Pesticides

Posted on November 13 by
in Blog

Pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health hazards, ranging from short-term impacts such as IBS,
headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.

Ideally, choose organic as much as possible, but remember that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. If you need to pick and choose which produce to buy organic, consult EWG's "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15" lists, which highlight the most and least contaminated produce as follows:

'Dirty Dozen' — Choose Organic

Strawberries
Spinach
Kale
Nectarines
Apples
Grapes
Peaches
Cherries
Pears
Tomatoes
Celery
Potatoes

'Clean 15' — OK to Choose Conventional

Avocados
Sweet corn
Pineapples
Sweet peas (frozen)
Onions
Papayas
Eggplants
Asparagus
Kiwis
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Cantaloupes
Broccoli
Mushrooms
Honeydew

There's a Scientific Reason you Crave Junk Food When you Don't Get Enough Sleep

Posted on October 29 by
in Blog
An ancient system
What is it about sleep exhaustion and junk food? The answer lies in history, back when we dug in the dirt for starchy tubers, foraged for sweet berries and gorged on fatty fish.
Simply put, a lack of sleep triggers ancient instincts that yearn for rich, sweet, fatty foods.
Evolutionarily speaking, it was a big deal to have a high carb, high fat meal, because you didn't necessarily have those all of the time.
If you think back to feast or famine times, having a meal with lots of carbs or fat was something that your brain would say, 'Hey, we want to have that.'
 
Sleep and Hormones
You may have heard about two hormones that control our urge to eat: leptin and ghrelin. I always tell my patients to think about them by their first letter.
The 'l' in leptin stands for lose: It suppresses appetite and therefore contributes to weight loss. The 'g' in ghrelin stands for gain: This fast-acting hormone increases hunger and leads to weight gain. When you're sleep deprived, research shows, ghrelin levels spike while leptin takes a nose dive. The result is an increase in hunger.
 
And that brings us to the bottom line: There's not gonna be a pill any time soon for the sleep-deprived junk-food junkies that we are.
Instead, you'll have to do what the doctor says to reduce your illicit cravings: Get more sleep.

Why Sugar Takes a Toll on Mental Health

Posted on October 24 by
in Blog

There are at least four potential mechanisms through which refined sugar intake could exert a toxic effect on mental health:

1. Sugar (particularly fructose) and grains contribute to insulin and leptin resistance and impaired signaling, which play a significant role in your mental health.

2. Sugar suppresses activity of a key growth hormone called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes healthy brain neurons. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, which animal models suggest might actually be causative.

3. Sugar consumption also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system, which is linked to a greater risk of depression.

4. Sugar impairs the microbiome and its influence on the modulation of stress response, immune function, neurotransmission and neurogenesis

In 2004, British psychiatric researcher Malcolm Peet published a provocative cross-cultural analysis of the relationship between diet and mental illness. His primary finding was a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk of both depression and schizophrenia. According to Peet:

“A higher national dietary intake of refined sugar and dairy products predicted a worse 2-year outcome of schizophrenia. A high national prevalence of depression was predicted by a low dietary intake of fish and seafood.

No photo description available.
 

6 Unusual Ways to Cook With Cauliflower

Posted on October 22 by
in Blog

1. Popcorn

Cauliflower popcorn is a fun alternative that boosts veggie intake. Instead of serving roasted cauliflower as a side dish, serve smaller, popcorn-size nuggets as a snack and toss them with popcorn-style toppings, such as Parmesan cheese and smoked paprika; everything but the bagel seasoning; or garlic powder and salt.

2. Creamy Soup without the Dairy

You can add two cups of the puree to a can of tomato soup for a creamy version that adds a whopping six grams of fiber. Also, individuals who can’t tolerate dairy foods and/or don’t eat any foods from animals can now enjoy a plant-based creamy soup.

3. Hash Brown "Potatoes"

To make them, boil 1 pound cauliflower florets; drain and mash with 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; then stir in 1/3 cup shelled hemp seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds, 3 minced scallions, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 large organic eggs, and sea salt, rosemary, black pepper (or cayenne pepper) and turmeric to taste. Then drop the mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, forming 12 (3-inch diameter) patties; bake in a 475-degree oven for about 25 minutes (flipping patties halfway through baking); and serve them warm alongside scrambled eggs or dolloped with organic sour cream or a dairy-free alternative.

4. Tabbouleh

Why stop at rice when thinking about cauliflower as a grain substitute? Use it in a tabbouleh-style salad instead of bulgar, along with parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon and olive oil. Riced cauliflower stands in beautifully when you want an all-vegetable dish.

5. Super Smoothie

Use frozen cauliflower florets in smoothies! Add 1/2 cup cooked cauliflower to your favorite smoothie. It makes smoothies super creamy and thick for just 15 calories, but the best part is it adds fiber, vitamin C, and other disease-fighting compounds!

6. Healthy Cheese Sauce

You can make a cheese sauce healthier by adding cauliflower. Simply cook cauliflower and garlic, add some vegetable broth and milk, season with salt and pepper and add some shredded cheese (such as cheddar or Parmesan). Blend it all together, and you’ll be surprised how creamy and savory it is. The sauce works great as an Alfredo sauce or cream sauce.

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