NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! The keys to healthy weight loss in 2017 Delicious wheat- and soy-free
LO MEIN P. 32
ENERGY BOOST nutrients & herbs for thyroid health
THE TOP 3 SUPPLEMENTS EVERYONE SHOULD TAKE
TURN BACK THE CLOCK
with age-defying vitamin A
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For the ultimate in a recovery drink, drink OXiGEN water. OXiGEN is distilled water with highly stabilized oxygen (O4), which stays in the bottle when you open it. Studies conﬁrm the stabilized oxygen in OXiGEN water speeds up lactate clearance, making for faster recovery post-exercise. Beneﬁts of increased oxygen also include: improved endurance, improved stamina, greater mental clarity, decreased hangover eﬀects.
Mediterra introduces two new ﬂavors to their line-up of savory snack bars. Kale with Pumpkin Seeds, and Bell Peppers with Green Olives, take traditional Mediterranean Diet staples and put them in a bar with a gourmet blend of pea crisps, amaranth, herbs and a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Perfect for a savory snack on the go!
TruRoots Brandini Toffee
Cashew Almond Toffee Popcorn For a sweet indulgence, try Brandini’s Toﬀee Popcorn. Fluﬀy popped corn is gently tossed in buttery toﬀee with cashews and roasted almonds. It’s a decadent treat everyone will enjoy!
Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Medley This inviting assortment of sprouted brown rice, sprouted red rice and white quinoa is right at home alongside wild rice. Together, they’re ideal for breathing new life into a favorite dressing or bringing added ﬂavor to a pita pocket or side dish.
Sotru Cravings Crusher
Vegan Clean and Lean Protein This vegan protein powder boasts extra BCAA’s for muscle building and recovery, plus Garcinia cambogia for portion and hunger control. It supplies dietary ﬁber, prebiotics and probiotics for digestive support. Only 100 calories and just 2 g sugar per serving.
Organic Vegan Protein Shake Sotru introduces organic whole food nutrition in a convenient shake mix. This complete vegan plant protein oﬀers the beneﬁts of fermented fruits and veggies, probiotics and enzymes to assist in ultimate digestion and assimilation. Made with a hypoallergenic blend of rice, amaranth, quinoa and medicinal mushrooms to support your healthy, active lifestyle. Available in Vanilla or Chocolate.
Ultramet Original Champion Nutrition’s Ultramet is a scientiﬁcally complete high-protein meal supplement available in convenient packets. The low glycemic formula supplies 42 g high-quality protein, plus vitamins, minerals, fat burners and lipotropics. Supports nutrition, energy and health.
Gourmet Guava Paste For a gourmet touch, add the taste of tropical guava fruit with this convenient Guava Paste. Use a delicious compliment to your favorite cheese, or add as an ingredient to dressings and marinades. No preservatives.
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Mary Ann O’Dell MS,RD
Rejuvenate Formula This delicious tasting blend of vegetables, fruits and herbs is uniquely formulated to maximize its ingredients innate capacity to help us replenish and restore our health to a state of wellness and harmony. The ingredients in Rejuvenate Formula support alkalinity, boost energy levels, and support digestion and detoxiﬁcation.*
Icelandic Astaxanthin Icelandic Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that oﬀers signiﬁcant health beneﬁts, including supporting muscle recovery, joint, cardiovascular, brain, eye, and immune health.* Each supplement supplies 4 mg.
Omega-7 Blend and Pure Made with premium Himalayan sea berries and 100% natural ingredients, this everyday juice blend is a mixture of tart and sweet. With over 190 bioactive compounds, omega 3, 6, 9 and the elusive omega 7, this fruit blend liquid supplement is an essential staple to nourish your skin, hair and nails for true beauty from within.
Pure Nasal Mist This homeopathic daily sinus support mist is formulated with aloe vera, erythritol, and olive leaf extract. It is designed speciﬁcally to cleanse nasal passages and relieve nasal irritation without the use of harsh chemicals. Use can provide temporary relief for nasal congestion due to cold or ﬂu, runny nose, sinus pressure, and dry nasal passages.
Favorite Herbs: Oregano
Oregano has been used all throughout history, more as a therapeutic herb than a seasoning. The Greeks called oregano the “joy of the mountains” and used it for healing wounds, killing infections and for lung disorders. Here are some of the best known beneﬁts of Oregano. Potent Antioxidant. A 2002 USDA study found that several spices were potent antioxidants, but oregano in particular had 40 times the antioxidant eﬀects of apples and 5 times the antioxidant eﬀect of blueberries. Potent Germ Killer. Oregano, and more speciﬁcally oregano oil, has been studied for its antimicrobial properties. Research has found that oregano kills fungi, such as candida, and helps destroy viruses. One study even showed that oregano was as eﬀective at killing staphylococcus bacteria, often antibiotic resistant bacteria, although scientists say more research is needed. Immune Booster. Oregano can help strengthen the immune system. The respiratory tract beneﬁts from oregano since it helps reduce infection and cough. It’s an important herb to keep around during the changing seasons and winter months. Oregano is available fresh or dried for seasoning. Oil of oregano is very concentrated, giving more of a therapeutic beneﬁt, and is available in capsule or liquid form. The liquid can be used both topically and internally.
Opti-Extract™ Oregano Oil • Provides immediate immune support.* • Has broad spectrum eﬀect.* • Concentrated liquid extract.
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features 18 Top 10 Weight Loss Myths Everywhere you turn these days, there’s a book touting the ultimate diet, pills that promise to boost metabolism, and exercise machines guaranteed to whip you into shape. But do they really work? We cut through the hype with a look at the most common weight loss myths.
22 Feed Your Thyroid Feeling tired, run-down, or just plain old? Before you reach for another energy shot, it might be a good idea to have your thyroid levels tested.
departments NEWS FLASH
PLANT PROTEIN POWDERS
Hot Off the Press. The latest word on natural health.
Gut Check. Witness a dramatic turnaround in your digestive health with probiotics.
JUMP START WEIGHT LOSS
LIVING PAIN FREE
Foods and supplements that can help ease your aches and get you moving again.
The healthy way to shed those unwanted pounds—and keep them off.
“A” Youthful Glow. When it comes to skin, vitamin A may be the best age-defying nutrient.
Good Genes. Can the right diet really give you healthier genes? Find out more about this exciting new area of natural health.
Learn why these three nutrients should form the foundation of every health regimen.
Quiet Your Cough. How to pick the best natural remedy to soothe and stop your cough.
TOP THREE SUPPLEMENTS
Herbs for Kids’ Colds. Three potent botanicals that strengthen immunity and ease symptoms.
Vegetarian options that provide a healthy dose of this key nutrient.
Mein Event. Check out our delicious wheat- and soy-free lo mein.
Take Your Time. When it comes to convenience, ease, and flavor, nothing beats a slow cooker.
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How AHCC Works AHCC is a patented, cultured, medicinal mushroom extract whose efficacy is supported by over 20 human clinical research studies. It has been shown to modulate immune response in several ways.
A Unique, Clinically Validated Medicinal Mushroom Extract Every year, 23 million days of work are lost to feeling under the weather. While most people view immune challenges as part and parcel of the cold weather season, they are not, in fact, inevitable. After all, many people manage to stay well all year round, even though they are exposed to the same environments as those who have weaker resistance. The reason is because the environment is not responsible for whether you feel well or not. Your immune system is.
Innate Versus Adaptive Immunity You have two basic types of immunity: innate and adaptive. Your innate immunity launches an immediate, general attack against a threat. Your adaptive immunity takes longer to kick in, but produces a \IZOM\ML[XMKQÅKZM[XWV[M\WI\PZMI\ Very few natural compounds have the ability to augment both innate and adaptive immunity. AHCC (short for Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is one exception.*
• AHCC increases the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, your innate immune system’s first line of defense against invasion.* • AHCC boosts populations of macrophages, the “street cleaners” of your immune system, which pick up foreign substances and cellular debris.* • AHCC enhances the production of cytokines, the messengers of the immune system, so that your whole immune team can coordinate an organized response to outside threats.* • AHCC raises levels of dendritic cells and T cells, key players in your adaptive immune system’s highly specialized response to specific threats.*
Quality of Life is proud to have taken the Natural Products Foundation "Truth in Advertising" Pledge, a formal commitment to disseminating only truthful, non-misleading, and substantiated information.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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editor’s letter Happy New Year There’s something about the calendar flipping from one year to the next that makes a lot of us introspective. We look back on the year that was, sometimes marveling at how much things can change in just 12 short months. But we also look ahead to the future. There are 12 new months laying out there ahead of us, full of promise and unknown challenges. And this is the time when we start planning how we’re going to tackle them.
Editorial Director Nicole Brechka Executive Editor Jerry Shaver Copy Editors Ann Nix and Elizabeth Fisher Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel Research Editor Sam Russo, ND, LAc Contributing Editors Helen Gray and Vera Tweed Graphic Designers Cynthia Lyons and Mark Stokes Cover Design Rachel Joyosa Production Director Cynthia Lyons Production Manager Mark Stokes
For many of us, our health is a big part of those plans—whether it’s slimming down, shaping up, or just taking better care of ourselves. And that’s what this issue of The Healthy Edge is all about. Losing weight is a common New Year’s goal, and if it’s one of yours, we have a pair of articles that can help. “Top 10 Weight Loss Myths” (p. 18) tackles some of the misconceptions about losing weight—and there are a lot of them out there. And “Jump Start Weight Loss” (p. 27) offers three healthy ways to get you started on the right track. If your goal is an overall healthier lifestyle, check out “Top Three Supplements” (p. 26), for the scoop on key nutrients that most experts agree should form the foundation of every health regimen. And follow that up with “Good Genes” (p. 14), for a look at how diet can actually make your genes healthier— which can, in turn, help ward off a whole host of health problems. And that’s a goal we all can share for 2017. Jerry Shaver Executive Editor Have a question or comment? Email us at email@example.com.
Business & Editorial Offices 300 N. Continental Blvd., Ste. 650 El Segundo, CA 90245 310.356.4100; Fax 310.356.4110 Vice President, General Manager Kim Paulsen firstname.lastname@example.org Group Publisher Joanna Shaw 800.443.4974, ext. 708 Associate Publisher Bernadette Higgins 561.362.3955 Midwest Ad Manager Lisa Dodson 800.443.4974, ext. 703 West Coast and Mountain Ad Manager Cindy Schofield 310.456.5997 Retail Development Group 142 Butterfly Lane Louisville, KY 40229 800-443-4974, ext. 703 Fax: 317-536-3708 Business Development Kim Erickson 702.219.6118 Accounting & Billing Yolanda Campanatto 310.356.2248
Chairman & CEO Andrew W. Clurman Executive Chairman Efrem Zimbalist III Executive Vice President & CFO Brian Sellstrom Executive Vice President, Operations Patricia B. Fox Vice President, Controller Joseph Cohen Vice President, Finance Craig Rucker Vice President, Research Kristy Kaus Vice President, IT Nelson Saenz THE HEALTHY EDGE. Vol. 6, No. 12. Published monthly by Active Interest Media, Inc. 300 N. Continental Blvd., Ste. 650, El Segundo, CA 90245; 310.356.4100; fax 310.356.4111. (c)2011 Active Interest Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to THE HEALTHY EDGE are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all advertising content and for any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in THE HEALTHY EDGE may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. The information in this magazine is provided to you for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice. To obtain more in-depth information, contact your health care professional or other reliable resources.
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newsflash NECESSITY INSPIRES PALEO TORTILLAS
Coconut Water with a Conscience
Grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo tortillas aren’t easy to make, especially if you want them to taste as good as your grandmother’s treasured recipe. But that’s just what Veronica Garza did after being diagnosed with multiple autoimmune conditions, and discovering that a grain-free, dairy-free diet reduced inflammation and helped relieve achy joints and constant fatigue. “Tortillas were a necessity to me,” she says, “and my grandmother’s were the gold standard.” So she experimented with different flours, such as coconut, almond, and cassava, as well as chia seeds and other ingredients, until she created tortillas that even her grandmother loves. And a thriving business was born. Several different varieties of Siete tortillas are available in refrigerated sections of some natural food stores and, in larger quantities, at sietefoods.com.
Harmless Harvest Organic Coconut Water, harvested in rural Thailand, is going beyond Fair Trade to help local communities thrive. The company is certified Fair for Life, which requires fair treatment of people and long-term investment in farming communities, in addition to paying fair prices. It sustainably employs more than 200 farmers and factory workers and provides additional benefits. In the past year, they’ve provided:
* 386 school uniforms, which are required for school attendance, to local schoolchildren * Mobile health check-ups for nearly 1,000 local residents * More than $39,000 reinvested in rural Thai communities
Siete Family Foods cofounders Veronica and Miguel Garza
For more information about Fair for Life certification, visit fairforlife.org.
RESVERATROL HELPS WOMEN WITH PCOS Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can increase risk for diabetes by disrupting insulin function, and raises testosterone, which can impair menstruation and fertility and stimulate growth of facial and body hair. Supplementing with resveratrol, found in red wine, grapes, and nuts, can help restore hormones to healthier levels, says a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Taking 1,500 mg daily of resveratrol, for 3 months, reduced levels of testosterone by an average of 23 percent and levels of insulin by nearly 32 percent. Researchers believe the supplement works in part by increasing cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which improved by an average of 66 percent. 6
Most Popular Supplements Approximately 7 out of 10 American adults take dietary supplements, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people, age 18 and older, conducted for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Overall health and wellness is the most popular reason, and energy ranks second. These are the most popular supplements:
* Multivitamin * Vitamin D * Vitamin C * Calcium * B vitamins * Omega-3 fatty acids * Vitamin E * Fiber * Magnesium * Protein * Probiotics * Green tea
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MODERN SUPERFOOD BRINGING THE BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH TO THE PEOPLE Two major drawbacks to experiencing the beneﬁts of bone broth is the time to make it at home and expense to buy it pre-packaged. Introducing Bone Broth Protein™ – a breakthrough in protein supplementation that delivers the beneﬁts of bone broth in an easy-to-mix, convenient and on-the-go form. Not only does Bone Broth Protein™ pack 20g of gut-friendly and paleo-friendly protein per serving, it also provides Bone Broth Co-Factors such as collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and key electrolyte minerals – to support the health of your gut, joints, muscles, skin and healthy detoxiﬁcation.† Bone Broth Protein™ is free of common allergens and the ideal protein source for those sensitive to dairy, grains, egg, beef, nuts and legumes. Carefully-crafted quality you can trust and tested to be GMO free.
5 BIG BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH PROTEIN™ 1. Saves You Time 2. Saves You Money 3. Packed with 20g Protein + Bone Broth Co-Factors 4. Whole Food Supplemental Protein FREE OFFER
For a limited time, at select retailers, get a free copy of Bone Broth Breakthrough, by Dr. Josh Axe. Tips, instructions and over 50 recipes featuring Bone Broth Protein.
5. Diet, Paleo and Gut Friendly Also Available in Turmeric, Chocolate and Vanilla.
ASK YOUR LOCAL RETAILER ABOUT THE BONE BROTH PROTEIN™
W W W. B O N E B R OT H P R O.C O M †These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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ur gut bacteria number in the trillions and consist of many diﬀerent species that work together. While it’s well established that antibiotics kill oﬀ beneﬁcial bugs as well as harmful ones (which is why diarrhea can be a side eﬀect), our diet and lifestyle also disrupt gut microbes. “We know that when humans turned to grain, our bowel ﬂora changed dramatically,” says William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly Total Health. Recent studies have also found that artiﬁcial sweeteners, jet lag, and shift work disturb the natural balance of gut bacteria and upset blood sugar in a way that can lead to obesity and diabetes. The problem doesn’t end there. “If you remove some noxious stimulus, like an antibiotic, or you take the grains out,” says Davis, “you don’t fully repopulate all the healthy species you need.” In fact, he has found that when people stop eating grains, they may experience gas and bloating, and he suspects that this is because they lack healthy gut microbes.
Witness a dramatic turnaround in your digestive health within 24 hours with probiotic supplements The problem can be relieved by taking high-potency probiotics. Depending on your needs, you can support healthy gut bacteria in a variety of ways: For an imbalance of gut bacteria: Take a high-potency probiotic with 30–50 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of a variety of beneﬁcial bacteria. Davis has found that this amount relieves symptoms for most people when taken for eight weeks. He also recommends eating foods that contain prebiotics, special types of sugars or starches that nourish beneﬁcial bacteria. His favorites are raw potatoes and green bananas, which are rich in certain ﬁbers but contain virtually no starch. To feed good gut bugs, Davis suggests adding ½ of a medium, raw, peeled potato or ½ of an unripe banana to smoothies. If you experience bloating, reduce the amount of raw potato or green banana. Other prebiotics, found in some probiotic supplements, include fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin,
American Health Liquid Probiotic Acidophilus (in yummy Natural Strawberry Flavor) is a creamy way to ttake probiotics, for kids or adults.
Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus AF is a probiotic appropriate for those with hypersensitivities to common food allergens. It is free of gluten and other top allergens.
By Vera Tweed
and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). (For more healthy-gut tips from Davis, visit wheatbellyblog.com.) For maintenance: Probiotic supplements come in many forms, including pills, powders, liquids, and lozenges or wafers. Some are refrigerated, and others use special delivery systems to protect cultures from stomach acid so that they can reach the intestines. When probiotics also contain prebiotics, the combination may be called “synbiotics.” You can refrigerate all probiotics, even those not requiring it—some experts maintain that refrigeration helps keep them fresh longer. Food sources: Naturally fermented foods and beverages, such as yogurt or keﬁr with live cultures, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, and tempeh naturally contain probiotics, and probiotics are added to some protein and greens powders, nutrition bars, breads, snack foods, teas, and other beverages.
Rainbow Light Probiolicious Probiotic Gummies provide shelf-stable probiotics in a delicious gluten-free cranberry gummy—great for kids and adults.
Scimera BioScience Asprega ProPac is a 10-day probiotic formula that supports gastrointestinal health while taking antibiotics. It is formulated with S. boulardii plus 11 other probiotic strains.
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By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH
herbs for kids’ colds These three botanicals strengthen immunity and ease symptoms naturally
he common cold is an upperrespiratory tract infection that is caused by a wide variety of viruses. A child with a cold will complain of general malaise, fatigue, fever, body ache, headache, sore throat, and congestion in the nasal passages. Sneezing and runny nose are usually the ﬁrst symptoms. The throat may be red, sore, and dry. If your child has a healthy, functioning immune system, a cold should not last more than three or four days. And if you utilize certain natural remedies, once a cold is underway, although you should not necessarily expect immediate relief of the symptoms, a cold may resolve in as little as a couple of days.
Astragalus Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus) is categorized as a “superior herb” in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic, a 2,000-year-old text of herbal remedies, and it has almost certainly been used in that culture even longer. Called Huang Qi (“yellow energy builder”), it’s a master immune booster. “Qi” is usually translated in the West as “life force” or “vital energy.” Astragalus root is recently getting more respect in the West because researchers have found that it contains
substances that stimulate the immune system. Although preferred for long-term prevention, the herb can be used for acute cold and ﬂu symptoms. It’s is a popular immune tonic for children who frequently succumb to infections. According to Chinese medicine, the herb also strengthens the lungs, so it forms the backbone of a program to prevent and treat respiratory infection. Astragalus’ ability to increase immune function includes activity against the Coxsackie virus, a ﬂu-like virus that mainly aﬀects children. In a recent, randomized clinical trial in China, 115 patients who took astragalus for eight weeks showed signiﬁcant improvement in white blood cell counts. Modern research has identiﬁed the constituents in astragalus thought to be responsible for its healing powers, including polysaccharides similar to those in echinacea and shiitake mushroom, and hormone-like compounds called saponins. Chinese cooks regularly add astragalus to the family stewpot during the cold season, so that everyone can get a daily immune boost. And unlike most Chinese herbs, astragalus actually tastes surprisingly good as a tea, with a velvety texture and a sweet, buttery taste. For children who have diﬃculty swallowing tablets, a tea may be a good option. Astragalus tinctures are also available, and the herb can be found in natural cold formulas. Follow dosage instructions on labels.
Elderberry Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) extracts are used primarily as antiviral agents for colds and inﬂuenza. Research 10
demonstrates elderberry possesses immune-modulating and antioxidant properties. Elderberry extracts can shorten the duration or lessen the severity of the common cold. Constituents of the berries include the ﬂavonoids quercetin and rutin, and the syrup made from the berries is sweet and tasty, so kids respond well to this remedy. German Commission E, a government regulatory agency composed of scientists, physicians, and pharmacists, states that constituents of elderberry (Sambucus) provide eﬀective relief for colds, fevers, and respiratory mucus. A 2016 study found that elderberry produced a signiﬁcant reduction of cold duration and severity in air travelers. Look for elderberry in lozenges, tinctures, capsules, and syrups. As dosages of products vary, follow label instructions.
Echinacea Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) has been shown to exert signiﬁcant eﬀects on immune function in more than 300 clinical studies. Research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases found it reduces the chances of getting a cold. It was also found to cut duration of a cold by an average of 1.4 days in 14 separate studies. Study results have been mixed, most likely stemming from variable quantity of the herb’s active compounds; there is tremendous variation in these levels across products and preparations. Echinacea must be grown properly, harvested at the correct time, and prepared properly for maximum levels of all active compounds. Stick with established brands that have a good reputation, and rely on high-quality preparations. Echinacea is available in tinctures, capsules, chewables, and teas. Follow label instructions for use.
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recover faster ÂŽ with Umcka
Get better faster with Umcka ColdCareÂŽ, the homeopathic medicine clinically proven to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of coughs, colds and sore throats.
Available in a variety of forms including syrups, tablets, hot drinks, drops and fast acting powders. For more info visit umcka.com
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quiet your cough Pick the best natural remedy to soothe and stop your cough
f you’re feeling under the weather, you’ll ﬁnd a wide—and sometimes bewildering—array of herbs in your local health food store. So how do you decide which ones are best for your annoying cough? Here are seven natural alternatives to over-thecounter products that can do the trick—without the side eﬀects often associated with conventional cough remedies. Please note: these remedies are designed to ease coughs caused by viral infections, including colds and the ﬂu. If you think your cough could be related to something else, see “When to see your doctor” (p. 13).
NAC. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is one of those remarkable natural
substances that helps a wide variety of ills. In fact, it’s the active ingredient in the prescription drug Mucomyst, which breaks up congestion right away. NAC as a supplement takes a little bit longer to work (results are usually noticeable within an hour). It will break up excess mucus anywhere in the body. Used for just a few days, 1,200 mg per day is a safe and appropriate amount (a 600 mg capsule twice a day). TRY: Akin’s or Chamberlin’s NAC 600 mg capsules
Slippery elm. Slippery elm helps to soothe and moisten your throat, which helped stop the coughing. Ideal for tickly coughs combined with a dry throat, this herb
This is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its Cough and Cold Remedies for the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Infection in Young Children. It’s also great for easing coughs and other cold and flu symptoms in adults. Boil 2 Tbs. of finely chopped tamarind leaves* in 16 oz. of water for 15 minutes, and then strain. Consider adding a little lemon juice and honey or raw blue agave nectar to sweeten. WHO recommends 2 cups per day; however, some people drink it freely. * Tamarind leaves are available at select health food stores, Asian markets, and Mexican markets.
Slippery Elm lozenges 12
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By Gustavo Ferrer, MD, and Burke Lennihan, RN, CCH
is extracted from the inner bark of the slippery elm tree, so it’s not something you’ll be growing on your windowsill. Fortunately, it’s readily available in lozenge form. You can also buy the powder in bulk to make slippery elm tea. This pleasant-tasting powder is mild-ﬂavored, even a little sweet. It’s traditionally made by stirring a tablespoonful into a cup of boiling water. By the way, slippery elm helps soothe and heal mucous membranes throughout the body and is therefore often recommended for irritable bowel syndrome. TRY: Thayer’s
sinus congestion, as well as mucus in the lungs. Another combination of enzymes (Wobenzym) was shown in a research study to relieve the symptoms of chronic obstructive bronchitis.
TRY: Enzymedica MucoStop
Slippery Elm Lozenges
Elderberry. Everyone in the family can enjoy elderberry syrup, which has been traditionally used for colds, coughs, and the ﬂu. Recent research has shown that it is eﬀective against the ﬂu virus and potential superbugs. Just to be clear, elderberry helps to stop coughs by stopping the underlying infection. Your body is creating the cough for a reason, so you don’t want to use a cough suppressant while the infection rages on. TRY: Nature’s Answer Sambucus Super Concentrated Syrup
Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark. This is the product to use for that cough that just won’t go away, or for times when you just can’t decide what you need. It contains a range of soothing, cough-stopping botanical medicines, including the Chinese herbs fritillary and platycodon. The children’s version is not quite as strong, because it reduces the less-pleasanttasting antiviral herbs, but that means it also tastes better. TRY: Planetary Herbals
Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup
Enzymes. In particular, the enzyme mucolase (found in MucoStop) can be very helpful for dry or productive coughs. Experience shows that MucoStop eases nasal and
Essential Oils. Certain essential oils work quickly to break up congestion: eucalyptus, peppermint, wintergreen, juniper, and oils from the cedar-balsam-spruce group.
TRY: Olbas Therapeutic Olbas Oil
Propolis. This substance is used by bees to keep their hives sterile. It’s a resin exuded by trees to protect their buds against bacteria and fungus; bees gather it and use it in the hive as an antifungal, antibacterial, and
antiviral. Anti everything! Propolis can even be put into a diﬀuser or vaporizer to clear a living space of mold, germs, and pollution, just as it does in the hive. TRY: Paragon Plus Propolis Liquid
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR Seek help if your cough is accompanied by any of the following:
* A fever lasting more than three days * Chills with shaking * Coughing up large amounts of phlegm * * * * * *
(whitish, yellow, or even green) Coughing up blood or blood-streaked mucus Wheezing or significant shortness of breath Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing Chest pain with the cough or a deep breath A rapid heartbeat Lethargy/uncharacteristic drowsiness, especially in an infant or child
A persistent cough with one or more of these symptoms, whether or not there is a lot of mucus, could mean pneumonia or bronchitis. You should immediately see your doctor.
The Healthy Edge
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By Emily Kane, ND, LAc
good genes Learn how to improve your body’s methylation process and how this leads to healthier genes
What is epigenetics? My cousin mentioned that she uses supplements to “improve her body’s methylation process,” and that this is related to epigenetics. I am interested in learning more and how I might benefit from this as well. —Esther J., Hartford, Conn.
Epigenetics is the study of genetic variations caused by external factors. One of the most eﬀective ways to change gene expression is through diet. After you eat, the nutrients extracted from your food enter metabolic pathways in your body, where they are broken down into “usable” molecules. One of these pathways is responsible for manufacturing methyl groups, which play a vital role in epigenetics. SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine) and B vitamins, particularly folate, are the main components of this methyl-making pathway, and diets high in these nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression, especially during early development. For this reason, your mother’s diet during pregnancy and your diet as an infant both aﬀect your epigenome. Animal studies have shown that diets lacking in choline (part of the B complex) or folate before or just after birth cause regions of the genome to be under-methylated for life. A methyl-deﬁcient diet can also lead to a decrease in methylation in adults, but this is reversible when methyl-rich nutrients are added back into the diet.
The Key to Healthy Genes Thanks to a landmark study in 2003 (the Human Genome Project), scientists have discovered that the MTHFR gene— which contributes to health and wellbeing in multiple ways—is defective in as much as 60 percent of the population, with Hispanic populations at particular 14
risk. When it’s working right, the MTHFR gene sets oﬀ a multi-step process called methylation. Proper methylation is essential for binding and eliminating toxins and heavy metals. Here’s how it works:
syndromes, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia have been associated with one or more mutations of the MTHFR gene.”
Enhancing Methylation The MTHFR enzyme (produced by the MTHFR gene) helps to break down folate into its more useful form, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF). MTHF helps convert homocysteine into methionine, an amino acid used to make proteins, improve the body’s utilization of antioxidants, and help the liver process fats. Methionine also helps convert the strong estrogen, estradiol (E2), into a safe, breast-health-promoting form of estrogen, estriol (E3). Methionine is converted in the liver to SAM-e, which supports immune function; helps regulate serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin; and is involved in the growth, repair, and maintenance of all cells. So, what happens when you have a defective (mutated) MTHFR gene? For starters, your body won’t break down toxins or heavy metals well, and you may also have too much iron, copper, lead, or mercury in your system. Beyond that, your risk for numerous conditions increases, including cancer, depression, stroke, irritable bowel syndrome, miscarriages, migraines, and dementia. According to a 2006 issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, “Schizophrenia-like
You can’t change a defective gene. But you can help it perform its job better. Here are a few steps to help improve your body’s methylation process and enhance gene function: Get the best Bs. People with a mutated MTHFR gene have diﬃculty converting the inactive form of folate (folic acid) and vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). To get around this, use supplements containing the active forms: 5-MTHF folate and methylcobalamin B12. Use methylated vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 can also be aﬀected by a MTHFR genetic variation. Use pyridoxal 5 phosphate (P-5-P) instead of pyridoxine. Eat more folate-rich foods. Meat and dark leafy greens contain the active form of folate. Don’t forget gut health. According to Ben Lynch, ND, “repairing the digestive system...should be one of the ﬁrst steps in correcting methylation deﬁciency.” Reduce exposure to toxins. Choose natural household cleaning supplies instead of the chemically laden conventional versions, and don’t buy plastic.
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Living Pain Free BY SALLY KARLOVITZ, CN STIFFNESS AND BACK PAIN seem to be more common during the colder months. Chronic pain is common in the US, affecting more than 100 million Americans. It is associated with conditions such as overexertion, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and low back pain. In many cases it is related
to an increase in the COX-2 enzyme that generates pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (hormone-like substances) in the central nervous system, which in turn, causes increased inflammation. To fight this pain, many people reach for over-the-counter or prescription pain
medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and synthetic COX-2 inhibitors. But long-term use of these drugs can come with unwanted side effects, including disruptions of the lining of the digestive tract that result in further health problems. The good news is that nature provides substances that effectively fight pain and inflammation without unwanted side effects. Spices. One way to fight pain internally is by “spicing up your life.” Natural COX-2 inhibitors include herbs such as turmeric, ginger, and rosemary. Many of these herbs can be used in the diet, but more concentrated doses may be needed for maximum inflammation control. MSM. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a concentrated source of organic sulfur, an important component of collagen, the fibrous material in cartilage. MSM has been shown to be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Omega-3. Omega-3 fats, found in deep water fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, help naturally reduce inflammation in the body. Combined with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a balanced exercise program, these natural ingredients can help put you on the path to pain-free living.
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Plant Protein Powder BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN PROTEIN IS FOUND EVERYWHERE IN THE BODY—in muscles, bones, skin, hair, and other areas. It is an essential nutrient needed by the body for muscle repair and hormone regulation, and it can be used in the body as a source of energy. Research shows that diets higher in protein can help with satiety, blood sugar stabilization, and weight management. Protein is made up of amino acids which can be consumed in the diet through lean meats, tofu, leafy green vegetables, eggs, fish, nuts, and seeds. But for eating on the run, protein powders and shakes have become a favorite choice to ensure adequate protein intake. Whey protein was the primary choice in protein powders for a long time, but in recent years, plant-based proteins have become wildly popular. These protein powders combine plant sources of amino acids to achieve a good balance of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acids. Most plant proteins offer great options for those who are vegetarian or vegan, or who have food sensitivities. As a bonus, plant proteins tend to be easier to digest, and can provide a host of other beneficial nutrients and fatty acids. Sources of plant proteins include pea, hemp, chia, mushrooms, and rice. Singularly or in combination, plant proteins provide an excellent base for smoothies or shakes. They are a perfect choice for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or anyone who wants a clean source of protein in a convenient powder form.
Can you tell me about Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a family of fat-soluble vitamins known for their vital role in blood clotting. A deficiency of vitamin K can cause bleeding disorders, such as hemorrhaging (uncontrolled bleeding). K2 is the active form of vitamin K, existing as a series of vitamin subtypes called menaquinones. It is this active form that has been the subject of renewed interest in vitamin K, with benefits extending into cardiovascular and bone health. Three vitamin-K dependent proteins have been isolated in bone, suggesting a role for vitamin K in healthy bone formation and structure. Studies have shown a relationship between vitamin K and agerelated bone loss or osteoporosis. One large study found that women with the lowest vitamin K intakes had a 30 percent higher risk of hip fracture than women with the highest vitamin K intakes. Vitamin K2 also plays a protective role in cardiovascular health. Healthy arteries can contain 100 times more K2 than calcified arteries, showing K2’s protective effect. Food sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables and some vegetable oils (soybean, canola, and olive). Hydrogenation of vegetable oils may decrease the absorption and biological effect of vitamin K. Supplements of vitamin K2 are also available.
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The Healthy Edge
11/18/16 3:18 PM
WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS ❱ BY VERA TWEED
The best way to lose weight is a hotly debated topic. Ultimately, you have to find what works for you— and dispelling these common myths should help you achieve success
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Myth #1: Just walk for exercise “Walking is a form of transportation and a good place to start, but it is by no means a ﬁnish line in your quest to stay young, stay healthy, and be strong,” says Eric Von Frohlich, an expert ﬁtness trainer and cofounder of Row House and other exercise studios in New York City. For a very overweight person, a short daily walk may be the best starting point, increasing distance by about 10 percent each week. But ultimately, everyone needs weight training to strengthen muscles and bones, and cardiovascular exercise intense enough to get the heart pumping.
your desk or in front of the TV. But if you eat enough protein and a variety of multicolored, non starchy vegetables, snacking urges should take care of themselves—not instantly, but within about a week. If you’re hungry between meals, a readymade protein shake is a good choice. “Doubling up the protein and increasing non starchy vegetables impacts the way other foods you eat are absorbed and processed, which people don’t think about,” says Colella. “It shifts your metabolism from fat storage into fat breakdown and fat disposal.” As a rule of thumb for weight loss, Colella recommends eating 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of your ideal weight, and for weight maintenance, between 1 and 1.5 grams of protein per pound.
Fruit is off limits
It’s all about portion control
Although fruit naturally contains sugar, it also contains ﬁber and a wide range of nutrients. If you’re eating meals that feature plenty of protein and vegetables, your body shouldn’t have a problem with the sugar content of fruit, and will deﬁnitely beneﬁt from its nutrients, according to Colella. Reﬁned sugars and starches should not be on the menu. “But the big point is, the elimination of those things starts to happen on its own when you start to put the good things in, in the quantities I’m talking about,” he says.
Eating oﬀ smaller plates or constantly trying to stop yourself from eating is not the way to go. “Don’t change the portion but change the combination of what you’re eating,” says Joe Colella, MD, a weight-loss specialist and author of The Appetite Solution. Speciﬁcally, replace most (but not all) starchy foods with protein and non starchy vegetables. For example: Your plate now: One-third chicken, one-third potatoes, one-third broccoli. Your new plate: Double the amount of chicken, shrink the potato to about one-third the original amount, and ﬁll the rest with broccoli or other non starchy vegetables. Breakfast: Always include protein, such as eggs or smoked salmon. If you prefer cereal, eat oats or other whole grains and replace milk with a low-sugar (less than 5 grams), readyto-drink protein shake. Needless to say, this means that you should eat meals, rather than snacking at
Is moderation overrated? In one study, waist sizes among those with the greatest diversity of food types were 120 percent larger than among those who ate a narrower range of wholesome foods.
Myth #4: Eat everything in moderation An NIH-funded study of 6,814 people found the opposite to be true. After ﬁve years, waist sizes among those with the greatest diversity of food types were 120 percent larger than among those who ate a narrower range of wholesome foods. “Americans with the healthiest diets actually eat a relatively small range of healthy foods,” says senior study author Dariush Mozaﬀarian, MD, at Tufts University in Boston. “These results suggest that in modern diets, eating ‘everything in moderation’ is actually worse than eating a smaller number of healthy foods.” At Duke University in Durham, N.C., researchers identiﬁed the most obesitypromoting foods in diets of more than 4,000 adolescents in the United Kingdom. Liquid calories were the worst. Potato chips, breaded or coated chicken or ﬁsh, French fries, processed meats, reﬁned grains such as white bread, desserts, sweets, and milk were other top contributors to weight gain.
Myth #5: Slow weight loss is best Medical guidelines usually recommend a loss of no more than 1–2 pounds per week, but slow weight loss may be less likely to be successful. A study of 200 obese Australians compared a slow diet, cutting 500 calories per day for 36 weeks, and a fast diet of only 400–800 calories daily for 12 weeks. Only half of those on the slow diet lost at least 12.5 percent of their weight, compared to 81 percent in the fast diet. There were no diﬀerences in weight regain during the next three years. Researchers found that fewer people dropped out of the fast diet, likely because quick weight loss was more The Healthy Edge
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motivating. In addition, because the very low-calorie diet contained fewer carbohydrates, it helped to reduce appetite.
the movement safely and eﬀectively, and then increasing the weight, duration, and/or intensity. Working with a trainer, one-on-one or in a small group, is a good way to begin or improve a ﬁtness program. And, since consistency is key, it’s important to ﬁnd activities you enjoy.
On the ﬂipside, the combination of polyphenols and caﬀeine in tea help to promote weight loss, according to several studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Green and other teas slightly increase the amount of body fat that is used for fuel, and overall, regular tea drinkers have less body fat.
You’ll be hungry all the time “The big mistake people make—even many nutritionists, personal trainers, dietitians, and weight-loss doctors—is to tell people to eat a restricted-calorie diet and increase physical activity at the same time,” says Colella. Starting with this combination of a low-calorie diet and exercise will set anyone up for failure because, he says, these are “the two most appetite-stimulating events.” Restricting calories also impedes production of your thyroid hormones, which slows down metabolism and elevates stress hormones, which, in turn, leads to more fat storage. With that in mind, it’s best to begin a weightloss program by changing the types of food you eat, establishing a healthy eating pattern for a couple of weeks, and then starting a workout regimen.
Myth #7: No pain, no gain “People think that they have to be tortured to be successful,” says Von Frohlich, but that isn’t the case. To improve, you do need to go beyond your comfort zone, but not too far. “You want to work hard enough to get beneﬁt,” he says, “but not so hard that you don’t want to come back and do it again the next day.” On ﬁve or six days each week, your routine should include weight training that challenges muscles enough to make them stronger, and short bursts of intense cardiovascular activity, interspersed with moderate intensity. There are a variety of methods to incorporate both types of exercise. The ﬁrst step is always learning how to do 20
You have to get up earlier to hit the gym
Weight-loss supplements don’t work
Many people ﬁnd it easier to make time for exercise ﬁrst thing in the morning, but physiologically that isn’t necessarily the best time. “We want to be energized when we go into a workout because we’ll be able to push a little harder and get more out of it,” says Von Frohlich. The peak time of day is diﬀerent for each person, but for many it’s about three hours after waking up. In an ideal world, that would be your best exercise time, but realistically, do it when it’s practical—just do it regularly. If early-morning workouts are best for your schedule, that means going to bed early enough to get enough rest. “Lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels, and that slows down your metabolism,” says Von Frohlich. “A slowed-down, depressed metabolism means storing more of the calories that you’re eating instead of using them.”
“Supplements are aids,” says Harry Preuss, MD, professor and researcher at Georgetown University, and author of The Natural Fat-Loss Pharmacy. Rather than replacing the need for a healthy diet and exercise, they can improve the way food is metabolized and help suppress appetite—if you choose and use them correctly. Preuss recommends selecting ingredients that have been studied and found to be safe and eﬀective. Product labels and company websites should provide this information, along with a phone number for the manufacturer. If you have questions, ask in-store personnel or call the manufacturer. Equally important: Weight-loss supplements should be taken as they were in studies that demonstrated eﬀectiveness. This means following usage instructions, including the dose and frequency, with or without food, as recommended. And know what to expect. For example, with HCA (short for hydroxycitric acid, extracted from the Indian tamarind plant, Garcinia cambogia), changes in body shape may be noticeable before a loss of pounds during the ﬁrst couple of weeks, but the scale will eventually drop. Preuss recommends a studied form of HCA that is bound with either potassium or magnesium. And, it should be taken on an empty stomach with water, as taking it with food will reduce beneﬁts. Even in some studies, Preuss has seen supplements taken incorrectly, leading to inconsistent results. “If you don’t comply,” he says, “don’t complain.”
Myth #9: Diet soda will help you lose weight Drinks sweetened with stevia or other natural sugar-free sweeteners may be a practical option. However, several studies have found that artiﬁcially sweetened diet soda promotes weight gain. (The nonproﬁt consumer advocacy group, U.S. Right to Know, is asking federal regulators to ban the “diet” label on such sodas—see details at usrtk.org.)
11/16/16 9:14 AM
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feed your THYROID 22
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Feeling tired, run-down, or just plain old? You could be lacking nutrients that keep this key gland functioning properly ❱ VERA TWEED
beta-blockers prescribed for high blood pressure, lithium, estrogen and birth control pills, and large amounts of unfermented soy foods and raw (but not cooked) cruciferous vegetables.
The Top Missing Nutrient small, butterﬂy-shaped gland that sits just below the Adam’s apple, the thyroid exerts immense inﬂuence over our state of health. “The thyroid produces energy for each of the cells of the body,” says David Brownstein, MD, a holistic physician and author of Overcoming Thyroid Disorders. By doing so, it regulates overall metabolism—the essential function of converting food to energy—and can cause or contribute to many maladies, from mysterious weight gain and thinning hair to low energy and risk for heart disease. Yet, for more than 12 million Americans, the thyroid doesn’t function as it should. The most common situation is low thyroid, or hypothyroidism, where levels of thyroid hormone are below optimum. “The number one complaint I hear from my patients is ‘I’m tired, and I’m tired of being tired,’” says Brownstein. “And number two would be brain fog. Many times, the underlying cause is a hormonal and/or a nutritional imbalance, and once you rectify that, people have good energy throughout their whole lifespan.”
Why Misdiagnosis? Unfortunately, thyroid problems are often misdiagnosed because routine medical tests aren’t designed to detect the full picture. This is what happens: There are two forms of thyroid hormone in the human body: an inactive form, called T4, and an active form, called T3. The T4 is transported through the blood, and once it reaches each cell, it is converted to the active T3 form. It can only do its job if the conversion process works as it should. As an analogy, T4 would be somewhat like gas in a car’s tank, and T3 would be gas being burned to drive the engine. If you’ve ever had car trouble, you know that a full tank doesn’t do any good if the engine won’t turn over. The more common medical test, thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH,
doesn’t measure what’s going on in the engine—the cellular level of active T3—but only the amount of inactive T4 in the blood, so conversion issues get overlooked. Another problem, says Brownstein, is that medically “normal” T4 levels are, in fact, lower than optimal. Consequently, many people with so-called normal test results experience inexplicable weight gain, lack of energy, or other manifestations of low thyroid. Holistic practitioners such as Brownstein, who are well versed in correcting suboptimal thyroid function, use other tests and a medical history to identify what’s really going on. In addition to a faulty thyroid hormone conversion (or production) process, active thyroid hormone can be blocked by lack of required nutrients, as well as some drugs, and even some foods. Culprits include
“Iodine is particularly important for the thyroid,” says Brownstein. More than 3,000 years ago, Chinese healers used iodine-rich seaweed to treat a swollen thyroid. Today, the T4 form of thyroid hormone is so named because it contains 4 atoms of iodine, and T3 contains 3 atoms of iodine. But the nutrient is often lacking in our diets, and even worse, it has been replaced by the toxic additive bromine in many processed foods. Both iodine and bromine have a similar chemical structure, so much so that if we consume too much bromine and too little iodine, our thyroid hormones contain bromine in place of iodine, explains Brownstein. “Bromine can make you feel dull and lethargic, and can cause diﬃculty in concentrating,” he says; “It can also cause headaches, irritability, and mood changes.” Until the early 1970s, ﬂour used in commercial baking contained iodine as a dough conditioner, but then it was replaced by bromine, which is still widely used in commercial baked goods in the United States. “Potassium bromate” or “bromated ﬂour” may be listed in ingredients, or it could be hidden in ﬂour, especially in fast-food buns and pizza crusts. “Unbromated” or organic ﬂours or baked goods are the safest choices. Bromine is also added to vegetable oils (brominated vegetable oil, or BVO), some popular sodas and sports drinks, and can also be found in some pesticides, plastics, and ﬁre retardants.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW THYROID k Fatigue or low energy
k Puffiness in the face
k Memory problems
k Difficulty conceiving
k High blood pressure
k Brain fog
k Loss of appetite
k Muscle weakness
k High cholesterol
k Cold hands and feet
k Feeling sad
k Weight gain
k Muscle aches
k High homocysteine
k Hair loss or thinning
k Joint pain or
k Goiter (enlarged
k Dry skin
k Irregular or heavier
k Balance difficulties
The Healthy Edge
11/16/16 9:17 AM
In addition to disrupting thyroid hormones, bromine has caused cancer in animal studies, and is banned as a food additive in Canada, Europe, China, and many other countries. Avoiding bromine, especially in foods and drinks, and boosting your intake of iodine and other supportive nutrients, can correct the problem.
How to Feed Your Thyroid For preventing and reversing low thyroid function, Brownstein recommends:
Iodine Alert! In tests of more than 6,000 patients in Brownstein’s practice, over 96 percent were deficient iodine, the most crucial nutrient for the thyroid. HOW TO TEST YOUR THYROID As soon as you wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, take your temperature. The normal range with an under-arm thermometer is 97.6–98.2°F. If your temperature is below normal, your thyroid is likely underactive.
IODINE: Aim for 200 mcg daily, all or most of which can be found in many multivitamins. Top food sources are green sea vegetables, such as nori or wakame, and saltwater ﬁsh and shellﬁsh. Other good sources include yogurt, milk, and eggs. Regular table salt contains iodine, but in very small amounts that are not well absorbed, so it is not a recommended source. L-TYROSINE: A vital building block of thyroid hormone, this amino acid is the “T” in T4 and T3. Get 300 mg daily.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Each one of the following plays a supporting role in stimulating T4 hormone production, converting it to the active T3 form, or protecting the thyroid gland. In multivitamins, look for approximately 2,500 IU vitamin A, 300 IU vitamin D, 100 IU vitamin E, 5 mg riboﬂavin, 30 mg niacinamide, 15 mg magnesium, 5 mg zinc, 30 mcg selenium, 0.1 mg copper, and 2 mg manganese.
MSM (METHYLSULFONYLMETHANE): A form of sulfur, MSM helps regulate thyroid hormones. Take 50 mg daily.
ADRENAL SUPPORT: Underperforming adrenal glands can also cause fatigue. If you take thyroid supplements and feel more tired, it could be because your adrenals also need more support from an adrenal glandular supplement.
CHAMOMILE TEA: Drinking chamomile tea on a regular basis
reduces risk for benign thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer, according to a Greek study published in the European Journal of Public Health. After analyzing data from more than 500 people, including those with and without such diseases, researchers concluded that drinking the tea between two and six times a week, for 30 years, reduced risk of thyroid diseases by nearly 80 percent.
OTHER HERBS: Some thyroid formulas may contain forskohlii and guggul gum extract to optimize thyroid performance, and/or ashwagandha to balance thyroid and adrenal function. These same nutrients can also help with inﬂammatory or autoimmune thyroid conditions, but are not recommended for an overactive thyroid. To ﬁnd a holistic practitioner for testing and customized treatment, ask a compounding pharmacist in your area or visit “Find a Practitioner” at icimed.com, or “Physician+Link” in “Health Resources” at acam.org.
FIGHTING FIBROIDS Another reason to have your thyroid levels checked and maintain good thyroid health? Uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are composed of connective tissue and muscle that develop on the inside or outside walls of the uterus. They vary in size from quite large to microscopic, and it is common for a woman with fibroids to be symptom-free. In fact, as many as 75 percent of women are unaware that they have fibroids. Fibroid growth is stimulated by estrogen, and many women who have fibroids suffer from what is known as estrogen “dominance”—having higher levels of estrogen relative to progesterone. Hypothyroidism is one of many factors that can contribute to estrogen dominance, so it's no wonder that many women who develop uterine fibroids also have low thyroid function. — Marita Schauch, BSc, ND
11/18/16 3:18 PM
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Top Three Supplements WITH ALL THE NUTRITION RESEARCH OUT THERE, how do you know which supplements you should or should not take? In this article, we explore what experts believe to be the top 3 supplements healthy adults should take each day. 1) Vitamin D Vitamin D is known for its function in bones where it helps promote calcium absorption and improves bone health. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have been associated with cognitive impairment, more rapid weight gain, and increased incidence of depression. Higher vitamin D levels have been associated with reduced risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and even with a reduction in development of multiple sclerosis (MS). While most multivitamins contain vitamin D, they often do not contain the level used in much of the research that has come out on vitamin D. In addition, research suggests that many people are actually deficient in vitamin D.
BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN
3) Probiotics Probiotics are the good bacteria that reside in our intestines. These organisms help promote and maintain our health, preventing bad bugs or bacteria that can cause illness. Using probiotics after a round of antibiotics can help replenish the good bacteria in the body. In addition, probiotics help promote immunity, aid digestion, suppress overgrowth of candida yeast, and promote regularity.
2) Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) These “good fats” are necessary for overall health because they are involved in numerous roles in the body. They are the building blocks of cells, a source of energy, and they are involved in production of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that regulate many body processes including inflammation, cardiovascular, and immune functions. Deficiencies of EFAs can result in dry eyes, skin disorders, poor memory, hormonal imbalance, and other problematic symptoms.
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Jump Start Weight Loss BY SALLY KARLOVITZ, CN TRYING TO LOSE A FEW EXTRA POUNDS? Here are three steps to help you get started on the path to healthy weight control. 1. JUMP START WITH DETOX: Once or twice a year, it is a smart idea to consider detoxifying your system by cleansing the colon, liver, and even other areas such as the blood and kidneys. Many people find this helps get rid of some weight that was really waste clinging to the body. To help, you can find supplement formulas that contain fiber and gentle cleansing herbs. Be sure to drink plenty of pure water whenever you increase your fiber intake. 2. SET A STRONG FOUNDATION: Truly healthy and permanent weight loss comes along with lifestyle changes. Eat a well-balanced diet that’s rich in high-fiber vegetables and fruits, and high-protein nuts and seeds. Find an exercise program that you enjoy, be it yoga, walking, weight training, or any other activity that will get you moving regularly. 3. ADD NATURAL WEIGHT CONTROL SUPPORT: Remember that these additional nutrients and herbs are not meant to replace lifestyle changes, but they can help weight come off quicker when combined with appropriate diet and exercise. Garcinia cambogia may help convert fat into energy and reduce appetite. It can be combined with a natural metabolism booster such as 7-keto DHEA, which is a natural by-product of the hormone DHEA. Unfortunately, the body slows its production of this key substance as we age, a decline that causes metabolism to slow down. This is why 7-keto DHEA may be the best choice for people over 40. These are just a few of the ingredients found alone or in weight-loss combinations. When searching for weight-loss supplements, determine your area of need, ask questions, read, and find out which ingredients best suit your individual needs.
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The Healthy Edge
11/16/16 9:19 AM
By Sherrie Strausfogel
“a” youthful glow When it comes to skin, most dermatologists consider topical vitamin A to be the best age-defying nutrient
ecades of testing and research have found that vitamin A reduces ﬁne lines and wrinkles, fades brown spots and sun damage, smooths roughness, decreases pore size, helps to clear acne, and increases ﬁrmness. Vitamin A works by sloughing oﬀ the top layer of skin, which evens skin tone, and thickens the layers below, helping to smooth wrinkles. The vitamin also boosts collagen, a protein that keeps skin ﬁrm, by blocking the genes that cause it to break down and increasing other gene activity responsible for collagen production. The most common forms of vitamin A used in topical skin-care products are retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinaldehyde. Equally essential for great-looking skin, not to mention healthy eyes, is consuming plenty of vitamin A-rich foods. The vitamin helps your eyes adjust to light changes, and also helps keep your eyes, skin, and mucous membranes moist. Top food sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, and mustard greens.
Moisturize and renew the delicate skin around your eyes with Derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Eye Cream. This fragrance-free vitamin A cream uses retinyl palmitate to help visibly smooth lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
Moisturize, tone and refine skin with Life-Flo Retinol A 1%. This convenient roll-on is formulated with antioxidant retinol and vitamins C, D3, and E to help improve the appearance of skin irregularities and signs of aging.
A+ TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL SKIN When using a skin-care product that contains vitamin A, keep the following points in mind:
> Sunlight inactivates most forms >
of vitamin A, so apply vitamin A serums, creams, and lotions at night. Highly concentrated vitamin A topicals can be irritating, causing redness and flaking. To avoid this, apply them every second or third night initially and work up to every night or every other night. Be vigilant with sunscreen, as vitamin A makes skin more sun sensitive.
Purify and refresh your skin with Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener. This alcoholfree, non-drying toner normalizes skin’s pH while removing dirt, impurities, makeup, and mineral deposits. Retinyl palmitate helps prepare skin to absorb a moisturizer, while aloe, panthenol (vitamin B5), hyaluronic acid, and sea kelp hydrate. It’s ideal for dry or sensitive skin.
Amplify cell turnover for less noticeable lines and wrinkles with Aroma Naturals Amazing Vitamin A,C & E Vitamin Crème. Retinyl palmitate combined with vitamins C and E; alpha lipoic acid; and a patent-pending complex of omegas 3, 6, 7, & 9 fatty acids help restore skin’s texture, elasticity, and resilience. Fortified with coconut water, aloe vera gel, and chamomile tea for rapid hydration, and cocoa butter to smooth skin, this rich moisturizer is an anti-aging multitasker.
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BN_Dec16_batch print.indd 6
10/25/16 2:21 PM
take your time When it comes to convenience, ease—and flavor—nothing beats a slow cooker
low cooking at low temperatures has been around for a long time in many forms, from pit-roasted whole pigs in Samoa to sand-pit clambakes in New England. But you don’t need a tropical back yard or a private beach to enjoy this succulent cooking method.
In the 1970s, the popular and versatile countertop slow cooker, or “Crock Pot,” warmed its way into the hearts of home cooks looking for convenience and deliciousness combined. The early models oﬀered a simple turning dial for control; now you can ﬁnd digitized displays that oﬀer varying temperatures and multiple options for timing and holding anything from a traditional pot roast to chili to vegetable stews. And removable ceramic liners make cleanup quick and easy. But ease and convenience aren’t the only beneﬁts. This slow, contained method of cooking also allows you to retain maximum nutrients in what is essentially a closed system—minimal evaporation occurs, so the wholesome goodness of your ingredients remains largely intact.
Recipes tend toward the simple and straightforward, and for good reason: elaborate concoctions aren’t necessary to achieve spectacular results, and time is of the essence to the concept. After all, the raison d’etre of the slow cooker is freedom from being conﬁned to the kitchen for extended periods of time. Prep a few items, toss them in together, push a button, and go on your merry way while your delicious dinner cooks itself. A few things to keep in mind as you select and utilize a slow cooker:
Size. The heating pattern requires that the container be at least half to two-thirds full, so be sure to choose the right volume cooker for your needs. If you’re mostly cooking for two, then a smaller version will do, say a two- or three-quart model. If you’ve got a big family to feed, or like a lot of leftovers (I do!), then a six- or seven-quart model is the way to go. Features. Possibilities run from the simplest single-dial heating control to an array of options including insert thermometers, automatic warm settings, and clips to secure the lid for transport. Consider how you will use your cooker: will you be making just simple family meals while you’re at home? Will you be taking generous oﬀerings to pot-lucks or the in-laws? Will you need your crock to cook and then hold while you’re at work?
All of these possibilities will inﬂuence which features you want.
Meat. The best meats for slow cooking also happen to be the least expensive. Clod roasts, stew meat, shoulder cuts, and rump cuts all have connective tissue that breaks down during slow cooking and adds ﬂavor and tenderness. Just be sure they’re covered with the liquid. One of my all-time favorites is a simple bison clod roast—just add carrots and onions, some broth and herbs, and magic happens. Note: For both ﬂavor and safety, it’s best to sear meats before adding them to the pot. Liquids. They will impart a great deal of savor to your dish, so be sure they’re high-quality and ﬂavorful. Heating them before adding to the pot will cut down on cooking time by about half an hour, plus helps ﬂavors to merge more fully. Leave It Closed. The condensation that forms inside the lid helps return moisture and heat to the dish, and provides a seal around the edges to enhance the process. If you need to open the lid, keep it brief. There are tons of cookbooks that can guide you as you explore the wonderful world of slow cooking. Browse a few, pick up a couple of recipes oﬀ the Internet, and enjoy the extra time and terriﬁc comfort food that this modern convenience provides. Check out our recipes to get started.
Choosing Your Pot There are many good brands and options, so I’m going to recommend that you do a little homework, read the reviews, figure out what you need, and then go for it. I am blissfully happy myself with my six-quart programmable Hamilton Beach model, but you’ll want to determine what’s best for your own needs.
11/16/16 9:35 AM
By Neil Zevnik
Eggplant & Chickpea Stew SERVES 8
This hearty vegetarian dish comes together in minutes and cooks almost as quickly. 4 cups eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
⅓ cup fresh oregano leaves
2 15-oz. cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 cup red onion, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups organic vegetable broth, plus extra
2 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on high 2½ hours. Check occasionally, and add more broth if needed. PER SERVING:
190 cal; 9g pro; 3g total fat (0g sat fat); 33g carb; 0mg chol; 370mg sod; 2g fiber; 4g sugars
Crock-Pot Indian Chicken & Turnips SERVES 6
Throw this deceptively simple dish together in the morning, let simmer while you go about your day, and enjoy at dinner time. 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs 1 Tbs. garam masala spice
6 baby white turnips, peeled and quartered
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs. safflower oil
1½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1. Sprinkle chicken thighs with garam masala and black pepper. Heat oil in wide, deep skillet; add chicken to skillet, and brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Add turnips, garlic, and broth, and bring to a boil. 2. Transfer mixture to slow cooker and cook on high 3–4 hours. Serve with jasmine rice and sautéed fresh spinach. PER SERVING:
260 cal; 31g pro; 13g total fat (2g sat fat); 5gm carb; 145mg chol; 310mg sod; 1g fiber;
PHOTOS: PORNCHAI MITTONGTARE; FOOD STYLING: LIESL MAGGIORE; PROP STYLING: ROBIN TURK
Chunky Turkey & Black Bean Chili SERVES 8
This cold-weather favorite is best when refrigerated overnight and reheated. 2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. ancho chile powder
4 lbs. boneless skinless turkey thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 10-oz. cans Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 Tbs. chipotle flakes (optional, for heat!)
1 15-oz. can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped brown onion 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 Tbs. sweet paprika
2 Tbs. brown sugar 4 cups organic chicken broth, heated Salt & pepper to taste
1. In large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add turkey thighs, and sauté, stirring often, until just barely cooked through. 2. Place turkey in slow cooker with remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Cook on high 4 hours. Check occasionally, and add more broth if needed. PER SERVING:
410 cal; 59g pro; 10g total fat (3g sat fat); 20g carb; 200mg chol; 940mg sod; 6g fiber;
The Healthy Edge
11/16/16 9:35 AM
By Lisa Turner
mein event Served hot or chilled, this wheat- and soy-free lo mein makes a vibrant side dish or quick light meal Veggie Lo Mein SERVES 4 We love this classic Asian-inspired dish, which is loaded with both vegetables and flavor. Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or other lean protein for a heartier dish. 8 oz. gluten-free spaghetti ¼ cup vegetable broth 2 Tbs. soy-free soy sauce or coconut aminos 1 Tbs. agave nectar 1 Tbs. arrowroot powder ½ tsp. red pepper flakes 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup trimmed snow peas or sugar snap peas ½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper 1 cup mung bean sprouts 4 scallions, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds or hemp seeds (optional)
2. Place broth, soy-free soy sauce, agave nectar, arrowroot powder, and hot pepper flakes in medium bowl. Stir well, and set aside.
win sisters and bestselling authors Judi and Shari Zucker have done it again. The authors of several healthy cookbooks prove just how delicious allergy-free can be with their book, The Ultimate Allergy-Free Cookbook: Over 150 Easy-to-Make Recipes That Contain No Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Soy, Fish or Shellﬁsh. Featuring dishes made without the most common allergenic foods, this easy-to-access cookbook is designed for adults and kids with all types of food allergies, from mild to severe. And because the authors’ selection of appetizers, snacks, sides, main dishes, and desserts are truly easy to prepare and family-friendly (and made with simple, fresh ingredients), even people who aren’t on a restrictive diet will ﬁnd them appealing. In addition to the delicious lo mein featured here (excerpted from the book), be sure to try the “Mac-n-Cheese,” one of the Zuckers’ favorites. Other gems include “Bell Pepper and Black Bean Sliders,” “Granny’s Apple Crisp,” Tangy Orange-Laced Soba Noodles,” and “Festive Fiesta Rice Salad.”
3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add snow peas, bell pepper, mung sprouts, scallions, and garlic, and sauté another 2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp. 4. Add broth mixture to skillet, and simmer ingredients while stirring, 3–4 minutes or until heated through. Add pasta, and toss well to combine. 5. Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with fresh ginger and toasted sesame seeds (if using), and enjoy immediately. PER SERVING: 34 cal; 7g pro; 11g total fat (2g sat
fat); 58g carb; 210mg sod; 4g fiber; 7g sugars
PHOTOS: PORNCHAI MITTONGTARE; STYLING: KIM WONG; FOOD STYLING: LIESL MAGGIORE
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
11/16/16 9:41 AM
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Nourish Your Family with Ours We value one thing above all else: nourishment. Our foods are a celebration of nature’s goodness - the result of simple ingredients combined with purpose and without shortcuts.
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