Wednesday, September 28, 2011

6 Health Myths—Busted!

Reposted from:The Oprah Magazine - July 2011 issue

It turns out many "remedies" and "hazards" are more pseudo than science.
Two doctors separate fiction from fact.
By Ramona Emerson


"Sitting Too Close to the Screen Will Ruin Your Eyes"
When TVs first became popular in the 1950s; they emitted 100,000 times more radiation than they do today, so parents may have been smart to keep their kids away from the tube back then. But sitting too close to a modern set or computer screen won't do any permanent damage to your eyes. The fuzzy vision and headaches that follow a long day at the office (or an I Love Lucy marathon) are symptoms of eyestrain—a temporary condition no different from the soreness you feel after a workout. Relieve the aching with light massage around your eyes.
 
"Vitamin C Prevents Colds"
It's true that if you don't have enough C, you'll get sick—but with scurvy, not a runny nose. Carroll and Vreeman hypothesize that this bug-fighting theory began when we discovered the vitamin's link to that infamous sailors' affliction, in 1932; if C could prevent one illness, the logic likely went, and perhaps it could prevent others, too. But dozens of studies have found no difference in the number or duration of colds suffered by people who take C and those who don't. What is the best way to stay cold-free? "Nothing beats hand washing," Carroll says. 


"Jet Hand Dryers are More Sanitary than Paper Towels"
Dryer or paper towel? It's a confounding daily dilemma. Molecular biologist Keith Redway, of the University of Westminster, has done a series of experiments to put an end to the debate. He found that jet dryers actually increase the amount of bacteria on users' hands because the air inside the machines is far from sterile. The driers make the restroom dirtier, too, spewing germs more than six feet. Redway named paper towels the winner. 

"A Glass of Warm Milk will help You Snooze"
Even thousands of years ago, the Talmud associated drinking milk with sleep. Today there's no scientific evidence that it has the slightest impact on drowsiness. Milk does contain the nap-inducing amino acid tryptophan, but only in trace amounts. Eggs and cheese have more, but even an egg and cheese sandwich won't knock you out. (You'd probably have to eat seven of them, the authors speculate.) However, if a hot-milk nightcap seems to help you catch z's, drink up. A little placebo effect never hurt anyone. 

"Hydrogen Peroxide is Good For Cleaning Wounds"
You know the fizzing that happens when the liquid touches your wound? It's the sound of the chemical attacking germs, yes, and also your own cells. A study in The Journal of Trauma found that H2O2 inhibits fibroblasts—a type of cell involved in tissue formation—thereby slowing the healing process. The authors recommend washing your cuts gently with soap and water, then dabbing on a topical antibiotic.



"If Your Mucus Turns Green, Your Infection is Bacterial—and you Need Antibiotics"
Congratulations, nose-blowing sleuths! This adage is partially true: When you have an infection, your body sends white blood cells called neutrophils to fight the germs, and when an enzyme in the neutrophils mixes with the healthy cells in your nose, your mucus changes color. The falsehood is that you need antibiotics. The infection in your body is not necessarily bacterial; it could be viral—in which case, no amount of antibiotics will help.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

5 Inflammation-Fighting Food

Reposted from: Appetite for Health September 20, 2011 by: Katherine Brooking, MS, RD 
One of the best things about eating right is that it really can make you feel better, especially if you have aches and pains resulting from inflammatory conditions like arthritis.  If you suffer from moderate to severe arthritis, you should consult your physician for medical treatment.  However what you eat may also help (or exacerbate) your condition.  Limit pro-inflammatory foods, like trans and saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.  And be sure to increase your intake of the following inflammation-fighting foods:



Fatty Fish
Polyunsaturated fats – especially omega-3 fatty acids – help inflammatory chemicals in the body. More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported greater strength, less fatigue, reduced joint swelling and tenderness, less joint stiffness and less pain.
Look for fish that are high in omega-3 fats like salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies. Of all fish, salmon is highest in omega-3s, with up to 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per 3-ounce serving. Bake or grill fish instead of frying it to preserve this healthful fat.
And there’s an added benefit too! Omega-3s are also known to help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Like fatty fish, olive oil seems to have a calming effect on inflammation.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate the lowest amount of extra-virgin olive oil were more likely to develop one form of arthritis (rheumatoid), compared to people who ate the highest amounts. Researchers have found that a compound in olive oil stops the production of the chemicals that induce inflammation. One study even showed that olive oil was similar to ibuprofen at reducing inflammation.
When it comes to fighting inflammation, opt for extra-virgin olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olive and contains the highest content of health-promoting nutrients.



Spices: Ginger & Turmeric
Studies have found that certain spices, specifically ginger and turmeric may have anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti-inflammatory medications, so its effects on arthritis pain are not surprising. However, ginger can also act as a blood thinner, so consult your physician before increasing ginger in your diet. ns.
Turmeric, sometimes called curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice from Asia. It is the main ingredient in yellow curry. Research has shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals. Chicken curry, anyone?



Produce
Sure you know that most fruits and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, but perhaps you haven’t heard that some also contain phytochemicals that can reduce inflammation. In particular, carotenes have been shown to reduce the risk of inflammation disorders.  Foods high in carotene include squash, kale, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, oranges and apricots.
Two other compounds found in produce, the bioflavonoids quercetin and anthocyanidins also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects. Some of the best foods for quercetin:onions (red, yellow, white), kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, elderberries, lingonberries, apricots and apples with skin.
Anthocyanidins are powerful antioxidants known to reduce inflammation. They contribute to the health of connective tissue. Some of the best foods for anthocyanidinsblackberries, black currants, blueberries, eggplant, elderberries, raspberries, cherries, boysenberries, red/black grapes, strawberries and plums.



Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a precursor to the form of omega-3 found in fish oils called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.  Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce inflammation by helping to block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents.  To make sure you get the most anti-inflammatory benefit from the seeds, make sure you grind them to release the oil.  Flaxseeds are great in salads, oatmeal, and even yogurt.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brunch with Cafe Mocha


We had the honor of attending Café Mocha's first brunch in conjunction with WBLS radio station in New York.  The brunch was absolutely fabulous and the menu consisted of traditional Soul Food:  fried chicken, fried fish, mac and cheese, collard greens and cornbread.  Along with the typical breakfast foods:  Grits, scrambled eggs, omelets, pancakes, bacon and sausage.  


This week we are going to take our favorite items on the menu and show you how to make them not only healthier but also delicious.  For the breakfast portion of the brunch, see A Soulful Breakfast. 


The following recipes are a healthier version of our traditional method.  Eliminate the sodium and reduce the oil even further and you’ll have an even healthier dish.


And for pictures from the fabulous brunch click here Cafe Mocha/WBLS Brunch

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce

This is Angelique’s version of collard greens

 Collard Greens for the New Age
4 – 6 Serving
Ingredients:
2 - 3 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 pounds collard greens, washed, chiffonade
1 large orange, juiced - (Valencia oranges are good for juicing) 
1 - 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté approximately 30 seconds.
Lower the heat to medium, add the minced garlic, red bell peppers and onion continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown. 
Add the greens, orange juice, vinegar, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Turn the heat to high and bring pan up to a boil, immediately reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the liquid smoke and if needed, 1/4 - 1/2 cup of hot/boiling water.  Adjust the seasoning and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until greens are tender [not mushy].



  New Age Style Black Beans
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients:
1 lb dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
8 cups water
1 cinnamon stick [2 - 2 1/2" long]
3 cloves whole
3 large bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 teaspoons sea salt 
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large bell pepper diced
1 large onion diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
¼ cup balsamic vinegar


Method:
Sort beans by spreading them out on a flat surface 1 cup at a time.  Remove any broken, off color or odd shaped ones, rocks and other debris. 
Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain.  
Using a 6 quart pot, pour in the water add beans, place on medium heat and let simmer uncovered.
Break up the cinnamon stick and place it in in a large tea ball or cheesecloth tied with a string along with the cloves, bay leaves and cumin seeds.  Place the tea ball in the pot.    
Add the granulated garlic, onion, oregano, ginger, cayenne pepper and sea salt, mix well.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
If the liquid is evaporating too rapidly, reduce the heat even further and add water 1 cup at a time.
While beans are cooking; in a separate pan, heat the grapeseed oil and saute the peppers, onion and minced garlic until onions are translucent.
After 1½ hours of cooking time has elapsed, add the sauteed vegetables, liquid smoke and balsamic vinegar mix well.  Keep beans covered by at least 1 inch of liquid at all times; cook an additional hour or until beans are tender.
Taste, for seasoning and adjust as needed. 

Oven Crisp Chicken Wings
4 – 6 Servings
Ingredients
3 lbs chicken wings 
1+ teaspoon salt
½+ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic 
1 tablespoon granulated onion 
1 cup flour – All purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil – optional  
  • Preheat oven 450 degrees
  • Line 2 sheet pans (cookie sheets) with parchment paper or lightly rub pan with oil to prevent sticking.
Note:  Read instructions carefully, seasonings will be divided between the wings and the coating. 


Method
Wash wings, cut into drumettes and flats save tips for chicken broth. 
Pat pieces dry with paper towels. 
Season wings with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion. Refrigerate and let chicken marinate in the seasoning at least 3 hours or over night.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic and 1 teaspoon onion.
Coat wings with the seasoned flour and knock off any excess flour.
Arrange chicken on sheet pans, leaving space between each piece.
Bake uncovered 20 minutes, turn and continue baking until golden brown approximately 10 minutes longer.


Angelique's New Age Collard Greens


 Angelique's New Age Collard Greens
4 – 6 Serving
Ingredients:
2 - 3 Tablespoons of olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 pounds collard greens, washed, chiffonade
1 large orange, juiced - (Valencia oranges are good for juicing) 
1 - 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon liquid smoke

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté approximately 30 seconds.
Lower the heat to medium, add the minced garlic, red bell peppers and onion continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown. 
Add the greens, orange juice, vinegar, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Turn the heat to high and bring pan up to a boil, immediately reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the liquid smoke and if needed, 1/4 - 1/2 cup of hot/boiling water.  Adjust the seasoning and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until greens are tender [not mushy].

New Age Style Black Beans




  New Age Style Black Beans
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients:
1 lb dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
8 cups water
1 cinnamon stick [2 - 2 1/2" long]
3 cloves whole
3 large bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
2 teaspoons sea salt 
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 large bell pepper diced
1 large onion diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Method:
Sort beans by spreading them out on a flat surface 1 cup at a time.  Remove any broken, off color or odd shaped ones, rocks and other debris. 
Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain.  
Using a 6 quart pot, pour in the water add beans, place on medium heat and let simmer uncovered.
Break up the cinnamon stick and place it in in a large tea ball or cheesecloth tied with a string along with the cloves, bay leaves and cumin seeds.  Place the tea ball in the pot.    
Add the granulated garlic, onion, oregano, ginger, cayenne pepper and sea salt, mix well.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
If the liquid is evaporating too rapidly, reduce the heat even further and add water 1 cup at a time.
While beans are cooking; in a separate pan, heat the grapeseed oil and saute the peppers, onion and minced garlic until onions are translucent.
After 1½ hours of cooking time has elapsed, add the sauteed vegetables, liquid smoke and balsamic vinegar mix well.  Keep beans covered by at least 1 inch of liquid at all times; cook an additional hour or until beans are tender.
Taste, for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Oven Crisp Chicken Wings

Oven Crisp Chicken Wings
4 – 6 Servings
Ingredients
3 lbs chicken wings 
1+ teaspoon salt
½+ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic 
1 tablespoon granulated onion 
1 cup flour – All purpose
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup grapeseed oil – optional  
  • Preheat oven 450 degrees
  • Line 2 sheet pans (cookie sheets) with parchment paper or lightly rub pan with oil to prevent sticking.
Note:  Read instructions carefully, seasonings will be divided between the wings and the coating. 


Method
Wash wings, cut into drumettes and flats save tips for chicken broth. 
Pat pieces dry with paper towels. 
Season wings with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion. Refrigerate and let chicken marinate in the seasoning at least 3 hours or over night.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons garlic and 1 teaspoon onion.
Coat wings with the seasoned flour and knock off any excess flour.
Arrange chicken on sheet pans, leaving space between each piece.
Bake uncovered 20 minutes, turn and continue baking until golden brown approximately 10 minutes longer.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Top 10 Detoxifying Foods

 Reposted from: The Huffington Post Canada  Dr. John Dempster   First Posted: 8/30/11

While I'm a firm believer that detoxification is an essential part of optimal health, I acknowledge there is a lot of misinformation on how to detox safely and effectively. I'm often asked, "What is the best detox/detox kit?" My answer is simple: We're all biochemically unique and thus, have different biochemical demands. There are a number of organs which aid in the removal of the dangerous exogenous and endogenous toxins from our body.
Therefore, it's highly recommended to seek the guidance of a qualified health-care provider before you begin a detox regimen.
That being said, there are a number of foods you can eat safely on a regular basis to get a gentle detox daily. Below are my favorites:

Beetroot
 
You can't beat beets! Beets are full of vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene. They're also a valuable source of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium -- all necessary to promote optimal detoxification and elimination. Beets also support good gallbladder and liver health -- organs that are paramount for breaking down and removing toxins. The high amount of fiber in beetroot improves digestion and helps eliminate bodily waste.

Sea Vegetables
Often known as seaweeds, these amazing foods house powerful antioxidants that help to alkalize the blood and strengthen the digestive tract. The algin in seaweeds absorbs toxins from the digestive tract in much the same way a water softener removes the hardness from tap water. Sea vegetables offer the broadest range of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean -- the same minerals that are found in human blood. Dulse is my personal fave.

Dandelions
                                                                                                                                        

Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are essential for anyone regularly eating the "Standard American Diet" (SAD). They're a rich source of minerals and provide a variety of phytonutrients. They're super antioxidants that support cleansing of the digestive tract and offer great liver support. Try adding dandelion leaves to your salad.

Broccoli Sprouts
 

Broccoli is part of the powerhouse brassica family of vegetables. Broccoli contains important phytochemicals that are released when they're chopped, chewed, fermented, cooked or digested. The substances are released then break down into sulforophanes; indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which all have a specific effect on detoxification. Broccoli sprouts can actually provide more benefit than regular broccoli as they contain 20 times more sulforophanes. Add these to your salads and get creative with them in your meals.

Flaxseeds


One of my favorite "superfoods," flaxseeds serves many purposes. When detoxifying your body, it's essential to ensure toxins are eliminated properly. Ground flaxseeds provide a wonderful source of fiber that helps to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They're also a great source of health promoting omega 3 oils. Try consuming two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in lemon water every morning.

Lemons
Who doesn't love lemon? This wonderful fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body. Drinking lemon water, which is alkaline-forming, first thing in the morning will help to balance out the acidity of foods we've consumed. Don't forget to add your ground flaxseeds to enhance toxin removal.

Garlic
No detox plan should be without some garlic: It's a powerful antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic. Ridding your body of these pathogenic microbes can reduce endogenous (made by your body) toxins. The vital sulfuric compound garlic contains makes it an essential detoxifier.

Artichoke


Artichokes are not only a very tasty food, they're also incredibly healthy. Artichokes have been shown to increase bile production and purify/protect the liver. They also have a mild diuretic effect on the kidneys, ensuring proper removal of toxins once the liver breaks them down.

Turmeric


Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives it its yellow color. The rate at which your detox pathways function depends on your genes, your age, lifestyle and a good supply of nutrients involved in the detox process. Curcumin is used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat liver and digestive disorders.

Apples


Apples are full of wonderful nutrients. You get fiber, vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids. All of these substances are used in the detox process. One flavonoid, Phlorizidin (phlorizin), is thought to help stimulate bile production which helps with detox as the liver gets rid of some toxins through the bile. Apples are also a good source of the soluble fiber pectin, which can help detox metals and food additives from your body. It's best to eat only organic apples as the non-organic varieties are among the top 12 foods that have been found to contain the most pesticide residues.


Dr. John Dempster is a Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto. He's the founder of The Dempster Clinic -- Center for Integrated Medicine and embraces the biochemical uniqueness of each patient. With a large focus on regenerative and anti-aging medicine, he focuses on optimizing nutritional and biochemical imbalances. Dr. D can be contacted through his website, www.thedempsterclinic.com.