyers identify truly exemplary organic brands in the supermarket coolers. It ranks 136 egg producers according to 28 organic criteria to help you find truly healthy, humanely-raised eggs.14According to the Cornucopia Institute:

“‘Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture’ will empower consumers and wholesale buyers who want to invest their food dollars to protect hard-working family farmers that are in danger of being forced off the land by a landslide of eggs from factory farms …

[As] consumers have become concerned about the humane treatment of animals, and are also seeking out eggs that are superior in flavor and nutrition, a number of national marketers have found success in distributing ‘pasture’-produced eggs.

‘There is a fair bit of overreach and the exploitation of this term is well covered in our report,’ Kastel explained. ‘The organic egg scorecard enables concerned consumers to select authentic brands delivering the very best quality eggs regardless of the hyperbole on the label’ …”

When shopping for food, it’s important to be informed regarding where that food was produced. This becomes possible when you shop at farmers markets, natural food co-ops and directly from the farm, if possible. If you take advantage of the farm-fresh sustainability that’s becoming more prevalent as people take control of what they’re consuming, you’ll realize many benefits.

You’ll know where the foods you and your family eat come from, ensure optimal nutrition and protect the health of future generations. Also remember that some local foods are grown using organic standards and humanely, even though they might not be certified organic. One of the benefits of getting your food straight from the farm via the resources below is that you can often meet the farmer and ask about animal welfare before you buy:

  1. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  2. Farmers Markets — A national listing of farmers markets.
  3. Local Harvest —This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats and many other goodies.
  4. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals — The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  5. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) — CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  6. FoodRoutes — The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.

[+] Sources and References

How to Boost Brain Performance and Prevent Dementia Using No- or Low-Cost Strategies



Story at-a-glance

  • A diet that increases inflammation, such as one that includes high amounts of wheat, refined carbs and sugar is one of the root causes and greatest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease; diet is also a foundational prevention and treatment strategy
  • To prevent Alzheimer’s, you need to focus on a diet that powers your brain and body with healthy fats, not net carbs
  • Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment is best approached from a holistic perspective. Besides a ketogenic diet, lifestyle factors that come into play include exercise, sleep, stress reduction, sun exposure and social interaction

Alzheimer’s is an epidemic, currently affecting an estimated 5.4 million Americans. Unless there are radical changes, many experts project half of us will eventually acquire it.

Since diet is one of the root causes, diet is also a foundational prevention and treatment strategy. This is an important point, considering there are no meaningful conventional treatments for this devastating disease. Eliminating wheat, refined carbs and sugar from your diet would be a wise start due to the toxic effects they can have on your body, including your brain.

Drugs like Namenda or Aricept, which are commonly prescribed for Alzheimer’s, have very limited effectiveness, and come with potentially serious side effects. But other healthy lifestyle strategies also need to come into play for a truly holistic approach.

In this interview, Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist and author of The New York Times best seller “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health,” shares his insights into core strategies that will help boost brain performance and dramatically reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.

“The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan” is an extension and continuation of his previous book, “The Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers.” Perlmutter’s own father died from Alzheimer’s — a death he has since realized was preventable, which has acted as a driving force for his work.

“To be clear, no one inherits Alzheimer’s. Some of us who have relatives [with] Alzheimer’s … are at increased risk. We certainly know there are some genes, the apoliprotein E (ApoE) 3, 2 and 4 genes that are playing a role in carrying the ApoE-4 allele. It does increase a person’s risk.

But this is not a determinant that you will or won’t get the disease. It does indicate that you have a higher risk for that disease. But the beauty of what we are talking about is you can offset that risk. You can change your destiny,” Perlmutter says.

Primary Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

According to Perlmutter, your diet is by far the greatest contributing risk factor. To prevent Alzheimer’s, you need to focus on a diet that powers your brain and body with healthy fats, not net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber).

Perlmutter’s book centers around the notion that your body prefers burning fat because it’s efficient, and it minimizes production of free radicals and reduces inflammation.

Becoming an efficient fat burner not only helps prevent Alzheimer’s but also Parkinson’s, coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic health conditions.

“It’s a broad net that is thrown when we change our diet and finally get rid of the sugar and this bombardment of our physiology with carbs, the likes of which our gene array has never seen before,” he says.

“It’s very empowering, the notion that we can change the expression of our life code, our DNA, by making certain choices in our lifestyle, like our dietary choices, exercise, making sure we get adequate sleep, reducing stress and having good social relationships.

All of these epigenetic factors change the expression of your DNA, and can change our destiny even as it relates to Alzheimer’s risk.”

Why Nutritional Ketosis Is so Beneficial for Health and Brain Function

When your body burns fat as its primary fuel, ketones are created, which not only burn very efficiently and are a superior fuel for your brain, but also generate fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) and less free radical damage. But that’s not all.

“It’s more than just the utility of powering our cells with fat that is the beauty of this type of diet. When you do cut your carbs and sugars, and you add in adequate amounts of healthy fat, your body does produce ketones, one of which is called beta hydroxybutyrate.

It turns out [that’s] not just an ideal fuel source for your cells to burn, but beta hydroxybutyrate is [also] an epigenetic player. It actually has huge effects on the expression of your DNA …

[W]hen you’re in mild ketosis and your body is availing itself now of this chemical beta hydroxybutyrate, it stimulates changes in the expression of your DNA, which is positive, reducing inflammation, increasing detoxification pathways and increasing your body’s antioxidant production.”

Beta hydroxybutyrate also stimulates specific receptors on cells called g-proteins. When these receptors are tagged by this beta hydroxybutyrate during mild ketosis, it helps reduce the activation of pathways that lead to inflammation, and inflammation is a driver in most all chronic diseases, be it Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

So it’s not merely about powering your cells with fat. This type of diet — high in healthy fats, moderate in protein and low in net carbs — also helps alter your metabolism, thereby paving the way for health.

The Case for Feast-Famine Cycling Opposed to Continuous Ketosis

To shift your body into fat-burning mode, you need to dramatically reduce your net carbs, as your body will typically use whatever glucose is available first. However, that doesn’t mean you can never have large amounts of carbs ever again. In fact, remaining in nutritional ketosis for years on end may be ill advised.

If your insulin level goes too low, you actually increase your liver’s production of glucose. If the liver’s production of glucose isn’t suppressed by insulin, you’ll end up with high blood sugar even if you’re eating virtually no carbohydrates.

In my new book, “Fat for Fuel,” I recommend feast-famine cycling instead of continuous ketosis for this reason. By periodically pulsing higher carb intakes, consuming say 100 or 150 grams of carbs, opposed to 40 to 60 grams per day, your ketone levels will actually dramatically increase and your blood sugar will drop.

In addition to that, insulin — while required for lipogenesis (the production of fat) — is also needed for the production of protein.

When you’re in extreme nutritional ketosis and drive your insulin level down to really low levels 24/7, you will not have adequate amounts of insulin to manufacture protein. This precedes wasting, as you start to lose muscle mass, which is not a healthy state.

Beware of Eliminating Healthy Carbs

Perlmutter also warns against abstaining from fiber-rich carbs. These prebiotic foods nurture the healthy bacteria in your gut, because when you eliminate these foods you can negatively affect your microbiome. This is why I continuously stress the importance of reducing your NET carbs, meaning only the sugar-based carbs that have little to no fiber. Remember, vegetables are carbohydrates, and those you can eat without limit.

“It’s important that those carbohydrates remain part of the program, especially fiber-rich foods that are rich in prebiotic fiber: jicama, chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onions and leeks,” Perlmutter says. “I think that is a big player in terms of why people have such an issue when they go into full-blown ketosis.”

Exercise Rejuvenates and Regenerates Your Brain

“The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan” covers not only diet, but also an array of other lifestyle factors that are important for optimal neurological health, including exercise, sleep and stress management. Perlmutter recounts an event that showed him just how impactful stress and emotions can be — and conversely, the healing impact of positive emotions like gratitude. This personal story is also in his book.

Besides addressing your emotions and stress, exercise is another very important strategy. Certain exercises are particularly good for increasing brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which has potent rejuvenating effects on both your muscles and your brain. High BDNF levels have also been correlated to a dramatic reduction in Alzheimer’s risk. As noted by Perlmutter, BDNF “does nothing short of help you grow a new brain.”

“It turns out that any aerobic exercise will do this. This was just published several months ago — a new study done by Dr. Kirk Eriksen at UCLA. The conclusion was that regular participants in aerobic exercise, whatever their age have a 50 percent reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. That’s an important statement. They can garden, they can walk, they can swim, bike — whatever it is that gets their heart rate up. They demonstrated these profound changes on brain scans … ”

Raising BDNF Through Natural Means May Be More Effective Than Stem Cell Therapy

Turmeric can also raise BDNF, as can the animal-based omega-3 fat DHA. DHA is not really a fuel like other fats but, rather, a structural component of your cells. It actually integrates into your cell membranes, and it’s the only fat known to do that and not burn as fuel like virtually every other fat that you eat.

When you consider that 50 percent of the fat in your brain is DHA, the importance of this omega-3 fat becomes more readily recognizable. DHA also acts as a COX-2 inhibitor and a powerful anti-inflammatory. According to Perlmutter, recent research also suggests whole coffee fruit concentrate (also called coffee cherry) is one of the most powerful ways of raising BDNF.

“When you pick a coffee bean, it’s not actually the bean you’re picking. It’s the berry. The bean is the center part. The seed is what you make your coffee out of. But the rest of the fruit then undergoes an extraction process and makes this whole coffee fruit concentrate that now has been shown to dramatically raise BDNF levels. You’ll be able to buy that, I suspect, in the health food store pretty soon,” he says.

“But I want to emphasize that the best thing you can do if you want to raise BDNF levels and therefore grow new brain cells, is to … buy a new pair of sneakers [and] become active … That turns on your body’s production of BDNF [and] helps you grow new brain cells …  

When we turn on the growth of our new brain cells by exercise and increasing BDNF, that increases the growth of stem cells exactly where they need to be in the brain’s memory center. There are companies that do stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative conditions around the globe … The challenge with stem cell therapy is getting those cells to where they need to be and then hoping they differentiate into the type of cells needed.

What we see with the endogenous stem cell therapy, in other words, BDNF brought on by exercise, coffee fruit and turmeric, is that that’s exactly what happens. Those stem cells grow where they are needed. They develop into fully functional brain cells and they migrate to areas where they are needed as well.”

Other Important Benefits of Exercise

Besides boosting BDNF and promoting neuroplasticity, exercise also increases an important metabolic signal called peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator (PGC-1α), which increases mitochondrial biogenesis. The PGC-1α pathway regulates both mitochondrial activity and mitochondrial replication. This is important, as your brain is the most mitochondrially-dense organ in your body.

“It turns out that mitochondria do more than just help us produce energy and power our cells,” Perlmutter explains. “Mitochondria are actually involved in determining which cell lives or dies … This is mitochondrial therapy.

We’re now looking upon Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as acquired mitochondropathies or mitochondrial diseases that can be acquired by exposure to toxins, like we see with Parkinson’s, or just direct toxic effects on mitochondria based upon diet. For example, a high sugar diet is toxic to mitochondria.

Here is yet a third benefit to aerobic exercise that has just been published. It now looks as if those who engage in aerobic exercise have a wider diversity of gut bacteria. The more exercise you do, the more diverse are the organisms that live in your gut. That correlates with better health, reduced inflammation and a more balanced immune system. I think we’ve given out three very powerful reasons that people need to engage in aerobics.”

An important and fascinating side note here is the findings of Dr. Dale Bredesen, a UCLA researcher who, by leveraging 36 different healthy lifestyle parameters, was able to reverse Alzheimer’s in 9 out of 10 patients. This included the use of exercise, ketogenic diet, optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food.

His work was published in the journal Aging in 2014. You can download the full-text case paper online, which details the full program.1 According to Bredesen, “The results … suggest that, at least early in the course, cognitive decline may be driven in large part by metabolic processes,” which is exactly what Perlmutter is suggesting.

How Light Affects Brain Function

Interestingly, research shows people living in northern latitudes have higher rates of death from dementia and Alzheimer’s than those living in sunnier areas, suggesting vitamin D and/or sun exposure are important factors. I recently interviewed Dr. Lew Lim about the use of near-infrared light as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, known as photobiomodulation.

About 40 percent of the rays in sunlight is near-infrared. I should be publishing that shortly, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. This is a truly fascinating area that appears very promising.

Near-infrared light is thought to work by interacting with cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) — one of the proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane and a member of the electron transport chain. CCO is a chromophore — a molecule that attracts and feeds on light.

In short, sunlight helps your cells make the best use of whatever food they have, and improves the generation of energy (ATP). The optimal wavelength for stimulating CCO lies in two regions, red at 630 to 660 nm and near-infrared at 810 to 830 nm.

Photobiomodulation also improves oxygenation to your cells. One of the ways it does this is by releasing nitric oxide (NO) back into your body after being exposed to red and near-infrared rays. NO is a vasodilator that helps relax your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure and improve vascular health. When you deliver red and infrared light to the mitochondria, it also promotes synthesizing of gene transcription factors that trigger cellular repair, and this is as true in the brain as anywhere else in your body.

While daily sun exposure is likely your best option, followed by specialized technology such as near-infrared treatments, other devices emitting the near-infrared spectrum may also be beneficial. Lim has invented a photobiomodulation device for neurological health and the treatment of dementia, but if you’re on a budget, you could use a near-infrared (850 nm) security light from Amazon.

I position it over my head for brain health. As noted by Perlmutter, vitamin D is also crucial, and vitamin D is, of course, another important effect derived from sensible sun exposure.

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is another factor that can play a significant role in your brain health, as your brain can only detoxify and clean itself out during deep sleep.

“We look at the correlative studies that are really quite profound in showing that interrupted sleep, dropping out of restorative sleep, and even full-blown sleep apnea have strong correlations to risk for Alzheimer’s disease. There are multiple reasons for that. We know that, for example, if you measure inflammatory markers, like C-reactive protein and others, they correlate quite nicely to tumor necrosis factor alpha, with the degree of abnormality of a person’s sleep,” Perlmutter says.

“We recognize that the brain undergoes some fundamental housekeeping during the course of sleeping. It’s not like everything shuts down. That’s when the brain tidies up. That’s when we are activating what’s called the brain’s glymphatic system to help clear debris.

[Recent] research … [also] indicates that during sleep, the brain may undergo what’s called synaptic pruning. What that means is we spend our whole day making new connections between brain cells, but we rely upon the fact that during sleep, we reduce some of those connections because they may not be necessary. We don’t overrun the hard drive here with all these connections that are not necessarily important for us.

I talk about, in my new book, all types of ideas people can pursue to improve their sleep … So many watch the 11 o’clock news, which these days are enough to keep anybody awake, then wonder why they can’t sleep … Again, it’s trying to emulate the fact that we would go to sleep when the sun went down and wake up when the sun came up. It’s desperately important. It’s a very important lifestyle choice right there with eating and exercise.”

Not only will late-night TV watching prevent you from falling asleep quickly by shutting down the production of melatonin — a potent antioxidant and hormone that triggers sleepiness — the type of programming you choose to watch will also affect your brain health. As noted by Perlmutter, “if you bombard yourself with all the stuff going on around you, the world does look like a very dark and scary place. That raises your cortisol level. That’s toxic to your brain’s memory center. That sets the stage.”

You can somewhat mitigate the negative impact of artificial lights and electronic screens in the evening by wearing blue-blocking glasses. I put on my orange-colored glasses as soon as the sun sets.

“Again, it’s important from a genetic perspective because our ancestors’ genomes were honed to be perfectly responsive to that environment. We have that same genome today and we have to do our very best to emulate that [ancient] environment and cater to it — get enough sleep, be physically active, and eat a diet that doesn’t have much sugar or [net] carbs in it.”

Social Interaction

Besides exercise, sleep and sun exposure, another no-cost practical strategy that can benefit your brain health is improving your social interactions. There are so-called “blue zones” around the world where people have better health and live longer. What do they do differently than other folks? A healthier diet is one thing, but they also tend to be more physically active and socially involved.

“They have networks. These are societies in which the elderly, for example, are integrated and are valued and remain an active part of their communities,” Perlmutter explains. “This has, from a chemical perspective, a profound effect on lowering cortisol and raising other things in the body, for example like oxytocin, which happens to be called the love chemical.

I would suspect that in humans, there are probably even changes seen in the gut bacteria in the microbiome … [T]here was an interesting report [showing] … the level of beta-amyloid correlated with changes in gut bacteria. When there were no gut bacteria, there was actually less of the beta-amyloid produced in this genetically modified rodent, as opposed to when there was a standard gut bacteria.

The reason I mention it is because there is a big push to develop medications that can rid the brain of beta-amyloid … But how intriguing it is that those of us who are focused on the gut bacteria are now recognizing that it may play a role from such a fundamental level, in terms of the production of amyloid protein in the brain.”

Is it Advisable to Eat Wheat?

I recently interviewed John Douillard, author of “Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back Into Your Diet.” In that interview, I noted Perlmutter appeared willing to embrace many of Douillard’s notions, which center around the idea that there’s a significant difference between whole unrefined wheat and refined processed wheat, and that once gut dysfunction has been properly healed, eating whole wheat can be very healthy.

“Let me first say that I have known John Douillard for about 25 years … I love the guy,” Perlmutter says. “He’s dedicated to health. I interviewed him as well and I have to say that I don’t agree with him. His contention is that our ancestors ate wheat at certain times of the year, and that most people can eat wheat and some people cannot. Again, I give him every benefit of the doubt, but I told him in the interview that I don’t agree with him in the nicest way I could.

The thing about wheat and other gluten-containing products … is that gluten, because of its content of another protein called gliadin, is threatening to the lining of the gut. Dr. Alessio Fasano’s research at Harvard has made it quite clear that gliadin, which is found in wheat, barley and rye, causes increased leakiness or permeability in the gut of all humans … That’s a surefire way to imbalance the immune system and augment inflammation in the body …

I want to tell you something very interesting as an observation. After I did that interview with Douillard, the comments on the interview were so positive … because of the fact that we disagreed but we were respectful of each other. We heard each other’s side. We didn’t interrupt. That certainly seems to be pretty unusual these days. I’ll leave it at that. Again, I think he’s a terrific guy. It’s fine to disagree.”

Annual Symposium for the Institute for Functional Medicine

Perlmutter is chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine’s 2017 Annual International Conference, “The Dynamic Brain,” held in Los Angeles June 1 through June 3. The meeting will focus on neurogenesis and neuroplasticity allowing recovery from neural degenerative conditions.

Speakers include Bredesen, Michael Merzenich, the leading pioneer in brain plasticity research at the Buck Institute, Rudolph Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard, who will speak about how activity and lifestyle changes affect BDNF, Dr. Terry Wahls, who will speak about strategies to upregulate mitochondrial function and the PGC-1α pathway through diet and other lifestyle choices, and Dr. Joe Pizzorno, a naturopathic physician who will speak about toxicity and detoxification.

“I’ll do the opening keynote … But also, I will focus on the emerging science of the microbiome and how that relates to this so-called gut-brain connection,” Perlmutter says. Online registration for the event closes on May 30, 2017.

For more information about how to safeguard yourself against Alzheimer’s and other chronic disease, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Perlmutter’s book, “The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health.” He’s also written three other books on the topics of eliminating grains for optimal health and optimizing brain health: “The Grain Brain,” “The Grain Brain Cookbook,” and “Brain Maker.”

I also will be releasing a new book, “Fat for Fuel” in May, which will delve into the finer details of nutritional ketosis and its health benefits, which includes improved brain health. Incidentally, Perlmutter was one of over two dozen medical experts who helped edit the book, and I’m deeply grateful for his invaluable contributions.

“I’m really very excited for your new book. I had the opportunity to read it ahead of time and I will tell all your viewers that this is going to be a homerun. Not just in terms of being successful, but a homerun for everyone who reads it.

I want to close with a quote if I could. It’s from Ralph Waldo Emerson … ‘Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail’ … All of us are outliers clearly. You have really left a trail for so many people to follow that isn’t where the path may lead. I think it’s so wonderful that you’ve done this all these years and you continue to do it, because it’s a beacon for all of us.”

Fat for Fuel” is my 10th book, but it’s the only one I really had a strong desire to write. It emerged out of sheer passion and a deep-seated concern for those needlessly dying from cancer — and the same fundamental dietary intervention that treats cancer also treats Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity.

They all have the same fundamental problem, which is mitochondrial dysfunction. The good news is this metabolic dysfunction can be avoided and reversed using simple, no- or low-cost strategies, some of which have been covered in this interview.

Watch the video.URL:https://youtu.be/ZXRgFzHUJRI

Swapping Lettuce for Sprouts and Microgreens Can Help You Meet Several Daily Vitamin Requirements


 Story at-a-glance

  • Sprouts and microgreens are far more nutrient-dense than their full-grown vegetable counterparts, providing higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health-promoting phytochemicals
  • Sprouts may be harvested within just a few days or a week of growth, while microgreens are typically harvested after two to three weeks, when they’ve reached a height of about 2 inches
  • A simple way to dramatically improve your nutrition is to simply swap out lettuce for sprouts and/or microgreens in your salad — or on burgers, sandwiches and other meals
 When you grow your own vegetables and notice the tender, young plants emerging from the earth, you may be surprised to learn that not only is it OK to harvest them while they’re still only a week or two old, but these sprouts and microgreens actually offer superior nutrition.1,2,3

Many of the benefits of sprouts and microgreens relate to the fact that, in their initial and early phase of growth, the plants contain more concentrated amounts of nutrients. As a result, you need to eat far less, in terms of amount, compared to a mature plant.

Sprouts, Microgreens and Baby Greens

Once the sprout starts to grow — but well before it reaches maturity — it’s considered a microgreen. Sprouts may be harvested within just a few days or a week of growth, while microgreens are typically harvested after two to three weeks, when they’ve reached a height of about 2 inches.

“Baby greens” are microgreens allowed to grow to a height of about 4 inches before harvesting. All of these — sprouts, microgreens and baby greens — are packed with higher densities of nutrients than full-grown vegetables.

As noted in the book, “Microgreens: Novel, Fresh and Functional Food to Explore All the Value of Biodiversity:”4

“Microgreens are … increasingly used by haute cuisine chefs to prepare gourmet dishes intended to satisfy the needs of modern consumers, more and more health conscious and particularly attentive to their health, diet and food quality.

Although [they] are often used with the main aesthetic purpose of garnishing dishes, microgreens also have a very good nutritional profile and … are considered ‘functional foods’ or ‘super foods’ as … they can also provide bioactive compounds able to improve some functions of the organism and/or reduce the risk of diseases.”

For example, research5 shows red cabbage microgreens impart more polyphenols and glucosinolates that help optimize your cholesterol levels and lower liver triglycerides.

Benefits of Sprouts

Essential fatty acids heighten and the protein quality of several vegetables improves when sprouted.

Sprouts can also contain up to 100 times more enzymes than their full-grown counterparts, which allow your body to extract higher levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from other foods, and help protect against chemical carcinogens to boot.6

Minerals also bind to proteins, making them more bioavailable. Alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium help balance your body chemistry for both weight loss and better health overall.

Moreover, sprouting makes nuts, grains and seeds more digestible by breaking down anti-nutrients, enzyme inhibitors and lectins that can make the full-grown food hard to digest.7 Ditto for compounds known to cause gas in legumes.

A single day of soaking and sprouting the seeds can reduce anti-nutrients by 90 percent.

Another major benefit is that sprouts are easy and inexpensive to grow at home. They’re a particularly excellent choice during winter months, when outdoor gardening is limited or ruled out. Another major benefit is that you don’t have to cook them.

Vitamin Content Skyrockets in Sprouted Foods

Vitamins like A, B-complex, C and E also increase in sprouted foods, sometimes by 20 percent within just a few days of germination. In fact, mung bean sprouts increase in vitamin B1 by up to 285 percent, vitamin B2 by up to 515 percent and niacin by up to 256 percent.

Watercress may be the most nutrient-dense of all. Based on 17 nutrients, including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K, watercress scored a perfect 100 in the 2014 study, “Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables.”8,9

Swap Your Lettuce for Sprouts and Microgreens

A simple way to dramatically improve your nutrition is to simply swap out lettuce for sprouts and/or microgreens in your salad — or on burgers, sandwiches or tacos. Besides fiber, lettuce really doesn’t provide much in terms of nutrients. Microgreens and sprouts will also add more interesting flavors to your meal.

According to research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)10 in which 25 different microgreens were evaluated, all were found to have higher nutritional densities than their full-grown counterparts, including 10 times higher amounts of valuable antioxidant compounds. Among the 25 varieties tested:

  • Red cabbage microgreens had the highest concentration of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Cilantro had the highest amount of the carotenoids lutein and beta-carotene, containing three times as much beta-carotene than mature cilantro
  • Garnet amaranth had the highest phylloquinone (vitamin K1) content
  • Green daikon radish had the highest concentration of tocopherols (vitamin E compounds)

According to USDA researcher Gene Lester, Ph.D.,11 “All of these nutrients are extremely important for skin, eyes and fighting cancer and have all sorts of benefits associated with them.”

Sprouts and microgreens also contain higher amounts of phytochemicals known to protect you against a number of ailments and chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. For example:

  • Broccoli sprouts are a superior source of the cancer-fighting compound sulforaphane. Compared to mature broccoli, broccoli sprouts contain anywhere from 10 to 100 times more sulforaphane
  • Alfalfa sprouts contain saponins that help normalize cholesterol and support your immune system and bone strength12
  • Most sprouts are a good source of hydrolytic enzymes that help with food assimilation
  • Sunflower sprouts are high in phytosterols, which can help lower cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by competing for enzymes used by cholesterol in your gut, thereby lowering the amount of cholesterol absorbed13

Microgreens Help You Meet Your Daily Nutrient Requirements

As noted in “Microgreens: Novel, Fresh and Functional Food to Explore All the Value of Biodiversity,”14 even a few grams of microgreens per day can “entirely satisfy” the recommended daily intake of vitamins C, E and K, based on recommendations by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). More specifically, commenting on the USDA research above:

“[I]n the case of the red cabbage, comparing the amount of the above-mentioned vitamins in the microgreens with those reported in the literature for the same species harvested at a regular ripening stage, microgreens showed an average content of vitamin C six times higher, a 400 times higher value of vitamin E and a 60 times higher content of vitamin K.”

In Europe, the daily intake level recommended for adults by EFSA is 60 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, 13 mg of vitamin E and 70 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K. In the U.S., daily intake levels for vitamin C,15 E16 and K17 for adults are 75 to 90 mg, 15 mg and 80 to 120 mcg respectively.

Using the EFSA recommendations, an average adult could get enough vitamin C, E and K from 41 grams of red cabbage microgreens, 15 grams of green radish microgreens and 17 grams of garnet amaranth microgreens respectively.

Popular Sprouts and Microgreens

Commonly sprouted beans, nuts, seeds and grains include:

  • Alfalfa: a good source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F and K
  • Wheatgrass: high in vitamins B, C, E and many minerals
  • Mung bean: good source of protein, fiber and vitamins C and A
  • Lentil sprouts: contain 26 percent protein and can be eaten without cooking
  • Brussels sprouts: One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, B vitamins, antioxidants and other health-promoting phytochemicals

Any regular herb or vegetable can also be turned into a microgreen simply by harvesting while the plant is still young. It’s simply a matter of not waiting until it’s fully mature. Some of the most popular microgreens include:18

Cilantro

Amaranth

Arugula

Radish

Basil

Beets

Broccoli

Kale

Growing Your Own Sprouts and Microgreens Is Good for the Environment and Lowers Your Risk of Contamination

When it comes to sprouts and microgreens, your best bet is to grow your own. While not commonly known, commercially-grown sprouts are actually one of the most commonly contaminated foods, responsible for food-borne outbreaks. They’re so risky, Food Safety Director Michael Doyle won’t even eat them. A few years back, he told Modern Farmer:19

“We’ve had so many outbreaks. There is no critical control point in the sprout business. You can’t wash the bacteria away. If it grows during the sprouting process, it grows into the sprout itself. You’d have to cook it or something else to kill it.”

Besides lowering the risk of bacterial contamination, by growing them yourself using organic seeds, nuts, beans and grains, you can also be sure you’re not exposing yourself and your family to harmful pesticides and other chemicals. Fortunately, sprouts and microgreens are really easy to grow at home. My Sprout Doctor Starter Kit comes with what I consider to be three of the best sprouts to grow — sunflower shoots, broccoli sprouts and pea shoots.

When grown in soil, you can harvest your sprouts in about a week, and a pound of seeds will probably produce over 10 pounds of sprouts. Sunflower sprouts will give you the most volume for your effort and, in my opinion, have the best taste.

For helpful recipes, visit our Food Facts library. Most people are not aware of the wealth of nutrients available in whole foods, particularly organic fruits and vegetables. By getting to know your food, you can make informed decisions about how to eat healthier. And when you consider the amount of nutrients you can get from fresh sprouts and microgreens, combined with their cost-effectiveness, adding more of them to your diet is really a no-brainer.

You can harvest between 1 and 2 pounds of sunflower sprouts from a single 10×10-inch tray. Sprouts can normally cost $20 to $30 per pound, yet you can easily grow them for less than a dollar and get them fresh. Once cut, you can store them in the fridge for about a week, but it’s best to use them fresh, just after cutting. Again, sprouts and microgreens allow you to get the most benefit from a plant in the most biologically concentrated and bioavailable form.

Watch the video. URl:https://youtu.be/c40Df2iIvQA

Subway Chicken — 50 Percent Chicken, 50 Percent Filler?



Story at-a-glance

  • Tests reveal Subway chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contain just 43 percent and 54 percent chicken, respectively. The remainder is soy and other filler ingredients
  • On average, fast food chicken contains about 25 percent less protein than home-cooked chicken breast, thanks to water infusions and fillers. Fast food chicken also contains surprisingly high amounts of refined starches and sugars
  • Thousands of studies link unfermented soy to a wide range of health problems. The majority of soy grown is also genetically engineered and may be heavily contaminated with carcinogenic herbicide

By now you may have heard the shocking news: Subway “chicken” may contain just 50 percent chicken.1 The rest is filler. As reported by Time Magazine:2

“According to tests performed at Trent University in Canada, the company’s chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contained just 43 percent and 54 percent chicken DNA, respectively, consisting otherwise of soy and other filler ingredients.”

Subway denies the charges and has demanded a retraction from CBC Marketplace, yet admits it is “concerned by the alleged findings.” According to Subway, its chicken strips and oven-roasted chicken contain less than 1 percent soy protein.

“We will look into this again with our supplier to ensure that the chicken is meeting the high standard we set for all of our menu items and ingredients,” the company said in a statement.3

Popular chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s, McDonalds, A&W and Tim Hortons were also included in the testing. All, with the exception of Subway, tested as “mostly” chicken, ranging between 85 and 90 percent chicken DNA.

Subway Chicken — Mostly Filler?

If only half, or less, of Subway chicken is actual chicken, what’s the rest of it made of? The filler, it turns out, is a very long list of ingredients, shown in the CBC Marketplace program above. However, a majority of it is soy protein. John Coupland, president of the Institute of Food Technologists, told Time Magazine:4

“Assuming the data is right, that is a surprisingly large amount of soy … And it’s astonishingly high for something that you’re supposed to think is a real, whole piece of chicken.”

On average, fast food chicken contains about one-quarter less protein than home-cooked chicken breast, thanks to water infusions and fillers, and up to eight times more sodium.

Moreover, as noted in the program, while you’d never expect chicken to be a source of carbohydrates, fast food chicken such as that from Subway contain surprisingly high amounts of refined starches and sugars.

Soy Protein Linked to Health Problems

If the test results are valid, there are many reasons for concern. Not only are you being ripped off, paying for chicken that turns out to be 50 percent soy, which is dirt-cheap in comparison, but you’re also eating something that could be hazardous to your health, even if you’re not outright allergic to soy.

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of whole, fermented non-GMO soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities — protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about either.

Unfermented soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens — some of which actually interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein.

While a small amount of these anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy many Americans now eat is extremely high.

What’s worse, the vast majority of soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered (GE) to be herbicide resistant and contaminated with the well-documented carcinogenic herbicide, Roundup.

Soybeans are also processed by acid washing in aluminum tanks, which can leach aluminum into the final soy product, and may contain unsafe levels of manganese as well.

According to Kaayla Daniel, Ph.D., author of “The Whole Soy Story,” thousands of studies link unfermented soy to a wide range of health problems, including:

Malnutrition

Kidney stones

Breast cancer

Reproductive disorders

Immune-system impairment

Danger during pregnancy and nursing

Infant abnormalities

Heart disease

Cognitive decline

Digestive distress

Food allergies

Brain damage

Infertility

Thyroid dysfunction

Adverse effects in babies fed soy formula, including manganese toxicity, and DNA methylation with unknown implications5

The Hidden Costs of Factory Farmed Chicken

As previously noted by the Cornucopia Institute,6 the price of chicken has dropped dramatically over the past few decades, becoming the cheapest meat available in the U.S. As a result, consumption has doubled since 1970.

Seeing how chicken is supposed to be a healthy source of high quality protein, the fact that it has become so affordable might seem to be a great benefit. But there’s a major flaw in this equation. As it turns out, it’s virtually impossible to mass-produce clean, safe, optimally nutritious foods at rock bottom prices.

The hidden costs of cheap factory farmed chicken can be divided into three broad categories: ethical costs, environmental costs and human health costs.

In terms of ethical costs, research has shown that chickens are not only intelligent, they experience suffering just as animals higher up in the food chain, including humans. As previously reported by The Cornucopia Institute:7

“Chickens have nervous systems similar to ours, and when we do things to them that are likely to hurt a sensitive creature, they show behavioral and physiological responses that are like ours.

When stressed or bored, chickens show what scientists call “stereotypical behavior,” or repeated futile movements, like caged animals who pace back and forth.”

Environmental Costs of Chicken CAFOs

The environmental costs of chicken CAFOs are quite enormous. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are notorious for producing massive amounts of offensive and toxic waste that disturbs and pollutes the local eco system.

According to a report8 by Environment America, Tyson Foods Inc. is the worst polluter of U.S. waterways, releasing 104.4 million pounds of toxic pollutants into waterways between 2010 and 2014, second only to a steel manufacturing company.

Of the top 15 polluters on this list, six are food companies, commingling with some of the largest chemical producers in the world. Surprisingly, factory farms are actually exempt from federal water-pollution regulation.9 This despite agriculture being a primary reason why America’s waterways fail to meet Clean Water Act standards.10,11 Agriculture is also responsible for nearly one-fifth of the entire U.S. carbon footprint,12 and is a significant source of air pollution as well.

As recently noted by Brooke Harper, chair of the Maryland-NAACP Environmental Justice Committee, “Exposure to airborne contaminants have been associated with adverse health effects such as asthma and other respiratory illnesses.” Harper is currently involved in an effort to determine whether the 100 chicken operations in Wicomico County are contributing to Maryland having the highest rates of heart and lung disease in the U.S.13

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Human Health Costs of Chicken CAFOs

Besides the health ramifications suffered by those who live near CAFOs and are exposed to the environmental contamination caused by these factory farms, cheap CAFO chicken also take a hidden toll on your health when you eat them — in part because their nutrition is inherently inferior, in part because they’re contaminated with antibiotics, and in part because they raise your risk of contracting a foodborne illness.

Factory farms also spread pandemic diseases among farm animals, and in some cases among humans too. The bird flu is perhaps a perfect example. Mere days ago, Reuters14 reported outbreaks of H5 bird flu strains among wild birds and poultry in Europe, Africa and Asia. And, while the risks to humans is currently described as low, the World Health Organization (WHO) is yet again keeping a close eye on the situation.

In China, human-to-human transmission of H7N9 bird flu is being reported, and 7 percent of these cases have turned out to be drug-resistant — a now well-known side effect of excessive antibiotic use in animal farming, including poultry.

CAFO Antibiotics Pose Severe and Immediate Threat

Scientists have warned us about the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for several years now, and the warnings only grow louder. Just last month, WHO stated there are now at least one dozen drug-resistant superbugs posing an enormous threat to human health. Among the most dangerous are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. According to The New York Times:15

“The rate at which new strains of drug-resistant bacteria have emerged in recent years, prompted by overuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock, terrifies public health experts. Many consider the new strains just as dangerous as emerging viruses like … Ebola.

Britain’s chief medical officer, Sally C. Davies, has described drug-resistant pathogens as a national security threat equivalent to terrorism, and Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the recently retired director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called them ‘one of our most serious health threats.'”

On February 22, 2017, a joint report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned they’ve found high levels of drug-resistance in bacteria from humans, animals and food across Europe.16,17 Salmonella, commonly found in pork, which can cause very severe illness in humans, shows particularly high multi-drug resistance.

Shocking Rise in Multiple-Drug-Resistant Infections Among Children

Newsweek also recently reported the results of a study18 showing a rapidly growing number of children are being affected by infections resistant to multiple drugs (MDR):19

“Among approximately 107,000 diagnoses of Enterobacteriaceae infections in the hospital records they examined, the researchers found 724 instances of multi-drug resistance. That’s just 1 percent of the infections resistant to antibiotics, but the eight-year span of the study … reveals a shocking trend …

[T]he proportion of these infections that were resistant to antibiotics rose from 0.2 percent in 2007 to 1.5 percent in 2015. ‘For the general public, the change from 0.2 to 1.5 percent may not mean a lot,’ says pediatrician and epidemiologist Sharon Meropol, who was lead author of the study. ‘But for infectious disease experts, it’s ominous’…

Most of the MDR infections were present in the children before they arrived at the hospital, which means an increasing amount of superbugs are circulating in U.S. communities.”

Soy: It’s What’s for Dinner

Circling back to soy for a moment, a recent report20,21 by Mighty Earth highlights the environmental impact of soybeans. More specifically, the report accuses Burger King of buying soy from plantations created by burning down tropical forests.

“To examine the impact of Burger King’s operations, we focused on the ultimate source of much of their meat: the soybeans that feed the livestock that the company uses to make its meals. Soy is an important base ingredient of the world’s meat. Approximately three-quarters of the world’s soy goes to animal feed,” the report notes.

“…Burger King has a lot to hide: The fast food giant has failed to adopt any serious policies to protect native ecosystems in the production of its food. Despite pressure from consumers, it continues to rank dead last among its competitors … when it comes to protecting the environment.

Companies found in Burger King’s supply chain have been linked to ongoing destruction of forests and native prairies — habitat for wildlife like sloths, jaguars, giant anteaters and other species.

Unlike many of its competitors, Burger King has repeatedly turned down requests from civil society organizations to commit to only buying from suppliers who don’t engage in destruction of forests, or to provide information about where its commodities originate … Burger King scored a zero on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2016 scorecard of major beef sellers’ deforestation profiles, significantly lagging behind other major players like Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and Wendy’s.”

Soy Is Bad, But Roundup Is Even Worse

Glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s wide-spectrum herbicide Roundup and other pesticides — is the most widely used agricultural chemical in the world. The first glyphosate-tolerant soybeans were introduced in the U.S. in 1994. By 2015, 83 percent of the soy grown worldwide was GE soy,22 and in the U.S. more than 90 percent of soybeans grown are GE.

Less than 1 percent are organic, with the remaining 9 percent being conventionally grown which, like GE varieties, involves the use of herbicides like Roundup.23 Glyphosate-contamination is in and of itself a major reason to avoid foods containing soy protein. And if Subway chicken really contains as much soy as the Canadian test suggests, it would be a significant reason to avoid it too. Remember that less than 1 percent of soy is organic and free of pesticides.

In March, 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the “gold standard” in carcinogenicity research, reclassified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” (Class 2A).24Research scientist and consultant Anthony Samsel has also reported he uncovered evidence showing Monsanto knew glyphosate promotes cancer as far back as 1981.

Based on the IARC’s determination, the California agency of environmental hazards (OEHHA) has declared glyphosate a carcinogen under Proposition 65, and will require all glyphosate-containing products to carry a cancer warning. Monsanto attempted to overturn the OEHHA’s decision, but a Fresno County Superior Court Judge ruled against it.25,26,27

Monsanto Fights to Keep Lid on Roundup Cancer Cover-Up

More than 60 plaintiffs are also suing Monsanto, claiming Roundup caused or contributed to their or a loved one’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In its defense, Monsanto has relied heavily on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hotly contested determination that glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic” to humans, issued on September 12, 201628 — more than a year after the IARC classified it as a probable carcinogen.

According to a recent court filing29 requesting the deposition of Jess Rowland, former associate director of the EPA’s Pesticide Health Effects Division,30 the EPA’s favorable ruling on glyphosate was reached to protect Monsanto’s interests.31 As recently reported by Bloomberg:32

“A federal judge said … he’s inclined to order the retired official, Jess Rowland, to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a ‘highly suspicious’ relationship with Monsanto … Plaintiffs say the litigation has turned up documents showing that Rowland … was ‘straining, and often breaking, ethics and rules to benefit Monsanto’s business.’

Internal Monsanto communications reveal a push to publish the report by Rowland’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee to ‘preempt other potential actions or inquiries about the dangers of glyphosate’ … Another exhibit is a letter from a former EPA scientist to Rowland arguing there are scientific grounds for the EPA to reclassify glyphosate from a “possible human carcinogen” to a “probable” cancer-causing agent.”

Where to Find Wholesome Food

With all the drawbacks associated with conventional agriculture, CAFOs and processed fast food, your best bet is to forgo restaurants and choose fresh, locally produced foods. You can also grow some of your own. Remember to choose organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised beef, poultry and dairy, in addition to organic produce. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:

American Grassfed Association

The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grassfed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.

Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; born and raised on American family farms.

EatWild.com

EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass-fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.

FoodRoutes

The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.

RealMilk.com

If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund33 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.34 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/xd3Trr8Xrdc

‘The Matrix’ Reboot in the Works at Warner Bros


The 1999 sci-fi movie is coming back.
More Matrix? Bet on it.It’s still not clear what shape the project will take, but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros. is in the early stages of developing a relaunch of The Matrix, the iconic 1999 sci-fi movie that is considered one of the most original films in cinematic history, with Zak Penn in talks to write a treatment.Sources say there is potential interest in Michael B. Jordan to star, but much must be done before the project is ready to go.

At this point, the Wachowski siblings, who wrote and directed the original and its two sequels, are not involved and the nature of their potential engagement with a new version has not been determined. Certainly, Warners would want the two filmmakers to give at minimum a blessing to the nascent project. The studio had no comment.

Joel Silver, who produced the original trilogy, is said to have approached Warners about the idea of mining The Matrix for a potential new film. However, Silver sold his interest in all his movies to the studio in 2012 for about $30 million, according to sources. Warners is said to be leery of including him in any meaningful role, as he not only has a reputation for budget-control issues, but apparently has a strained relationship with the Wachowskis. The siblings hold much more meaning for fans than the producer. Silver’s reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Written and directed by the Wachowskis, the original movie sees humanity living in a simulated reality, unaware that humans are in pods in which their bodies are being harvested for energy. A computer programmer named Neo (Keanu Reeves) slowly becomes aware of this suppressed existence, eventually becoming humanity’s one true hope (Neo = One) to overthrow the oppressors. The pic also starred Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving.

The Matrix was released in a quiet period of the 1999 release calendar — March 31 — and Warner Bros. didn’t have outsized expectations for an action movie with obvious Manga and comic-book influences. But the story and ground-breaking special effects (including the slow-motion “bullet time” effect, which launched dozens of imitators in the years that followed) became the highest grossing R-rated film of 1999 in North America, and the fourth-highest grossing film of the year worldwide. It also won four Academy Awards.

Two sequels, Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, were not as well received, but Reeves’ deal for those films made him one of the richest actors in Hollywood.

While promoting John Wick: Chapter 2, Reeves said he would be open to returning for another installment of the franchise if the Wachowskis were involved. “They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not?” he told Yahoo Movies. However, it is likely that Warners will look elsewhere to attract an A-list director and star.

While some at Warners consider the title among the studio’s sacrosanct properties, such as Casablanca, others see a need to redevelop it in an environment where studios are desperately looking for ways to monetize their libraries and branded IP is hard to come by.

The idea of adapting The Matrix as a television series was nixed in recent months. But Warner Bros. sees a model in what Disney and Lucasfilm have done with Star Wars, exploring the hidden corners of the universe with movies such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or the in-production young Han Solo film. Perhaps a young Morpheus movie could come out of the exploration, as an example.

Penn is a writer with deep roots in the geeky genres in which Matrix travels. He created the Syfy network’s super-powered show Alphas and has been involved in comic book movies ranging from the X-Men franchise to The Avengers.

Signs of a Clogged Lymphatic System and 10 Ways to Cleanse It.


One of the crucial things when it comes to everyone’s health is removing the toxins from the body. There are a lot of systems, organs, and glands in the body which have a responsibility to ensure that the toxins are destroyed. But, a lot of them are clogged, and some of them don’t have a proper function at all. The lymphatic system is one of them which help in removing the toxins but doesn’t function properly in many people.

The lymphatic system consists of lymph nodes, glands, spleen, tonsils, and thymus gland. It is part of the circulatory and immune system. The functions of the lymph include:

 Removing interstitial fluid from tissues

  • Absorbing and transporting fatty acids and fats from the digestive system
  • Transporting white blood cells from the lymph nodes into the bones
  • Transporting antigen-presenting cells to the lymph nodes.

There are many reasons for the improper function of the lymphatic system as nutrient deficiencies, high intake of processed foods, and lack of activity. These are the symptoms which suggest that you need to clean your lymphatic system:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Frequent headaches
  • Sinus infections
  • Excess weight
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Arthritis
  • Skin conditions
  • Unexplained injuries

In order to create flow, the lymphatic system needs the body’s breathing, movement, muscle action, and intestinal activity, because it doesn’t have its own active pumping system. We present you 10 ways which will help you to create flow in the lymphatic system, needed for the removal of body toxins.

  1. Exercise

The first thing that the healthy lymphatic system requires is a regular exercising. Start with some easier exercises, and every day try to increase their level of intensity. Rebounding on a small trampoline is one of the best exercises for the lymphatic system.

  1. Alternative treatments

One of the easiest ways for detoxification of the lymphatic system is a lymphatic drainage massage. It can boost the lymph circulation, and drain away the fluids, fat, and toxins from the cells. Another treatment which will help in the stimulation of the lymph flow and in the removal of the body toxins is acupuncture.

  1. Hot and cold showers

The blood vessels will be dilated by the hot water, while the cold water will shrivel them. The fluids that were staying in the body for a longer period of time will be forced out by this “pump” action. Pregnant women and people suffering from the cardiovascular disease should not do this therapy.

 4.Use dry brushing

Brush the dry skin, by making a circular movement with a brush, for 10 minutes. Then, you can take a shower. For better effects, combine the dry brushing with hot and cold shower.

  1. Drink clean water

It is recommended to consume water half of the body weight in ounces on a daily basis (160lbs=80 ounces of water). Also, you need to consume a few glasses of lemon water.

  1. Avoid wearing tight clothes

Wearing tight clothes can be harmful for the proper circulation in the lymphatic system as they cause blockages in the lymph system, resulting in accumulation of toxins.

  1. Breathe deeply

There are 3 times more lymph fluid in our body than blood and no organ for pumping it. You can do a pumping action which requires deep breathing. It will help the lymphatic system in the transportation of the toxins into the blood before the liver detoxifies them.

  1. Eat foods that promote lymph flow

You can contribute to the health of the lymphatic system by eating raw foods and foods full of nutrients:

  • Low sugar fruits
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Avocados
  • Chia
  • Almonds
  • Garlic
  • Cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  1. Avoid foods that cause blockages to the lymphatic system

Avoid these foods in order to improve the health of your lymphatic system:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Conventional dairy
  • Processed foods
  • Soy
  • Sugar
  • Conventionally raised meat
  • Table salt
  1. Take herbs that stimulate lymph flow

Prepare teas with these herbs in order to improve the health of lymph:

  • Astragalus
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Pokeroot
  • Wild indigo root

16 Absolutely Astounding Facts You Can Barely Believe Are True


Often, we hear things that sound like the truth but are, with a little research, shown to be a lie. But this time, we decided to approach things from the other way round — and the results were much more interesting.

Here are 16 surprising facts which prove that the world is not always what it seems.

Benjamin Franklin was never the US president

It’s illegal to die in Longyearbyen, Norway

In Greece, Santa Claus is called Agios Vassilis

If there are 23 people in a room, then there is a 50% chance that two of those people have a birthday on the same date.

Neanderthals had bigger brains than humans.

Mankind managed to land on the moon before it invented luggage on wheels.

When the pyramids were being constructed in Egypt, mammoths still roamed the Earth.

Laziness is an inherited characteristic.

The national animal of Scotland is a unicorn.

Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.

Nintendo was founded more than 120 years ago — in 1889.

If you drill through the Earth and jump into the hole, you’ll end up on the other side in 42 minutes

The Titanic cost $7.5 million to build. The movie about the famous ship cost $200 million to make.

Diamond rain falls on Saturn and Jupiter.

Swearing has the same effect on the human body as a painkiller.

FirstEver Cases of Obesity in Arctic Peoples as Noodles Replace Traditional Diet


It’s true: Processed, packaged instant noodles have reached inside the Arctic Circle, and with them, Arctic peoples’ bodies have begun to suffer. As reported by Siberian Times, Arctic natives, who once could claim that fatness didn’t exist among them, now are becoming obese. Researchers noted that the natives’ diets had changed significantly, from intake of venison and fish to chemically processed foods, including noodles.

Instant noodles are a popular go-to lunch or dinner for those who are strapped for time or cash, and who simply want something to eat, now, without having to plan ahead or do much cooking. Unfortunately, reaching for a pack of noodles is not so easy on your body. In a first-of-its-kind experiment, one researcher discovered that, after hours of digestion, these noodles don’t break down in your stomach.

Studies also show that women who ate instant noodles more than twice a week were 68 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome, regardless of their overall diet or exercise habits. This is just one of many secrets of the processed food industry. The truth is the goal of food technologists is NOT to give you the most healthful foods possible, but to reduce the amount of real ingredients by finding substitutes that mimic the real thing, so that the end product looks, smells, and tastes like “good food,” but is anything but.

As I’ve said many times, avoiding processed foods of any kind is one of the most important changes you can make if you want to improve your health or prevent or address disease. Vow to spend 90 percent of your food budget on REAL, whole foods. Also make sure to retrain your body to burn fat for fuel instead of sugar, a key component of health and weight loss.

Replace these foods with healthy fats such as olives and olive oil, avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, butter made from raw, grass-fed organic milk, organic raw nuts and organic pastured eggs and meats.