The best offense is a good defense. page 26
Gluten Free Focus Discover great breads. page 38
tasteforlife April 2015
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This traditional diet has taken the world by storm—and for good reason.
Tips and treatments for men and women.
departments 6 Editor’s Note 10 News Bites
Herbs can ease hot flashes • Red grapes, wine burn fat • Find out if you’re getting enough sleep • More
© TARA FISHER
22 In the Bag 24 Natural Beauty
How peptides improve skin.
26 Herbs & Homeopathy
Just in time for Earth Day, our annual buyorganic! special section dishes up must-try raw recipes and reports on organic protein powders, organic seafood labeling, soil health, and more! page 41
Relief from seasonal allergies.
32 Smart Supplements
What you need to know about calcium.
36 Healthy Home
Tips to keep your home a green haven.
38 Gluten Free Focus
26 For more health & wellness resources visit
Gluten-free breads we adore.
63 Last Word
Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.
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Celebrating Organics Work can infiltrate life in weird ways. I recently had a dream I was washing my hands with poison. The dream makes sense when you consider that I’d just edited an article about how to keep toxins—often found in conventional cleansers of all kinds—out of the home (see page 36). A figure quoted in that article made an impression on me: There are 84,000 registered chemicals in this country, only a small portion of which have been thoroughly tested for their impact on human health. It was a reminder that just because items are for sale doesn’t mean they’re benign. That’s just one of the numerous reasons we need to take organic products seriously. We hope you’ll enjoy our BuyOrganic section that starts on page 41. This “magazine within a magazine” is devoted to all things organic. You’ll read reports that may alarm you, such as studies linking chemicals to early menopause and ADHD. But there’s also much to encourage you, including news on how organic farmers are improving our soil—and the quality of our food. Speaking of food, I can’t wait to dig into the Raw Key Lime Pie with Sweet Coconut Cream featured in the BuyOrganic section. Those interested in including more good fat in their diets can find Mediterranean diet recipes beginning on page 18. Smashed Avocado and Knockalara Toasts anyone?
To your health,
FROM OUR READERS
Taste for Life has praised sauerkraut and other fermented products for their probiotics. However, standard commercial products are pasteurized, which kills the live probiotics. Only in a natural foods store might you find those products with live probiotics. Or if you make your own. See Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home by Klaus Kaufmann, DSc, and Annelies Schoneck. — Jeffrey D., Richmond, CA Jeffrey, thanks for the reminder to always include that crucial word “live” when we recommend that people eat yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchee, and other foods that can help with digestion. Shoppers should choose fermented items with the term “live cultured” on the label. Many of the foods are kept refrigerated.
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Editorial Advisory Board
Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription James A. Duke, PhD, 2000 distinguished economic botanist; author, CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs and 30 other titles Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Clare Hasler, PhD, MBA, advisor, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance; executive director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Tori Hudson, ND, professor, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University Christina Pirello, MS, chef/ host, Christina Cooks Sidney Sudberg, DC, LAc, herbalist (AHG) Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, cofounder and vice president, American Herbalists Guild; executive director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Linda B. White, MD, assistant professor, department of health professions, Metropolitan State College of Denver Marcia Zimmerman, CN, author of The Anti-Aging Solution, Reverse Aging, and 7-Syndrome Healing Taste for Life® (ISSN 1521-2904) is published monthly by CCI, 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2015 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: $29.95. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in Taste for Life may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.
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A note on recipes Recipes are analyzed by Anna Kanianthra, MS, LD. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★ Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source
Printed in the U.S. on partially recycled paper.
The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.
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2/23/15 11:57 AM
2/23/15 11:58 AM
news bites foods, supplements & prevention
RED GRAPES, WINE burn fat
MUSICAL TRAINING has long legs Those piano lessons you had as a kid can pay off later in life. Researchers have found the strongest evidence yet that musical training in youth can help prevent declines in the ability to comprehend speech. Older adults who had childhood musical training were 20 percent faster in identifying speech sounds than peers who were not trained. Speech comprehension can diminish with age, even when hearing abilities remain intact. But starting formal instruction on a musical instrument prior to age 14 and continuing for up to a decade appears to bolster areas of the brain that support speech recognition. The new study showed that the benefit is maintained as we age. “Old musicians’ brains provide a much more detailed, clean, and accurate depiction of the speech signal,” compared to non-musicians, said lead researcher Gavin Bidelman, PhD.
Eating red grapes—or drinking juice or wine made from them—could improve the health of overweight people by helping them burn fat better. A new study showed that a compound in the grapes could help manage metabolic disorders such as fatty liver. The researchers did not find a link to improved body weight. But ellagic acid in the grapes slowed the growth of existing fat cells and the formation of new ones. It also boosted the metabolism of fatty acids in the liver. “If we could develop a strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, using common foods like grapes, that would be good news,” said biochemist Neil Shay, PhD. SOURCE “Another Reason to Drink Wine: It Could Help You Burn Fat,” http://extension.OregonState.edu, 2/4/15
Good news FOR VEGETARIANS There’s been an ongoing debate over the healthiest types of omega-3 fatty acids, with EPA and DHA from fish and other marine sources generally getting the nod over plant-sourced ALA. But Penn State University scientists recently concluded that ALA is as effective as DHA and EPA for preventing heart disease. That’s good news for vegetarians and others who get their omega 3s from flaxseeds, nuts, and other plants. Of course, fish, algae, krill, and their oils are great sources too. SOURCE “Nothing Fishy About Health Benefits of Plant-Based Omega-3 Fatty Acid,” Penn State University, 11/17/14
SOURCE “More Evidence That Musical Training Protects the Brain,” Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, 2/2/15
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From beginning to end support all the way through. When it comes to healthy digestion, sometimes one approach isn’t enough. That’s why Dual-Action Enzyme Probiotic Complex gives you the best of both worlds… enzymes and probiotics all in one formula. Enzyme Probiotic Complex contains 9 active, naturally-based enzymes that break food down into absorbable nutrients for energy and cell growth.* It also contains 2 billion bio-active probiotics^ that promote your natural digestive process and support immune health.* And, since Enzyme Probiotic Complex works on fats, carbohydrates and proteins... you can be confident that you’re getting complete digestive support from just one convenient complex. So for support from top to bottom… discover Enzyme Probiotic Complex.
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©2015 American Health, Inc. | 15-AH-1020
2/19/15 12:14 PM
foods, supplements & prevention
How long DO YOU SNOOZE? What constitutes a good night’s sleep? The National Sleep Foundation has altered its recommendations based on a person’s age. Researchers examined 320 studies that reported on sleep duration in healthy individuals, the effects of reduced or prolonged sleep, and the health consequences of too much or too little shuteye. Here are the new recommendations along with the previous ones. ■ Newborns (up to 3 months): 14-17 hours per day (previously 12-18) ■ Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours (previously 14-15) ■ Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours (previously 12-14) ■ Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours (previously 11-13) ■ School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours (previously 10-11) ■ Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours (previously 8.5-9.5) ■ Young adults (18-25): 7-9 hours (new category) ■ Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours (no change) ■ Older adults (65 and up): 7-8 hours (new category) SOURCE “How Much Sleep Do We Need?” Loyola University Health System, 2/11/15
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MEDITATION can improve sleep Mindfulness meditation practices led to improved sleep quality for older adults in a recent study. Those who took part in the program saw improvements in insomnia symptoms, depression symptoms, and fatigue. SOURCE “Mindfulness Meditation Appears to Help Improve Sleep Quality,” JAMA Network Journals, 2/16/15
Herbs can EASE HOT FLASHES A recent report that hot flashes can last for up to 14 years in some women was sobering news. The study of nearly 1,500 women found that hot flashes and night sweats persist for an average of about seven and a half years—longer than most people think. Up to 80 percent of middle-aged women are affected. Relief can be found in a variety of herbal treatments. A 2013 study left “little doubt” of the effectiveness of Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark. Black cohosh and chaste tree have also been shown to ease hot flashes. SELECTED SOURCES Herbal Therapy & Supplements by Merrily A. Kuhn and David Winston ($42.95, Wolters Kluwer, 2008) n “Study ‘Leaves Little Doubt’ About Pycnogenol’s Benefits for Menopause Symptoms” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 2/14/13 n “Up to 14 Years of Hot Flashes Found in Menopause Study” by Pam Belluck, www.NYTimes.com, 2/16/15
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foods, supplements & prevention BIG CHANGES
Diet can REVERSE METABOLIC SYNDROME Metabolic syndrome is a growing concern, affecting about 25 percent of people worldwide. Metabolic syndrome means the presence of three or more factors that may include a large waist, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood sugar. It can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and death. A recent study found that adhering to a Mediterranean diet with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can help reverse the condition. The study included 5,800 adults who were at high risk of heart disease. After nearly five years on the Mediterranean diet, participants reduced their central obesity and blood glucose levels. Nearly 30 percent no longer met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, olive oil, fish, herbs, and spices. SOURCE “Mediterranean Diet, Olive Oil and Nuts Can Help Reverse Metabolic Syndrome,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal 10/14/14
TOMATO JUICE can help shed pounds A simple glass of tomato juice can have positive effects on body weight, cholesterol, and other measures of health. Women in their twenties drank about nine ounces of the juice every day for two months while continuing their normal diet and exercise routines. At the end of the trial, there were significant reductions in weight, body fat, waist circumference, body mass index, cholesterol levels, and markers of inflammation. The juice provided about 32 milligrams of lycopene, a natural phytochemical that has been shown to protect against metabolic diseases. SOURCE “Tomato Juice Supplementation in Young Women Reduces Inflammatory Adipokine Levels Independently of Body Fat Reduction” by Y. Li et al., Nutrition, 12/12/14
AVOCADOS lower BP Avocados may help lower bad cholesterol, although you might have to eat a lot of them. Overweight adults on an avocado-a-day diet saw significantly greater reductions in LDL cholesterol, compared to those on other lower- or moderate-fat diets. Participants ate either a diet consisting of 24 percent fat or one of two diets with 34 percent fat. The 34 percent–fat diets were the same except for one factor: a Hass avocado per day or a comparable amount of high oleic acids, such as olive oil. All three diets resulted in lower LDL and total cholesterol, with the greatest reductions coming from the avocado diet. SOURCE “An Avocado a Day Keeps the Cardiologist Away,” Penn State, 1/7/15
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT B Y L I S A FA B I A N
A BETTER WORLD FOR ALL
Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan ($17, Running Press, 2014) We give careful consideration to how the foods we eat affect our bodies and planet. Why not the clothes we wear? In this book, Greta Eagan raises awareness of the fact that individuals can dress stylishly and sustainably. But before doing so, one must consider the facts: It takes 700 gallons of water to produce a typical T-shirt and 1,800 to produce a pair of jeans. Overwhelming amounts of toxic dyes and chemical solvents are used to manufacture clothes, and many of these wind up in our waterways and on our skin. According to a Greenpeace study conducted on 141 articles of clothing, 89 items tested positive for a hormone disruptor that’s known to accumulate in the body. But all is not bleak. As Eagan stresses, this book “is a call to action.” As she points out, we vote with the dollars we spend and the brands we buy. Offering style advice on what to purchase and how it should fit, as well as listings on where to shop (along with various companies’ integrity ratings), this book is not only fashion forward but also conscience forward.
The Myths of Safe Pesticides by André Leu ($16.95, Acres U.S.A., 2014) The conventional agriculture industry asserts that the pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides on the market are safe when used as instructed, but does science support the claims? As organic agriculturist, president of the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, and author André Leu points out, “there are many serious data gaps in pesticide regulation and regulators are ignoring a massive body of published science showing the numerous harmful effects of pesticides and using data-free assumptions to set the residue levels in food.” Leu sets out to discover whether pesticides are being tested for safety before entering the market and if regulatory authorities review unbiased evidence before declaring a product safe or not. In this book filled with charts, graphs, studies, and peer-reviewed evidence, Leu debunks the myths that have built up around modern pesticides. His book is a warning of the risks we face as long as we depend on pesticides—instead of more natural methods of weed and pest control.
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IN APRIL WE CELEBRATE EARTH DAY. ITâ€™S THE PERFECT TIME TO EXPLORE THESE BOOKS, WHICH ENCOURAGE US TO CONSIDER HOW THE CHOICES WE MAKE IMPACT THE WORLD.
Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen
The Wild Food Cookbook
by Kathy Patalsky ($25, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, on sale April 28, 2015)
by Roger Phillips ($18.95, The Countryman Press, 2014)
Creator of the vegan food blog Healthy. Happy.Life., author Kathy Patalsky offers aspiring and practicing vegans encouragement in this cookbook. Patalsky implores readers to heed their instincts when it comes to their bodies and the foods that fuel them. With primers on how to stock the kitchen tools and pantry of a vegan kitchen, readers can feel confident making everything from drinks, dips, and desserts to breakfasts, burgers, and baked goods. Patalsky offers healthy plant-based recipes along with decadent, comfort-food classics. Readers can satisfy their taste buds with recipes such as Easy Citrus and Spice French Toast; Sweet Potato Biscuits; Miso-Mustard Raw Chard Salad; Towering Tempeh Kale Skillet Sandwiches with Spicy Pumpkin Seed Pesto; and Feel-Good Gluten-Free Carrot Cake.
Spring is here, and this means turning our attention to the gardenâ€”or in the case of this book, the wild plants found in our seas and forests. Tapping into your inner hunter-gatherer, this guide will explain how to collect and gather edible plants, mushrooms, and seaweeds. With full-color photos and listings of the regions where each item can be found, this is a resource to take with you on your adventures. Historical anecdotes accompany each entry as well as flavor profiles, preparation tips, and recipes. Try your hand at making restorative Spicebush Tea. Or how about Pasta and Pinyon Nut Salad or Sorrel Soup? Information on identifying dangerous plants is included. TFL
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B Y E VA M I L O T T E
Mediterranean EAT FOR HEALTH AND LIFE
Based on plants and other whole foods, the Mediterranean diet has taken the world by storm— and for good reason. Risks for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are reduced when following this healthy eating plan. The focus is on the consumption of plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Those who live in Greece eat on average six or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Nuts are enjoyed in moderation, and olive oil takes the place of butter or margarine. If you wish to incorporate the traditions of this diet into your life, start by eating mostly plant-based foods—preferably those grown organically. Better for you and the Earth, organic items are grown without the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Flavor foods with more herbs (fresh or dried) and less salt. Consume olive oil, avocados, and nuts to boost your
intake of healthy fats. If you eat meat as a source of protein, aim for occasional servings of fish and poultry over red meat.
More Than Just Food The Mediterranean diet is not only about what you eat. It’s also a recipe for how to live. It’s about sitting down with friends and family and taking time to appreciate a meal and one another’s company. It’s also about exercising every day. Residents of the Mediterranean region historically gardened and farmed as well as walked five miles a day on average. With our modern lives, this is no longer feasible for most of us, but it’s
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CARROT TABOULEH From Smashing Plates: Greek Flavors Redefined by Maria Elia ($27.95, Kyle Books, 2014)
25 minutes prep time ■ serves 6
© JENNY ZARINS
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 3 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, with stems 2 tomatoes, finely diced 1K c fresh mint leaves, picked from stems 1 small red onion, finely diced 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground allspice Juice of 1 lemon K c olive oil Sea salt
1. Working in batches, put chopped carrots in a food processor or chopper and pulseblend until texture resembles that of bulgur wheat. Pour carrots into a large bowl while you prepare herbs. 2. Using a very sharp knife, slice parsley as thinly as possible, starting at the leafy top and working all the way to the stems. Repeat with mint leaves. Add both herbs to carrots. 3. Combine with tomatoes, onion, and spices. Dress with lemon juice and oil. Season with salt before serving. Kitchen Note: The secret to preparing this beautiful dish lies in the way you chop your herbs. They should be lovingly sliced very finely to produce thin slivers with minimal bruising.
Per serving: 201 Calories, 2 g Protein, 9 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 18 g Total fat (3 g sat, 13 g mono, 2 g poly), 44 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin A, C, ★ Vitamin E, Folate, Iron, Manganese, Potassium
still crucial that we find ways to move our bodies. The fourth leading risk factor for early mortality throughout the world is physical inactivity. And while it may be difficult to avoid stress, certain tools can help lessen its impact. Practicing meditation and mindfulness and getting plenty of exercise help to keep the harmful effects of stress to a minimum. To incorporate the flavors of this healthy and popular eating plan into your life, give these seasonal recipes a try. SELECTED SOURCES “Nutrition and Healthy Eating,” www.MayoClinic.org, 6/14/13 ■ The Vegiterranean Diet by Julieanna Hever, MS, RD ($17.99, Da Capo Press, 2014)
D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian For a guide to nutrition breakdowns, see page 6
FAVA BEAN AND MINT HUMMUS From Smashing Plates: Greek Flavors Redefined by Maria Elia ($27.95, Kyle Books, 2014)
20 minutes prep time ■ serves 6
DGNV 1 lb, 2 oz fresh fava beans (shelled weight), or frozen if not in season Sea salt K c olive oil N c finely chopped fresh mint N c finely chopped fresh dill Juice of 1 lemon, divided 1. Cook fresh beans in lightly salted boiling water until tender (about 5 minutes, but check as time will vary depending on size and age of beans). Drain and plunge into ice-cold water. 2. Slide beans out of their skins, transfer to a food processor, and pulse to form a rough purée. (If using frozen fava beans, put them in cold water to defrost and then slide them from their skins. No cooking is required and color will be a lot more vibrant.) 3. With motor still running, gradually pour in oil, herbs, half of the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Pulse-blend until desired texture is achieved (chunky or smooth). Taste. Add more lemon juice or salt as needed. 4. Mix and transfer mixture to a container. Refrigerate until serving. Kitchen Note: For a twist, replace the fava beans with cooked asparagus or fresh peas. Per serving: 216 Calories, 4 g Protein, 10 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 18 g Total fat (3 g sat, 13 g mono, 2 g poly), 38 mg Sodium, ★★★★ Vitamin C, ★ Vitamin E, Folate, Manganese © JENNY ZARINS
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© TARA FISHER
It’s Good to Feel Good
continued from page 19
SMASHED AVOCADO AND KNOCKALARA TOASTS From Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Traditional Flavors by Clodagh McKenna. Published by Kyle Books, $29.95.
15 minutes prep time ■ serves 2
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1 ripe avocado, peeled, halved, and pitted 1 Tbsp finely chopped mint Juice of K lemon 3 oz Irish Knockalara or good-quality feta cheese Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 slices sourdough bread 1. In a bowl, mash avocado using a fork. Add mint and lemon juice and mix well. 2. Crumble in cheese, season with salt and pepper, and mash again. 3. Toast slices of bread and smear with smashed avocado and cheese. Kitchen Note: The creaminess of the ripe avocado, the saltiness of the Knockalara (a feta-style cheese), and the freshness of the mint on crunchy sourdough toast make this dish a tasty choice for breakfast too. If you can’t find Knockalara cheese, substitute good-quality feta cheese. Per serving: 395 Calories, 16 g Protein, 41 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 24 g Total fat (6 g sat, 1 g mono), 915 mg Sodium, ★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), C, Folate, Calcium, Selenium, ★ Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), Iron, Manganese, Potassium
For another Mediterranean Diet recipe, visit tasteforlife.com/middle-eastern-pilaf
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IN THE BAG
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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HEALTHY FAMILY B Y D AV E C L A R K E
AVOIDING PLASTICS 7 WAYS TO LET IT GO
Reconsider Receipts Whenever possible, refuse thermal paper receipts. “There’s more bisphenol A [BPA] in a single thermal paper receipt than the total amount that would leach out from a polycarbonate water bottle used for many years,” John Warner, PhD, president of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, told Consumer Reports. BPA is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and breast and prostate cancers as well as abnormalities in brain and reproductive development. If you need your receipts, keep them in a separate, sealed container and handle them as little as possible from register to filing system. Wash your hands as soon as possible after handling receipts.
IN THE CLASSIC FILM THE GRADUATE, MR. MCGUIRE (WALTER BROOKE) GIVES YOUNG BENJAMIN BRADDOCK (A 30-YEAR-OLD DUSTIN HOFFMAN) ONE WORD OF ADVICE: “PLASTICS.” THERE’S A “GREAT FUTURE” IN THE STUFF, HE SAYS. MCGUIRE WAS RIGHT. THERE WAS A GREAT FUTURE IN PLASTICS—FOR PLASTICS MANUFACTURERS, NOT FOR THE REST OF US. Plastics now pervade our lives in countless ways, obvious and obscure. Even more murky is the havoc they wreak on our health. Some toxic effects are known, others are suspected, and still others may go undetected. While you may not be able to eliminate plastics from your life entirely, there are many ways to reduce contact. Try these ideas: 1. Shop Smart. Make purchasing decisions based on whether or not there’s plastic involved. Choose produce that’s not packaged in plastic. Buy products (such as laundry detergent) packaged in boxes instead of plastic bottles. Use reusable bags for groceries. 2. Drink Smart. Avoid bottled water. Bring a reusable mug when ordering your favorite drink at the coffee house. The EPA estimates Americans dispose of 25 billion Styrofoam cups annually. 3. Say “Sayonara” to Straws. Talk about toxic contact—lips to plastic straw is one of the worst. Straws are also among the most commonly found litter on beaches. 4. Avoid Plastic Cutlery. If you’re getting take-out, ask the restaurant to skip the plastic tableware or suggest they start using compostable cutlery because it’s important to you— their customer. If you’re expecting leftovers while dining out, bring your own container from home.
5. Dress Naturally. Every time you wear and wash your clothes, tiny bits of fabric rub off, either onto you or into your washer and down the drain into the ecosystem. Choose clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton—not plastic-based materials such as polyester. 6. Consider Cloth Diapers. The EPA estimates the typical child uses 8,000 diapers before being potty trained. Cloth diapers reduce your child’s exposure to plastics and help the environment. 7. Shaving Sense. Using a razor with disposable blades versus a disposable razor will reduce plastic toxicity entering your home and the environment. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “10 Fast Facts on Recycling,” US Environmental Protection Agency, 12/13/13 ■ “Tips to Use Less Plastic,” www. GreenEducationFoundation.org, 2014 ■ “The Risky Chemical Lurking in Your Wallet,” www.ConsumerReports.org, 3/29/14 APRI L 2015
2/26/15 10:30 AM
NATURAL BEAUTY B Y D AV E C L A R K E
SKIN REJUVENATION DISCOVER WHAT PEPTIDES CAN DO FOR YOUR SKIN PEPTIDES ARE NATURALLY OCCURRING SMALL PROTEINS THAT CAN STIMULATE THE PRODUCTION OF COLLAGEN TO MAKE YOUR SKIN LOOK AND FEEL SMOOTHER AND YOUNGER.
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Researchers are learning how to modify peptides to reduce wrinkles, stimulate new skin cell growth, and inhibit the loss of collagen. These technologies are finding their way into nighttime repair creams, serums, and eye and facial “lifting” creams. By the age of 30, your body is steadily losing collagen. You’ll see the effects of this collagen loss as your skin appears more flaccid, wrinkles appear, and moisture is lost. Research indicates collagen supplements can counteract these natural signs of aging. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of women aged 35 to 55 published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology showed that eight weeks of taking bioactive collagen peptides daily produced statistically significant improvement in skin elasticity. Those results were still observed four weeks after the last intake of collagen. Another study published in the same journal showed that women aged 45 to 65 who took 2.5 grams of a bioactive collagen peptide daily for eight weeks experienced a statistically significant reduction of eye wrinkle volume in comparison to a placebo group. That result was still observable four weeks after the last intake of collagen. Another study published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging demonstrated that taking a nutritional supplement containing hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins and minerals for 60 days reduced skin dryness, wrinkles, and depth of the nasolabial folds (the lines that run from the nose to the corner of the mouth). TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Daily Consumption of the Collagen Supplement Pure Gold Collagen Reduces Visible Signs of Aging” by M. Borumand and S. Sibilla, Clin Interv Aging, 10/14 ■ “Oral Intake of Specific Bioactive Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Increases Dermal Matrix Synthesis” by E. Proksch et al., 12/24/13; “Oral Supplementation of Specific Collagen Peptides Has Beneficial Effects on Human Skin Physiology: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study” by E. Proksch et al., 8/14/13, Skin Pharmacol Physiol ■ “Top 6 Anti-aging Breakthroughs” by Colette Bouchez, www.WebMD.com, 10/10/07
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HERBS & HOMEOPATHY
but te rbur
BY A L A N S I D DA L
YOUR ALLERGY DEFENSE PLAN SPRING IS HERE. SO IS HAY FEVER. IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR NATURAL RELIEF FROM SEASONAL ALLERGIES, HERBAL REMEDIES MIGHT BE THE ANSWER. AND IT’S NONE TOO EARLY TO START. MANY HERBALISTS ADVISE TAKING HERBAL EXTRACTS WEEKS BEFORE HAY FEVER SEASON BEGINS, GIVING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM A HEAD START.
stinging n et tle
Butterbur’s Boost Butterbur appears to have positive effects on the immune system, helping to ease hay fever symptoms caused by grass pollen. Butterbur leaves and roots contain petasines, which appear to inhibit some allergic reactions, including sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion. Some research has shown butterbur to be as effective as prescription medicines for relief of seasonal allergies. An added bonus: It does not cause drowsiness like some antihistamine drugs. Be sure to choose butterbur extracts that specify they are free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, compounds found in butterbur root that can harm the liver. Toxin-free butterbur extracts are available, but even they are not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
More Herbal Options
rose mar y
■ Quercetin, a compound found in tea, onions, grapes, and tomatoes, has anti-inflammatory properties. It can block the effects of histamine, particularly if it’s taken prior to allergy season. Richard Firshein, DO, told Prevention.com that quercetin works best in combination with vitamin C. He recommends taking 500 milligrams of quercetin once or twice a day in the weeks before allergy season.
■ Stinging nettle has been shown to reduce inflammation, sneezing, and itching brought on by allergens. Freeze-dried nettle may be the most effective form. Nettles appear to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces when battling an allergen. This supplement is not recommended for pregnant women. ■ Rosemary—specifically, the rosmarinic acid it contains—is a powerful antioxidant. It can help relieve itchy nose and eyes caused by allergens. Rosmarinic acid is also found in sage.
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Fresh Fig and Avocado Smoothie + Udo’s Oil Serves 4 (makes 4 cups)
1 ripe avocado, seed removed and chopped 6-8 fresh figs, washed and quartered 1 lemon, peel and seeds removed 4 tbsp. Udo’s Oil 2 ½ cups water handful of raw almonds pinch of sea salt pinch of cayenne (optional) 1. Place all ingredients into blender and blend well; 2. Pour into individual glasses and serve.
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■ Bromelain, an enzyme from pineapples, is useful for hay fever symptoms. It can reduce swelling of the nose and sinuses. ■ Other plant-based supplements used for seasonal allergy relief include goldenseal and Pycnogenol, an extract of French maritime pine bark. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “3 Herbs Scientifically Proven to Ease Your Allergies” by Julia Merz; “10 Foods That Fight Spring Allergies” by Leah Zerbe, www.RodaleNews.com ■ “10 Solutions for Seasonal Allergies,” www. Prevention.com ■ “Bromelain,” www.nlm.nih.gov/MedlinePlus, 8/18/14 ■ “Butterbur,” NYU Langone Medical Center, www.med.nyu.edu ■ “Butterbur Extract—Topic Overview”; “Relieve Allergies the Natural Way” by Colette Bouchez, www.WebMD.com ■ “Efficacy and Safety of Butterbur Herbal Extract Ze 339 in Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis . . .” by R. Kaufeler et al., Adv Ther, 3–4/06 ■ “Natural Treatments for Your Seasonal Allergies” by Lisa Lewis, ND, www.naturopathic.org ■ “Nettle Extract (Urtica dioica) Affects Key Receptors and Enzymes Associated with Allergic Rhinitis” by B. Roschek Jr. et al., Phytother Res, 1/12/09 ■ “Pine Bark Extract May Ease Hayfever Symptoms: Study” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredientsUSA.com, 6/25/10 ■ “Stinging Nettle,” University of Maryland Medical Center, http://umm.edu
Homeopathic Help Homeopathic remedies can bring about relief from hay fever, but it’s important to match the remedy to your specific symptoms. Homeopaths recommend that if symptoms don’t begin to improve after three or four doses, consider a different remedy. ■ For burning or itching in the nose, eyes, or throat, consider Arsenicum album. ■ Allium cepa often relieves hoarseness and watery discharges from the eyes and nose. ■ Sneezing a lot? Reach for Euphrasia, especially if your eyes and nose are streaming. Euphrasia may also relieve a hard cough. ■ Sneezing followed by a thick, clear nasal discharge might call for Natrum muriaticum. Try this for headaches brought on by hay fever too. APRI L 2015
3/11/15 11:16 AM
BY JACOB TEITELBAUM, MD
Infertility affects many couples; about six percent of married women of childbearing age are infertile. Infertility means a woman has been unable to become pregnant after a year of unprotected sex. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, a third of infertility issues are due to female causes, a third are due to male problems, and another third stem from a mixture of male and female causes or from unknown issues. The encouraging news is that there are many natural ways to strengthen fertility. It’s strongly advised that both the man and woman in a couple apply the following recommendations, even if just one person is found to “have a problem.”
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Lifestyle Tips for Women
Lifestyle Tips for Men
Do the best you can with these guidelines; they don’t need to be followed “perfectly.”
Do the best you can with these guidelines. It’s okay not to be “perfect” with them.
● Avoid caffeinated coffee and sodas; too much caffeine inhibits fertility. ● Don’t take more than 7,000 units of supplemental vitamin A per day. This amount can cause birth defects. ● Avoid a high-protein diet. An Atkins-like diet in an animal study showed that only one third of mouse mothers consuming a diet of 25 percent protein were able to become pregnant, compared to 70 percent in the group eating normal amounts of protein—about 14 percent of the diet. ● If you smoke, stop. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that up to 13 percent of female infertility diagnoses are caused by smoking. ● Enjoy whole-milk products instead of low-fat or fat-free varieties. In a Harvard study, high intake of low-fat dairy foods was associated with an increased risk of infertility, while an increased intake of high-fat dairy foods was associated with a lower risk of infertility. Women consuming at least two servings of low-fat dairy foods per day showed an 85 percent increased risk of infertility. Women consuming at least one serving of high-fat dairy foods per day showed a 27 percent reduced risk of infertility caused by a failure to ovulate.
Treatments ● Supply nutritional support with a well-balanced diet and a multivitamin/mineral that includes folic acid, amino acids, and antioxidants. ● Optimize iron levels. If your ferritin blood test is under 40 or your iron percent saturation is under 22, treat with one iron tablet a day. Continue the iron throughout your pregnancy.
● Try to avoid eating meat containing estrogen; the best way to do so is to buy it from your natural foods store. ● Avoid soy-based foods such as tofu, tempeh, and soy cheese and milk. Even modest intakes drop sperm counts. ● Avoid tobacco and alcohol. ● Wear boxer shorts instead of briefs. ● Don’t use hot tubs.
Treatments All of these can be taken together in the morning or split up or taken any time of day. ● Take a multivitamin/mineral that includes folic acid, vitamin E, and zinc. Research links a low intake of these nutrients with poor sperm concentration and motility (swimming strength). ● Take 200 milligrams (mg) of coenzyme Q10 per day. This supplement has been found to increase both sperm count and motility. ● Take 4 grams of L-arginine daily to improve sperm vitality. ● Take 1,000 mg of carnitine a day to improve sperm motility. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “11 Myths Fertility Doctors Hear” by Angeline Beltsos, www.CNN.com, 4/22/14 ■ “The Association Between Dietary Antioxidant Intake and Semen Quality . . .” by A. Nadjarzadeh et al., Med J Islam Repub Iran, 11/13 ■ “Hot Tubs Hurt Fertility, UCSF Study Shows” by Kristen Bole, University of California San Francisco, www.ucsf.edu ■ “Whole-Milk Products May Increase Fertility in Women,” www.NYTimes.com, 3/14/07
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is author of the free smart phone app “Cures A-Z” and the books From Fatigued to Fantastic!; Pain Free 1-2-3; Beat Sugar Addiction Now!; Real Cause, Real Cure; and the ebook Three Steps to Happiness. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News Channel, Oprah & Friends, and the Dr. Oz Show. Learn more at www.EndFatigue.com.
● Taking omega 3s can help boost fertility and reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
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SMART SUPPLEMENTS B Y C H R I S H AY H U R S T
CALCIUM IS CRITICAL . . . WHEN OPTIMAL HEALTH IS YOUR GOAL A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, BRENDA DAVIS, A REGISTERED DIETITIAN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, WENT TO HER DOCTOR FOR A BONE-DENSITY TEST. “I was in my late forties,” recalls Davis, “and my mom had been diagnosed with osteoporosis in her late fifties, despite being very active and very food-conscious.” Her mother’s diet included plenty of dairy, and that had her worried. “When I went in for that test, I had been vegan for about 25 years. I had no idea what they’d find.” As it turns out, Davis was just fine. “My doctor said to me, ‘I don’t know what you’re eating, but your bones are made of steel.’” What Davis had been eating, among other things, was calcium, a bone-building mineral that, in her case, came from a plant-based diet. As Davis and other dietary experts point out, calcium is critical to things like strong teeth, a healthy nervous system, and cardiovascular function. It’s readily available in dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and
Chinese cabbage, but it’s also found in a wide variety of other foods, including soymilk as well as sardines and salmon (canned with bones). “And of course you can get it from milk and yogurt and cheese,” Davis says. “But the fact that calcium is available in high amounts in dairy products does not make milk an essential food. You can certainly find it elsewhere.” The trick, Davis says, is to focus on absorption. Be aware that certain high-calcium foods, like spinach and beet greens, are also high in oxalic acid, which significantly limits how much calcium we can absorb. She suggests that vegans consider boosting calcium intake with a daily dose of calciumfortified almond milk or tofu. Davis doesn’t take calcium supplements, and research suggests supplementation is unnecessary if you eat a whole-foods diet including calcium-rich foods. Nevertheless, she says, monitor your calcium intake, and if you’re not getting the RDA for this vital mineral,
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HELP FOR YOUR HAIR
■ Calcium intake above the RDA (1,000 mg for men and women ages 19-50; increasing to 1,200 mg for women over 50 and men over 70) will not improve bone health and could increase your risk of developing kidney stones, prostate cancer, constipation, and other health issues.
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■ You’ll find calcium supplements primarily as “calcium carbonate” and “calcium citrate.” Calcium citrate is absorbed equally well on an empty or full stomach, while the carbonate form is best taken with food.
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supplementation may be beneficial. You can also ask your healthcare practitioner to measure your blood and urine calcium levels to determine if supplementation would be beneficial; the tests should be repeated within three months. Some calcium-supplementation suggestions: ■ Many multivitamin/mineral supplements contain calcium. Look for one with no more than 500 milligrams (mg) of calcium per dose, as higher amounts may limit absorption.
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■ Vitamin D (made by the body when skin is exposed to sunlight and found in small amounts in fish liver oils, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks) increases calcium absorption. Certain foods (like milk) are also commonly fortified with vitamin D. ■ “Adequate levels of magnesium are essential for the absorption and metabolism of calcium,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. “Magnesium keeps calcium dissolved in the blood.” ■ Be aware that calcium supplements can interfere with some prescription medications, including blood pressure medications and antibiotics. TFL
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SELECTED SOURCES “Calcium,” National Institutes of Health, http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer, 3/19/13 n “Calcium and Diet,” www.MayoClinic.com n “Calcium in the Vegan Diet” by Reed Mangels, Vegetarian Resourch Group, www.vrg.org n “Incidence of Hypercalciuria and Hypercalcemia During Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation in Older Women” by J.C. Gallagher et al., Menopause, 2014 n Personal communication: Brenda Davis, 1/15
For more information, please call: 1-877-696-6734 or visit our website www.newnordicusa.com 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. Results may vary. To make sure this product is right for you, always read the label and follow the instructions. Testimonials are not proof of efficacy.
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HEALTHY HOME B Y
D AV E C L A R K E
KEEPING IT 1. CLEAN HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR HOME’S NOT A TOXIC SWAMP YOU CAN FORGIVE HIM—HE’S ONLY A FROG—BUT KERMIT WAS WRONG. IT CAN BE EASY BEING GREEN WHEN IT COMES TO REDUCING THE TOXINS AND CHEMICALS IN YOUR HOME. KEEP THESE FIVE TIPS IN MIND:
Use cleaner cleansers
How can you be “cleaning your house” when the chemicals you’re using are dangerous? You can’t. Chemicals in some conventional cleaning products have been linked to asthma and cancer. Avoid cleaning products containing chlorine and ammonia. Look for plant-based cleaning agents that say “biodegradable,” “phosphate-free,” or “petroleum-free.” Use vinegar instead of bleach to wipe surfaces clean of grease and soap residue. Try baking soda and water to clean tile surfaces. Diluted lemon juice or vinegar cleans glass effectively.
In many cases, the toxins that end up in people’s homes are listed on product labels. Look for key words designed to warn you (in ascending order of toxicity), such as “Caution,” “Warning,” “Danger,” or “Poison.” These hazards range from mildly or moderately hazardous to highly toxic to your health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, of the 84,000 registered chemicals used in this country, only a small portion have undergone thorough testing for their impact on human health.
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Death to dust!
Dust is a common carrier of toxins, spreading them through the house and the air you breathe. Keep dust under control by vacuuming regularly (twice a week is good) and keeping the vacuum bag and HEPA filter clean so they don’t spew toxins back into your living quarters. If possible, replace carpet with hard floor surfaces, such as wood or tile.
Wash your hands
Good hygiene, especially for young children, is key to keeping toxins from being accidentally ingested. Skip antibacterial soaps; they tend to promote the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. A 30-second wash with soap and warm water is usually all it takes to clean hands and faces.
You are what you eat. Organic ensures that you’re consuming less pesticide residue.
SELECTED SOURCES “10 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Safer and Healthier” by Jeanie Lerche Davis, www.WebMD.com n “51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda” by Melissa Breyer, www.Care2.com n “Household Alternatives for Reducing Toxic Products in Your Home,” State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, www.ct.gov n “How to Reduce Toxic Chemicals in Your Home,” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, www.pca.state.mn.us
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
APRI L 2015
2/2/15 11:38 AM tasteforlife
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GLUTEN FREE FOCUS B Y L I S A FA B I A N
FOR THE LOVE OF LOAVES GLUTEN-FREE BREADS WE ADORE
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ONE OF THE FOODS PEOPLE MISS THE MOST WHEN THEY GO GLUTEN FREE IS BREAD. But these days, there’s not a whole lot to miss. Gluten free has come a long way, and the breads are no exception. With plenty of satisfying options that are improving all the time in taste and texture, being gluten free means that you can enjoy multigrain rolls, focaccia, breads both savory and sweet, and much more. Here are some of the latest flavors and varieties we’re excited about.
Three Bakers 7 Ancient Grains Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread This loaf contains seven whole grains (amaranth, hemp, quinoa, teff, sorghum, flax, and millet). With seven grams of fiber per serving (two slices), you’d expect this bread to be on the dry side. It’s not. Light and tender in texture, it’s hard to believe that it’s gluten free. Kitchen Tip: Spread slices with your favorite nut butter for a filling and satisfying breakfast. Canyon Bakehouse 100% Whole Grain Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Plump and moist raisins are studded throughout this loaf. Enhanced with a touch of cinnamon and sweetened with organic agave, slices are thankfully not too sweet. This bread has a great chewy texture and a crunchy crust when toasted. Kitchen Tip: Use slices to make fruity French toast. Schär Gluten-Free Multigrain Ciabatta Rolls With buckwheat, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds, this pack of four tastes great and has a great texture—enjoyed alone or with any type of sandwich or burger filling you pile inside. Delicious toasted or after baking in the oven for 10 minutes at 400°, these rolls contain no lactose and offer five grams of fiber per serving. Kitchen Tip: Use these rolls to make homemade croutons. Tear bread into same-sized chunks, and toss with olive oil and dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, parsley, or a combination of your favorite). Bake at 350° for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and dry. Canyon Bakehouse 100% Whole Grain Gluten Free Rosemary & Thyme Focaccia With no dairy, soy, or nuts, you might be inclined to conclude there’d be no flavor. Not true. Moist, with an appealing golden brown crust, this focaccia has just the right amount of herbs, making it a perfect accompaniment to salads, soups, or whatever main dish you’re serving. Kitchen Tip: Brush with olive oil and warm in the oven before serving. Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Hamburger Buns These hearty and substantial buns come four to a pack and are dairy, soy, and nut free. With an appealing brown exterior and a perfect size, these buns won’t explode when stuffed with a juicy turkey burger or grilled Portobello mushroom. Made from brown rice flour, amaranth flour, and flaxseeds, each bun offers six grams of fiber. Kitchen Tip: Split one in half, brush lightly with oil, and throw on the grill alongside whatever veggies or protein you’re grilling to fill inside. TFL
APRI L 2015
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2/19/15 12:13 PM
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Pregnant or planning to be? Perfect Prenatal™ multivitamin helps support a healthy pregnancy, and you can even take it on an empty stomach! Healthy Living for Two Pregnancy is a fascinating time. You’re feeling your body grow and change week after week to support a whole new life. Most moms-to-be are aware that it’s important to stay as healthy as possible—for your own sake and for your baby’s. So ask your healthcare practitioner what’s best for you—including healthy nutrition.
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Introducing a new chapter for moms Your bundle of joy is here—so discover a postnatal multivitamin to support your unique needs. Nourishing Your New Life Together We’re proud to announce our Perfect Postnatal™ multivitamin, formulated to support the enhanced nutritional needs of new mothers as they care for their babies.* After giving birth, a woman’s body requires Iron for red blood cell production as well as Folate. Body-nourishing Perfect Postnatal helps address these needs.* We’ve also included wholefood cultured B Vitamins that work naturally with
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2/9/15 5:00 PM 3/11/15 11:05 AM
ORGANIC IN THE NEWS
buy rganic! PESTICIDE LINKED TO ADHD A commonly used pesticide can increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids, new research has found. The pesticide (deltamethrin) is used on crops, golf courses, lawns, and gardens. The pesticide appears to alter the development of the brain’s dopamine system, which is responsible for emotional expression and cognition. “Although we can’t change genetic susceptibility to ADHD, there may be modifiable environmental factors, including exposures to pesticides, that we should be examining in more detail,” said study author Jason Richardson, PhD, of Rutgers University. Choosing organic foods is a good start, since such chemicals are prohibited in organic agriculture. SOURCE “Common Pesticide May Increase Risk of ADHD” by Robin Lally, www.Rutgers.edu/research-news, 1/29/15
WHY ORGANIC MILK IS BET TER The methods used to produce organic milk appear to play a significant role in the amount and quality of the nutrients it contains. Researchers analyzed nearly 200 studies to determine the differences between organic milk and conventionally produced milk. They found that the composition of the milk was most affected by the foods the cows eat, the breeds of the cows, and the amounts of fertilizer used. Organic cows must have access to pasture, while conventional farming relies mostly on grain to feed the cows. Organic agriculture also prohibits the use of toxic and persistent fertilizers and pesticides, unlike conventional practices. And organic farmers tend toward mixed or minority breeds of cattle. All of these factors make organic milk a healthier choice. SOURCE “Organic and Conventional Milk—Comparing Apples to Apples?” Elsevier Health Sciences, 1/20/15
CHEMICALS MAY CAUSE EARLIER MENOPAUSE Exposure to chemicals that are commonly found in household items and personal care products may trigger early menopause. A new study linked 15 chemicals to an earlier start of menopause. They may also have harmful effects on the ovaries. Choosing personal care products free of phthalates can greatly reduce such exposure. Phthalates are plastics chemicals commonly found in conventional products such as lotions, perfumes, makeup, nail polish, liquid soap, and hair spray. Researchers analyzed blood and urine samples from more than 1,400 menopausal women. They determined that menopause began two to four years earlier in women whose bodies had high levels of certain endocrinedisrupting chemicals, including phthalates. SELECTED SOURCES “Persistent Organic Pollutants and Early Menopause in US Women,” PLOS One, http:// journals.plos. org/plosone, 1/28/15 ■ “Pesticides, Plastics Chemicals Tied to Earlier Menopause in Women” by Robert Preidt, www.nlm.nih. gov/MedlinePlus, 1/28/15
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ORGANIC IN THE NEWS
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PICK ORGANIC PRODUCE We all need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but pesticide exposure from the produce can vary greatly. A new study from Boise State University measured dietary exposure to the most common insecticides (organophosphates, or OP) in nearly 4,500 people. In individuals who ate similar amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who reported eating organic versions had significantly lower exposures than those who ate conventional produce. “For most Americans, diet is the primary source of OP pesticide exposure,” said lead researcher Cynthia Curl, PhD. “The study suggests that by eating organically grown versions of those foods highest in pesticide residues, we can make a measurable difference in the levels of pesticides in our bodies.” Dr. Curl pointed to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” list, which ranks produce according to pesticide levels. Apples, strawberries, grapes, and peaches are at the top of the present list. Opt for organic varieties of those fruits whenever possible. On the other end of the list, conventionally produced fruits such as mangoes, grapefruit, pineapples, and kiwi fruit are safe options. Read EWG’s full list at www.ewg.org.
Crop yields from organic farms are higher than previously thought, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. Their analysis of more than 100 studies found that organic farming can satisfy global demand “while offering an environmentally sustainable alternative to chemically intensive agriculture.” The analysis revealed that organic yields are about 19 percent lower than conventional yields, a smaller difference than previously thought. The researchers determined that certain agricultural practices—such as multi-cropping (growing several crops in the same field) and crop rotation—would each cut the yield gap in half. They also found that for certain crops there already is no significant difference. Beans, peas, and lentils are among those crops. SOURCE “Can Organic Crops Compete with Industrial Agriculture?” by Sarah Young, http://newscenter. berkeley.edu, 12/9/14
SOURCE “Study Helps Predict Pesticide Exposure in Diet,” www.BoiseState.edu, 2015
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WEIGHT & FITNESS
Power On With organic protein powders When embarking on a new exercise routine or ramping up an old one, our bodies may require additional boosts of protein. Protein powders and drinks are good sources, but—like any other food product—they can increase our exposure to toxins and heavy metals. Organic protein powders are a healthier choice.
Consumer Reports found arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in several conventional protein powders and drinks a few years ago. Those metals can be toxic to some organs. Heavy metals are far less likely to be found in organic foods. The use of toxic and persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other hazardous materials is banned from organic agriculture. Choosing organic options also allows you to avoid GMOs.
Organic protein powders and drinks tend to favor vegetarian ingredients. A study published earlier this year showed that a vegetarian option might be just as effective as whey protein for muscle growth. (Whey is a derivative of milk and is one of the most popular ingredients in protein drinks.) Pea protein matched whey for gains in muscle thickness and strength in a group of males ages 18 to 35. The men took 25 grams of whey or pea protein twice per day for 12 weeks while undergoing biceps-muscle training. Pea protein is an excellent source of several amino acids—including lysine and arginine—that are necessary for muscle development. Our bodies need nine essential amino acids, and most plant foods do not supply all nine. But combining pea protein with hemp or rice proteins will make it a complete source. Pea protein is also easier to digest for people who have issues with soy or milk. —alan siddal
Choose a powder with a short ingredients list. You want protein, not additives.
SELECTED SOURCES “The 6 Healthiest Protein Powders for Your Smoothie,” www.Prevention.com n “Do Protein Drinks Contain Contaminants and Heavy Metals?” www.ConsumerReports.org, 7/10 n “Do You Need Protein Powders?” by Gina Shaw, www. WebMD.com, 3/25/11 n “Pea Protein Supplements Match Whey for Muscle Thickness Gains . . .” by Stephen Daniells, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 1/26/15 n “Pea Proteins Oral Supplementation Promotes Muscle Thickness Gains During Resistance Training” by N. Babault et al., Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2015
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B Y L I S A FA B I A N
plant powered recipes organic & raw
It may seem new, but the raw food diet has been around since our hunter-gatherer roots. There is no “official” definition for this eating plan, but many feel that 75 percent of all consumed items by weight must be raw.
© IAIN BAGWELL
Uncooked and unprocessed vegan foods comprise this diet. Fresh and organic vegetables and fruits are most commonly enjoyed. Nuts, seeds, sprouts, sea veggies, and dehydrated items are also consumed. According to raw-foods movement pioneer Gabriel Cousens, MD, when you heat or cook foods, you destroy vitamin and mineral content. This is why raw foods are not exposed to temperatures above 118°.
Why Go Raw? Some adopt a raw diet for better health, and they find it transforms their lives. Better energy, strength, and digestion are some of the reported benefits. Eating raw foods naturally eliminates the more harmful packaged and processed foods out there—those full of chemical flavors and preservatives, excess animal protein, and refined sugars and carbs.
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Another reason to go raw is to help prevent or reverse illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and cardiovascular disease. Since many raw plant foods are abundant in fiber but low in calories, this way of eating is also a good choice for those watching their weight. Ethical and environmental reasons also come into play for some individuals. Those who eat raw tend to be supporters of organic agriculture, and they help the planet by purchasing organic goods grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers. In the Kitchen Certain tools are used when preparing raw foods. Some recipes may call for items to be heated to a low temperature in a food dehydrator. Using this device allows home cooks to “bake,” warming food to approximate the feel and texture of cooked dishes. Recipe instructions may also call for nuts and seeds to be soaked and then sometimes dehydrated. Dehydrating is often done to prevent the growth of mold. Juicers and highspeed blenders are other popular appliances in the raw foods kitchen. They’re essential for making juices, and pureeing soups, sauces, nut butters, and smoothies. For a taste of what this diet offers, we’ve included recipes for two raw soups. To top off the meal, there’s a sweet and tart citrus dessert perfect for spring. SELECTED SOURCES Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis, RD, and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, with Rynn Berry ($24.95, Book Publishing Company, 2010) ■ Two Moms In the Raw by Shari Koolik Leidich ($22, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 2015)
From Two Moms In the Raw by Shari Koolik Leidich. Copyright © 2015 by Shari Koolik Leidich. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
25 minutes prep time + 3 hours chill time ■ serves 6
RAW CARROT SOUP From the Taste for Life test kitchen
20 minutes prep time ■ serves 4
DGNV c peeled and chopped carrots garlic clove, chopped green onion, chopped Tbsp chopped ginger root c white sesame seeds Sea salt to taste 2 c purified water
2 1 1 1 V
1. Combine all ingredients in a highpowered high-speed blender. 2. Blend on high until mixture is smooth. Serve. Kitchen Note: The consistency of this raw soup is not as smooth as a cooked and pureed version. (While the soup won’t contain as much fiber, if you have a juicer and want a smoother texture you can juice the carrots before adding them to the blender.) Per serving: 52 Calories, 1 g Protein, 8 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 2 g Total fat (1 g mono, 1g poly), 49 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin A, ★ Biotin, Vitamin K, Copper
5 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 medium English cucumber, peeled, half coarsely chopped and half finely chopped 1 red bell pepper, half coarsely chopped and half finely chopped 1 fennel bulb, half coarsely chopped and half finely chopped K small sweet onion, finely chopped 2 garlic gloves, chopped 3 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice, or more to taste 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar, or more to taste 1K tsp fine sea salt K tsp freshly ground black pepper K tsp celery seeds N tsp red pepper flakes K c ice For garnishes: Avocado slices Chopped radishes Finely chopped sweet onion Chopped scallions Chopped fresh basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley Extra-virgin olive oil (optional) 1. In a blender or very large food processor, or working in batches puree tomatoes, the coarsely chopped cucumbers, the coarsely chopped bell pepper, the coarsely chopped fennel, the onion, garlic, lemon juice, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, celery seeds, red pepper flakes, and ice until smooth. 2. Pour mixture into a large bowl or pitcher and add the finely chopped cucumber, bell pepper, and fennel. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. 3. Season chilled gazpacho with more lemon or lime juice and/or vinegar to taste. 4. Divide among bowls and serve with garnishes. Drizzle each serving with olive oil, if desired. Per serving: 198 Calories, 3 g Protein, 16 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 15 g Total fat (2 g sat, 10 g mono, 2 g poly), 227 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin C, ★★ Vitamin K, ★ Vitamin A, B6, Folate, Pantothenic acid, Copper, Manganese, Potassium
Background image © IAIN BAGWELL
3/11/15 9:49 AM
RAW KEY LIME PIE From Two Moms In the Raw by Shari Koolik Leidich. Copyright © 2015 by Shari Koolik Leidich. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
30 minutes prep time + soaking, dehydrating, and freezing time ■ serves 12
DGV For the crust: 2 c pecans, soaked* 3 heaping Tbsp hemp seeds 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut N tsp fine sea salt N c pitted Medjool dates For the filling: 3 c cashews, soaked for 20 to 30 minutes, rinsed, and drained (do not dehydrate) Finely grated zest of 3 Key limes or 1 regular lime O c fresh Key (or regular) lime juice O c coconut oil K c raw agave nectar K c water 2 vanilla beans, split in half and seeds scraped out K tsp fine sea salt For serving: 1 lime, very thinly sliced Fresh lime juice Sweet Coconut Cream (recipe follows) 1. Make the crust: In a bowl, toss soaked pecans, hemp seeds, coconut, and salt. Spread on two dehydrator trays lined with nonstick dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 118° for 24 hours, flipping halfway through. Let cool. 2. Break mixture apart, transfer to a blender or food processor, add dates, and pulse until mixture is sticky and holds together when pinched. Press into a 9-inch springform pan, pressing crust across bottom and up sides of pan. 3. Make filling: Combine all filling ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into pie shell and freeze until solid, at least 8 hours or up to 24. 4. Garnish with lime slices and a squeeze of lime juice. If desired, serve topped with a dollop of Sweet Coconut Cream. *To soak and dehydrate the pecans, cover them with cold water in a bowl for 6 hours. Drain. Kitchen Note: Do not dehydrate the cashews for the filling, or they won’t be creamy. You can substitute macadamia nuts for the cashews in the filling. Squeezing Key limes is worthwhile work—but if you can’t find the tiny green fruits, use regular limes. Per serving: 540 Calories, 8 g Protein, 26 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 49 g Total fat (21 g sat, 18 g mono, 8 g poly), 10 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Copper, Manganese, ★★★ Magnesium, ★★ Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Zinc, ★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), C, K, Iron, Potassium
© IAIN BAGWELL
SWEET COCONUT CREAM From Two Moms In the Raw by Shari Koolik Leidich. Copyright © 2015 by Shari Koolik Leidich. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
10 minutes prep time + 4 hour chill time ■ serves 6
DGNV 1 L 2 K N
(13.5 oz) can coconut milk (not light)* c coconut palm sugar Tbsp arrowroot powder tsp pure vanilla extract tsp fine sea salt
1. Chill unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Open it and drain off liquid, reserving liquid for another use. 2. Place solidified coconut cream in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl. 3. Add remaining ingredients and whip for 1 minute. The topping can be made in advance and refrigerated, covered, for up to 24 hours. *Canned coconut milk is made by steeping grated coconut meat in heated water. If you want the pie to be completely raw, omit topping it with the Sweet Coconut Cream. Kitchen Note: Chilling the coconut milk (sorry, light won’t do) allows the cream to rise to the top. Whipping it into a fluffy cloud is a snap, and it holds its shape in the fridge for a full day. Per serving: 164 Calories, 1 g Protein, 11 g Carbohydrates, 1 g Fiber, 14 g Total fat (12 g sat, 1 g mono), 108 mg Sodium, ★★★★ Manganese, ★ Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc
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Seafood Semantics “Organic” seafood? It’s probably not what you think. The next time you’re buying fish, take a look at the signage. If you see the word “organic”—on a label, the price board, or even on a restaurant menu—you can be sure of one thing: It wasn’t put there by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). That’s because the USDA has no organic-certification criteria for seafood. According to Food & Water Watch, fish labeled “organic” is imported. “If there’s anything saying it’s organic, it’s according to someone else’s standards,” explains Patty Lovera, food program director at the national nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization. “It means something,” she says, “but you can’t assume the same things you can when you see that green-and-white USDA Organic seal” on an apple, for example. This should change soon, notes Sam Jones-Ellard, a spokesperson with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The department is working on a proposed rule for organic aquaculture standards, he says, and while it has not established a timeline for when that rule might be published, “it is a priority for 2015.” Meanwhile, all seafood—except for processed seafood—must include information indicating its country of origin and whether it was farmed or wild-caught.
SELECTED SOURCES “Farm-Raised Fish,” Cornell University Law School, www.law.cornell.edu ■ Marine Stewardship Council, www.msc.org ■ “Organic Aquaculture,” USDA Department of Agriculture, http:// afsic.nal.usda.gov ■ Personal communication: Patty Lovera, 1/15; Sam Jones-Ellard, 1/15 ■ “Seafood Watch,” www.MontereyBayAquarium.org ■ “Antibiotics and Growth Hormones in Feed”; “Smart Seafood Guide,” www.FoodandWaterWatch.org
What the Labels Mean
An “organic” label means . . . ■ It was farmed (and not wild-caught). ■ It was produced in accordance with standards set by either a private organization or a country other than the United States. A “wild” label means . . . ■ That the fish, according to federal regulations, was “caught, taken, or harvested from noncontrolled”—i.e., wild—“waters or beds.” A “farmed-raised” label means . . . ■ It was harvested using standard aquacultural methods, in a controlled environment. As the associated federal regulation puts it, that could mean it was taken from a “leased bed” that was “subjected to production enhancements” like predator-protection measures or “the addition of artificial structures,” or it was harvested from an ocean-based pen. Much like conventionally produced meat, farmed seafood may include chemicals and is often produced using antibiotics and added growth hormones. For now, says Food & Water Watch’s Lovera, “as a rule of thumb we almost always like wild more than farmed.” And anytime you shop for fish? “Ask questions,” she says. Even in a small fish market where labeling may be minimal, “they should be able to tell you exactly what you’re buying.” —chris hayhurst
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B Y C H R I S H AY H U R S T
In organic agriculture, healthy food starts with healthy soil
She describes herself as a “soil nerd”—the kind of farmer who spends as much time pondering microbes and worms as she does on the crops she’s growing for sale. “I really do think about the soil a lot,” says Julie Rawson, who, with her husband, Jack Kittredge, owns Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, MA. “The soil is so important. Because the better you take care of it, the healthier your crops are and the better they taste.” Rawson has seen this at her farm, where she and others have carefully worked the soil for more than 30 years. But she’s also gained insight into the soil-enhancing benefits of organic agriculture through her involvement with the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), where she serves as executive director. At a recent NOFA/Mass conference, Rawson notes, much of the focus was on how crops
raised in healthy ecosystems add to the soil. “There’s this wonderful economy between a plant that is photosynthesizing and the microbial life” beneath it, she explains. “They end up working in concert—the plant feeding carbon” to bacteria and fungi, which in turn cycle nutrients back to the soil where the plant stands ready with its network of roots. “It’s a beautifully simple process, and if you manage your system well you can improve your soil over time.”
“Coach” Mark Smallwood, executive director of Rodale Institute, a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit devoted to organicfarming research and education, agrees. The Rodale mantra, Smallwood notes, is “healthy soil, healthy food, healthy people.” And the clearest path to healthy soil? “By growing with biology,” he says. Biological farming, explains Smallwood, is at the heart of organic agriculture. While rejecting the use of synthetic chemicals
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(fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides), it embraces four fundamental techniques and practices: crop rotation, the use of cover crops, thoughtful use of soil amendments (elements added to soil to improve it), and the minimal use of mechanical tillage. Because different soil microbes prefer different foods, “crop rotation allows for microbial diversity,” Smallwood says. Cover crops, on the other hand, “allow that diversity to be fed even when there’s not a cash crop on the ground” by continuing to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and converting it into simple sugars. Compost, the organic farmer’s amendment of choice, brings more to that feast while also improving soil structure and texture. And then there’s reduced tillage, which—because there’s less soil disturbance and reduced soil compaction— “allows all of those microorganisms to live longer,” Smallwood says. This ultimately means they can take up more carbon. “So not only are we protecting the microbes, we’re also pulling excessive carbon out of the
atmosphere and putting it back in the soil where it was in the first place.” Climate-Change Mitigation Indeed, notes Rawson, NOFA/Mass has in recent years spent a lot of time touting this very fact—that organic farming, through its capacity to sequester carbon, has an important role in climate-change mitigation. “Something like 30 percent of the excessive carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere is there because of poor farming practices,” she says. “Building organic matter, and returning carbon to our soils—I look at it as a huge win-win, not only for the environment, but also for our health.” Every year, Rawson says, she and her husband make naturally fermented sauerkraut from the last crops they harvest before winter. “And I’ll tell you what: This year it’s so sweet and so tasty, it may be the best yet.” Her theory why? “We’ve cared for the soil, and now we’re being paid back with phenomenal food.” SELECTED SOURCES Personal communication: Julie Rawson, 1/15; Mark Smallwood, 1/15
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“ Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.”
— Frances Moore Lappé author of Diet for a Small Planet
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