Healthy Strategies How AHCC mushroom extract Âsupports healthy immunity. page 22
Puddings, soups + salads made with gluten-free grains. page 18
Herbs: SAFFRON + MORE
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ESSENTIALS AWARD WINNER 2020
Satisfying gluten-free grain recipes.
Women’s Essentials Awards
Key products for radiant, optimal health.
Bones by the Decade
How to stay strong at every age.
departments 6 Editor’s Note 9 News Bites
© CON POULOS
COVID-19 health tips • Discover jamu, a traditional herbal tonic from Indonesia • More
12 Natural Remedies
Bolster immunity with nutrition and herbs.
15 Smart Supplements
Don’t miss out on stress-relieving magnesium!
21 Healing Herbs
Introducing Rubus—the 2020 Herb of the Year.
22 Healthy Strategies
Learn about AHCC, a mushroom extract that may boost immunity.
28 In Focus
Consider saffron for fibromyalgia symptoms.
38 Food Trends
Cassava: Versatile, nutritious, and gluten free. Cover: Saffron
For more health & wellness resources visit
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MAY 202 0
4/14/20 10:25 AM
Thank You Thank you for reading this magazine. Thank you for shopping at this store. Thank you for doing what you can to keep yourself, family members, friends, and community safe and healthy. Due to the magazine production cycle, I am writing this in April. In the state I live, we are starting what officials are calling “the saddest week”: They predict it will be the peak for COVID fatalities statewide. Whether or not this is true, I don’t know. Here’s what I do know. Human connection is our lifeline. Before COVID-19, we may have been enjoying the people, places, and organizations that kept our lives humming along, but chances are we also took them for granted. Now we pine for the things and people that made up even our most regular and plain of days. As we hope and plan for a return to “regular life,” one thing that is always timely is gratitude. So thank you to all the caregivers and first responders on the front lines. Thank you, makers of homemade masks and funny memes. Thank you for eating all the beans in your pantry. Technologically savvy folks, thank you for helping your people understand Zoom and FaceTime. Thank you for the efforts you’ve made to keep it together. Thank you for reaching deep and finding ways of coping. Thank you for not beating yourself up when you lose your patience or temper. Thank you for simply starting over when you do. Thank you for continuing to do things that keep you sane and balanced, whether that is exercising, listening to music, meditating, praying, or working in your garden. This time has shown how connected the global human family is. We’ve seen how quickly we can spread all manner of things to each other—viruses, fear, and dread, as well as love, support, and caring. Thank you for never underestimating your place in the world and for understanding just how much other people need you—not just because of what you do for them (which is great)—but for who you are. Thank you. To your health,
Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba (Lynn.Tryba@TasteforLife.com) Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Graphic Design Intern Emily Perry Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service: 800-677-8847 CustomerService@TasteforLife.com Client Services Director - Retail Judy Gagne (x128) Client Services Director - Advertising & Digital Ashley Dunk (x190) Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 603-831-1868 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell Editorial Advisory Board
Mike Barnett, marketing director for Clark’s Nutrition & Natural Foods Market Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong, Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, health journalist, and author of Body into Balance Clare Hasler-Lewis, PhD, MBA, CEO, OlivinoLife, Inc. 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 bestselling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, president, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Brenda Watson, CNC, author of seven books, a New York Times bestseller, and the creator of five PBS shows on digestive health Taste for Life® (ISSN 1521-2904) is published monthly by CCI, 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2020 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. Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034
A note on recipes
Nutritional analysis from Edamam. 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: HHHHH Extraordinary (50 percent or better), HHHH Top source, HHH Excellent source, HH Good source, H Fair source
Recipe key D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian 6 tasteforlife
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The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.
M AY 2020
4/9/20 2:25 PM
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Maintaining HEALTH Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have offered these reminders for maintaining health during the present pandemic: n Wash your hands frequently. n Practice social distancing—keep a six-foot distance between you and others. n If you are experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, remain at home and call your doctor. n If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at an increased risk, stay home and away from other people. SOURCE US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov
VITAL supplements? Supplementing with vitamin D and fish oil has been associated with cancer prevention and heart health in a large ongoing study. The VITamin D and OmegA-3 Trial (VITAL) began more than five years ago and includes more than 25,000 men and women. So far, the study has linked omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil to a significant reduction in heart attacks. Vitamin D appears to reduce cancer deaths among people who have been in the trial for at least two years. “The pattern of findings suggests a complex balance of benefits and risks for each intervention and points to the need for additional research to determine which individuals may be most likely to derive a net benefit from these supplements,” said lead author JoAnn Manson, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. SOURCE “Vitamin D and fish oil show promise in prevention of cancer death and heart attacks,” North American Menopause Society, 9/24/19 www.tas teforl i fe.com
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4/13/20 9:25 AM
Jamu may offer HEALTH BOOST Indonesians have used the traditional herbal tonic known as jamu for centuries, both to maintain health and to treat illness. The ingredients may vary. Here are some common ones. n Ginger, which detoxifies, improves circulation, and treats morning sickness. n L emongrass is for mental sharpness and to treat bleeding gums. n Tamarind can be used to treat constipation. n Turmeric may ease menstrual cramps and detoxify, among many other uses. Since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Indonesia, cinnamon, lemongrass, red ginger, and turmeric—the basis of the classic jamu tonic—have seen a spike in sales. Dr. Hardhi Pranata, of the Indonesian Medical Doctor Association, said that while some herbs have antioxidant or anti-inflammatory
effects, it’s necessary to take them regularly for a period of months. Therefore, people shouldn’t rely on them to fend off COVID-19. SELECTED SOURCES “Indonesians turn to traditional remedies to fend off COVID-19” by Kiki Siregar, www. ChannelNewsAsia.com, 3/12/20 n “Jamu: Indonesian traditional herbal medicine towards rational phytopharmacological use,”Journal of Herbal Medicine, 6/14
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M AY 2020
4/13/20 9:25 AM
WARDS OFF AMD Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common ailment among older adults, affecting reading ability and close-up vision. A new study determined that poor diet is a likely risk factor for AMD. The researchers identified components of the so-called Western diet as risky for AMD due to large amounts of “processed and red meat, fried food, dessert, eggs, refined grains, high fat dairy, and sugar sweetened beverages.” SELECTED SOURCES “18-year study links ‘Western’ diet to vision loss” by Danielle Masterson, www.NutraIngredients-USA.com, 1/6/20 n “Diet patterns and the incidence of age-related macular degeneration . . .” by S. Dighe et al., Br J Ophthalmol, 12/6/19
DID YOU KNOW?
A recent study tested the effectiveness of saffron against two strains of virus. Two components of the plant—crocin and picrocrocin—both inhibited virus entry into cells and replication of HSV-1 (herpes simplex). Both also showed significant activity against HIV-1. SOURCE “Antiviral effects of saffron and its major ingredients” by S. Soleymani et al., Current Drug Delivery, 2018
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MAY 202 0
4/13/20 9:26 AM
NATURAL REMEDIES B Y R O Y U P T O N , R H , D I P AY U
IMMUNE DEFENSE STAY HEALTHY USING ALL AVAILABLE TOOLS COVID-19 HAS CAUSED THE WORLD TO RE-EVALUATE MANY ASPECTS OF HEALTHCARE. COMPLETELY IGNORED BY THE CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL WORLD ARE HERBAL AND NUTRITIONAL APPROACHES. CONSIDERING THERE ARE FEW THERAPEUTIC OPTIONS AVAILABLE AGAINST THIS VIRUS, AMERICANS SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THE WORLD OF SUPPLEMENTS HAS TO OFFER.
Nutritional Integrity If you do nothing else nutritionally, consider these superstars. Vitamin A: Helps maintain the health of the mucous membranes and cells of the respiratory system. Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential factor in antiviral immune responses, especially against flu. It contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system and provides protection against pathogens. Vitamin D: Reduces the risk of flu. Schoolchildren and the elderly in nursing homes benefit the most from supplementation. Zinc: More than 50 years of research has provided evidence for an antiviral activity of zinc through numerous mechanisms; it is especially important for the elderly.
Botanical Superstars As with the key nutrients, botanicals can be used both for prevention and treatment. Elderberry juice has documented effectiveness against H1N1. Some have warned against use of elderberry, claiming it can worsen COVID-19 symptoms. There is virtually no good evidence to support this, and its safety and efficacy, especially for
children, is too good to ignore. Astragalus root, and its key formula Astragalus Jade Wind Screen Powder, was key in preventing hospital workers from contracting the SARS virus, which is closely related to COVID-19. Andrographis and the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao San are first-response formulas to take as soon as you feel you’ve been exposed or feel symptoms coming on. Additionally, there have been more than 320 large-scale epidemics in China over the past 2,000 years, which has resulted in the development of many herbal treatment protocols available from professional Chinese medicine practitioners. Naturopathic physicians and integrated medicine physicians can also provide individualized herbal and nutritional recommendations. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian) symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children . . .” by X.Y. Huo et al, , PLoS One, 11/14/18 n “Chinese herbal medicine for acute upper respiratory tract infections . . .” by Z.S. Huang et al., BioScience Trends, 5/12/19 n “The role of zinc in antiviral immunity” by S. Read et al., Advances in Nutrition, 4/22/19 n “SARS: Clinical trials on treatment using a combination of Traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine,” Report of the WHO International Expert Meeting to review and analyse clinical reports on combination treatment for SARS, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, World Health Organization, 10/03 n “Vitamin C and immune function” by A.C. Carr and S. Maggini, Nutrients, 11/17 n “Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses . . . at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection” by Y. Kim et al., Immune Network, 4/13 n “Vitamin D for influenza” by Gerry Schwalfenberg, Canadian Family Physician, 6/15 n “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections . . .” by A.R. Martineau et al., BMJ, 2/15/17
M AY 2020
4/14/20 10:13 AM
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3/11/20 11:29 AM
SMART SUPPLEMENTS BY ANN LOUISE GITTLEMAN, PhD, CNS
MAGNESIUM TO THE RESCUE BE KIND TO YOUR MIND, HEART, MUSCLES + MORE!
MAGNESIUM IS TO MINERALS WHAT VITAMIN D IS TO VITAMINS. AS THE “MASTER MINERAL” OF HUNDREDS OF KEY METABOLIC FUNCTIONS, IT REIGNS SUPREME IN THE MINERAL KINGDOM. IF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, LEG CRAMPS, MIGRAINES, ANXIETY, IRRITABILITY, DEPRESSION, HEART DISEASE, UNSTABLE BLOOD SUGAR, OR INSOMNIA ARE CHALLENGING YOUR WELL-BEING, READ ON.
Your body needs around 500 to 1,000 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a day. Most of us get only half of that and lose it quickly. You may be supplementing with magnesium, but chances are you’re still missing out because the type of magnesium supplement you’re taking cannot get to the right places.
How Are We Losing Magnesium? Magnesium is a detox mineral. It’s used up to counteract stressors like food allergies and intolerances, prescription drugs, and exposure to heavy metals, especially aluminum. It also prevents kidney stone formation and even Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Given our busier-than-ever lifestyles, the body’s main use of magnesium is dealing with mental and physical stress. Environmental assaults combined with inefficient magnesium supplements with non-ideal cofactors are leaving many of us magnesium starved. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include facial twitches, Alzheimer’s disease, blood clots, chronic fatigue, and osteoporosis. Unfortunately, the most popular cofactors found in magnesium supplements—oxide and citrate—function as laxatives that primarily target the GI tract. To support stressed hearts and overworked brains, research reveals most Americans may need more optimized magnesium cofactors. This is where carriers such as glycinate and taurinate come into play, targeting specific organs not supported by standard magnesium supplements. In addition, magnesium malate and orotate are gaining steam for their ability to soothe and calm tight muscles, while significantly improving stamina and long-term energy throughout the day.
Magnesium Cofactor Must-Haves Glycinate, malate, taurinate, and orotate are the best forms of magnesium for head-to-toe optimal health. They are more effectively absorbed to support organ systems and bodily functions than any other forms.
Magnesium Glycinate for Your Mind ■C ontrols anxiety, irritability, insomnia, concentration, and hysteria ■M inimizes laxative effects and is the least likely form to induce diarrhea ■C orrects long-term deficiencies ■R educes numbness, crying, and depression ■ Increases mental calmness and relaxation
Magnesium Taurinate for Your Heart ■S upports healthy heart function ■P revents migraines ■S uppresses heart palpitations and arrhythmias
Magnesium Malate for Your Muscles ■T reats fibromyalgia ■C alms muscle fatigue ■M anages PMS and headaches ■S upports digestion (take with meals) ■ Increases energy production
Magnesium Orotate for Your Body ■E nhances athletic performance ■B oosts DNA formation and heart repair and function Besides taking a magnesium supplement with particular cofactors, it is also extremely important that a comprehensive magnesium supplement contain vitamin B6 (especially in the activated
www.tas teforl i fe.com
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continued from page 15
pyridoxal 5 phosphate targeted form). B6 determines how much magnesium will be absorbed by the cells in the first place.
Additional methods of absorption include transdermal magnesium chloride oil spray and Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate).
Magnesium Sources in Food
Magnesium Deficiency Testing
Diet remains the best supply of any mineral including magnesium. Here are some good sources:
The best assessment of magnesium levels is the Magnesium Red Blood Cell Blood Test, also known as the MagRBC blood test. It provides a more accurate indication of magnesium deficiency than a regular blood serum test can offer because an RBC test evaluates your intracellular magnesium where magnesium lives. TFL
1 c Buckwheat
K c Cashews
K c Almonds
1 c Brown Wild Rice
1 c Oatmeal
K c Dried Figs
K c Pumpkin Seeds
1 oz Dark Chocolate
K c Lima Beans
K c Tofu
K c Pistachios
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS Dr. Gittleman (www.AnnLouise.com) is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 books, including Radical Metabolism, The Fat Flush Plan, and The Fast Track Detox Diet. She has appeared on Good Morning America, 20/20, The View, PBS, and CNN.
M AY 2020
3/23/20 3:08 PM
3/23/20 9:33 AM
B Y L I S A FA B I A N
GREAT GRAINS GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS ABOUND
A staple in cuisines around the world, grains are a favorite for good reasons. They’re filling, nutritious, and can be served at any meal. Amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, teff, and sorghum are examples of glutenfree grains. Some of these are technically classified as pseudocereals, but because they can be used like whole grains, they’re often included in the whole-grains group. Here are some recipes featuring gluten-free grains that are interesting in both texture and flavor.
© CON POULOS
M AY 2020
3/23/20 10:02 AM
From the Taste for Life test kitchen
From Bravo Express! By Ramses Bravo ($21.95, Book Publishing Company, 2019)
30 minutes prep time n serves 4
2 c almond milk 1 c amaranth K tsp vanilla extract 1K c sliced strawberries K c sliced almonds 1. Bring almond milk and amaranth to a boil in a medium pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed. 2. Stir in vanilla extract. 3. Top each serving with strawberries and almonds before serving. Per serving: 322 Calories, 11 g Protein, 42 g Carbohydrates, 7 g Fiber, 14 g Total fat (2 g sat), 88 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin E, Phosphorus, HHHH Vitamin C, Magnesium, HHH Calcium, HH Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B6, Iron, H Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Folate, Potassium, Zinc
Broccoli, Ginger and Quinoa Soup dGV From Plant Power by Annie Bell ($24.99, Kyle Books, 2020)
45 minutes prep time n serves 4
1 lb, 5oz broccoli heads, stalks trimmed 1 heaped Tbsp coconut oil 1 large onion, peeled, halved, and sliced 1 celery heart, trimmed and sliced 1 heaped tsp grated fresh ginger 2 heaped tsp grated fresh turmeric root 1O pints low-sodium vegetable stock 3¼ oz cooked quinoa (1 oz uncooked weight) 1 Tbsp lime juice Sea salt To serve Coconut yogurt Ground turmeric 1. Finely slice broccoli stalks. Cut up florets. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, celery, and broccoli stalks and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly colored, adding ginger and grated turmeric a couple of minutes before the end. Meanwhile, bring stock to boil in a small saucepan. 2. Add broccoli florets to other vegetables. Stir for a moment until they darken and then pour over stock, which should come back to boil almost instantly. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 3. Purée soup in a food processor. It should retain a slight texture, speckled with the green of the broccoli. Return it to pan, stir in cooked quinoa and lime juice, and season with salt. Serve hot in warm bowls with a generous teaspoon of coconut yogurt in center of each bowl, dusted with a suspicion of ground turmeric. Per serving: 145 Calories, 7 g Protein, 22 g Carbohydrates, 6 g Fiber, 5 g Total fat (3 g sat), 409 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin C, K, HHH Folate, HH Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, H Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc
Kitchen Note: Soups bring out the best in broccoli. Its sweetness comes to the fore, and it also contains a modest amount of protein while quinoa does the rest. This recipe uses coconut yogurt as one might crème fraîche. It melts like a dream in a bowl of hot soup.
30 minutes prep time n serves 4
4 c cooked buckwheat* 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced 1 c chopped fresh parsley, lightly packed Zest and juice of 2 large lemons K c chopped roasted pistachios Freshly ground black pepper 1. Put buckwheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and pistachios in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. 2. Season with pepper to taste. *To cook buckwheat, place it in a pot with low-sodium vegetable broth using a 2:1 ratio (2 parts broth to 1 part buckwheat). Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir the buckwheat once, cover the pot, and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 15 minutes. One cup of dry buckwheat will yield about 2K cups cooked. Per serving: 712 Calories, 28 g Protein, 136 g Carbohydrates, 21 g Fiber, 13 g Total fat (2 g sat), 15 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, C, K, Magnesium, Phosphorus, HHHH Zinc, HHH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Iron, HH Folate, Potassium, H Vitamin A, Calcium
Coconut Rice Pudding
From Bravo Express! By Ramses Bravo ($21.95, Book Publishing Company, 2019)
75 minutes prep time + 9 hour chill time n serves 6
1K c forbidden black rice 6 c unsweetened apple juice 1 tsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger 1 (8 oz) can or bottle coconut water with pulp 1 c full-fat coconut milk O c unsweetened shredded dried coconut, toasted 1. Put rice, apple juice, and ginger in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 hour. 2. Once rice is cooked, add coconut water, coconut milk, and dried coconut. Stir until well combined. 3. Let cool for 1 hour at room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before serving. Per serving: 438 Calories, 6 g Protein, 69 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 17 g Total fat (14 g sat), 60 mg Sodium, HHH Phosphorus, HH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B6, Magnesium, H Vitamin B3 (niacin), Iron, Potassium, Zinc
Kitchen Note: When all the ingredients are first combined, the mixture will seem too soupy. Don’t worry! The pudding will thicken to the right consistency after it’s been thoroughly chilled for at least 8 hours. Forbidden black rice got its name because it was once reserved only for Chinese emperors, thus making it forbidden for everyone else. You can substitute another rice in this recipe, but you’ll be missing the luscious deep-purple color of the forbidden rice. The multiple layers of coconut flavor make this dessert very rich, creamy, and tasty. www.tas teforl i fe.com
© RAMSES BRAVO
Strawberry-Almond Amaranth Porridge dGV
MAY 202 0
3/23/20 10:05 AM
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*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.
3/17/20 10:16 AM
HEALING HERBS BY MARIA NOËL GROVES, RH (AHG)
HERB OF THE YEAR: RUBUS THESE DELICIOUS PLANTS ARE A CORNUCOPIA OF MEDICINAL PROPERTIES IN 2020, THE INTERNATIONAL HERB ASSOCIATION NAMED RUBUS THE “HERB OF THE YEAR.” CHANCES ARE, YOU’VE SEEN OR EATEN THE FRUIT OF THIS PLANT—RUBUS IS THE GENUS THAT INCLUDES RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRY, AND VARIOUS WILD BRAMBLE BERRIES. Antioxidant Fruits: Rich in bluepurple-red pigments called anthocyanins as well as related antioxidant-rich polyphenols and flavonoids, raspberries and blackberries are delicious local superfoods, somewhat similar in benefits to green tea. These compounds decrease inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, discourage cancer, decrease inflammation, and improve the integrity of blood vessel lining. The seeds are rich in fiber, essential fatty acids, and ellagic acid. They have a low glycemic index—which measures how quickly they spike blood sugar—a treat-with-benefits for people with diabetes when enjoyed unsweetened. Obese people with Type 2 diabetes who incorporated raspberries into their daily diet had lower post-meal blood sugar and inflammatory markers compared to the control group. High triglycerides and blood pressure also began to creep down after four weeks. Blackberries have been shown to reduce insulin resistance. A diet rich in these berries also encourages good gut flora and a more vital microbiome.
Gentle, Astringent Leaves: Nonfruit parts of Rubus are notably astringent due to the presence of tannins. Tannins tighten and tone tissues by binding to proteins and other compounds in the tissue and knitting them together. For health, tannins tighten up leaky gut, tone the skin and gums, offer antimicrobial properties, and have blood sugar-lowering properties. Raspberry leaves are rich in minerals including iron and calcium, and in vitamin C. Raspberry leaf tea is popularly consumed for general nutrition and to tighten and tone the uterus at all ages and during the last trimester or two of pregnancy to reduce birth complications. Fun Fact: Nerdy botanists love to point out that blackberries and raspberries aren’t technically a “berry” but actually an “aggregate fruit.” Each little seed-filled burst of goodness is called a drupelet— essentially a mini stone fruit. In the land of botany, grapes, bananas, and tomatoes are berries while strawberries and raspberries are not. TFL
Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), best-selling author of Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care and Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies, is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Learn about herbs, the books, distance consults, online classes, and more at www. WintergreenBotanicals.com. SELECTED SOURCES “Blackberry feeding increases fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese males” by P. Solverson et al., Nutrients, 8/9/18 n “Dietary supplementation with raspberry extracts modifies the fecal microbiota in obese diabetic Db/Db mice” by J. Garcia-Mazcorro et al., Journal of Microbiology and Technology, 8/28/18 n “Raspberries improve postprandial glucose and acute and chronic inflammation in adults with Type 2 diabetes” by J. Schell et al., Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019 n “Red raspberries and their bioactive polyphenols: Cardiometabolic and neuronal health links” by B.M. Burton-Freeman et al., Advances in Nutrition, 1/16 n Rubus: Herb of the Year 2020 edited by Gert Coleman ($21.95, International Herb Association, 2020)
www.tas teforl i fe.com
MAY 202 0
3/19/20 12:24 PM
HEALTHY STRATEGIES B Y LY N N T R Y B A
MUSHROOM EXTRACT AHCC FOR IMMUNE FUNCTION WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS FOR 20 YEARS, THE MUSHROOM EXTRACT AHCC HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF STUDIES BY INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL AND YALE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE. AHCC stands for active hexose correlated compound. It’s an extract of hybridized shiitake mushroom mycelia (root system). AHCC’s oligosaccharides are linked to immunomodulatory effects.
How Does AHCC Help Immunity? In both human and animal studies, AHCC has been shown to activate and enhance immune cells, including white blood cells called NK (natural killer) cells and NKT (natural killer T) cells. These cells are part of the body’s innate defense mechanism, which immediately launches attacks against viral threats. Enhanced NK cell response has also been linked to the ability to clear infections more quickly. AHCC has shown to have protective effects against some infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza (swine flu), H5N1 avian (bird) flu, and West Nile virus.
Testing AHCC Against Infectious Diseases In one study, mice supplemented with AHCC showed increased survival against H1N1. The mice were able to maintain body weight as opposed to controls, which indicates less severe infections. AHCC enhanced NK cell activity in the lungs and shortened recovery time. In a 2009 study, mice were infected with what should have been a lethal dose of West Nile virus.
One group received AHCC at various intervals before and after being infected. The survival rate of mice treated with AHCC was more than twice that of the controls. AHCC also increased the number of antibodies to that virus in the blood. In another study, mice were infected with the flu virus after receiving the H5N1 vaccine. Eighty percent of the vaccinated mice survived; 100 percent of the mice that also received AHCC lived. In another study, mice were infected with 100 times the 50 percent lethal dose of the avian flu. All the control mice that did not receive AHCC died within 12 days. Thirty percent of the group given AHCC before infection were alive at 28 days. In one human study, people received the seasonal flu vaccine. Some of the group also received 3 grams of AHCC daily for several weeks. Blood samples showed that those who received AHCC in addition to the vaccine showed significantly improved numbers of NK cells and T cells. The increase in cells was most notable in people over 60. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Oral administration of active hexose correlated compound enhances host resistance to West Nile encephalitis in mice” by S. Wang et al., 3/09; “Supplementation with active hexose correlated compound increases the innate immune response of young mice to primary influenza infection” by B.W. Ritz et al., Journal of Nutrition, 11/06 n “Short-term supplementation with active hexose correlated compound improves the antibody response to influenza B vaccine” by B.E. Roman et al., Nutrition Research, 1/13 n “What is AHCC?” AHCC Research Association, www.ahccresearch.org
M AY 2020
4/9/20 1:10 PM
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Women often take the world on their shoulders, and do whatever needs to be done to ensure the ones they love receive the care and support they need. Sometimes their own needs get left out of the equation. Because of this, we are pleased to spotlight effective, excellent products to help women achieve optimal health and well-being for themselves!
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Haka Life Nutrition GLX3 green lipped mussel oil from New Zealand keeps stiffness at bay with its antiinflammatory omega 3s.
Source Naturals Vitamin D-3 Liquid Drops allow you to easily control your daily dosage (as well as your family’s) for a cost-effective way to reap this vitamin’s many benefits.
Europharma Terry Naturally Red Ginseng Energy fuels daylong energy and helps you navigate times of stress. Pesticide-free cultivation and high bioavailability.
American Health Ester-C with Cranberry protects against UTIs; at the same time, it balances digestive health and supports immunity.
Mushroom Wisdom Super Meshima is made with a mushroom extract that supports healthy breast tissue and shows strong immunity-enhancing activity.
Wakunaga Kyo-Green Powdered Drink Mix Greens Blend supplies energy and immunity support with wheatgrass, barley grass, and spirulina.
Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex Throat Spray soothes your throat and delivers protective antioxidant action. Made with refreshing natural peppermint, sage, and lemon.
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Gaia Herbs Black Elderberry Syrup can be enjoyed by kids and adults as a daily immunity tonic. Each 1 teaspoon serving delivers 14,500 milligrams of fresh, black elderberries.
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. www.tas teforl i fe.com
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Hybrid Remedies Hybrid CR harnesses the power of echinacea, andrographis, and panax ginseng for a rapid response immunity supplement.
Quantum Health SuperLysine+ Cold Sore Treatment cuts healing time in half with ingredients that work together to soothe pain and inhibit viral replication: lysine, calendula extract, olive oil, propolis extract, and zinc oxide.
Pink Stork Heartburn Indigestion Tea calms heartburn with a lemon-mint blend that helps expectant moms get the rest and relief they need.
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URINARY TRACT HEALTH
Nature’s Answer UT Answer keeps infections at bay with a blend of cranberry concentrate and D-mannose in a liquid delivery system.
Winged Relaxation Gummies are so good they may become your go-to fullspectrum hemp extract CBD remedy to reduce stress.
WOMEN’S MULTIVITAMIN/MINERAL Natural Factors Whole Earth & Sea Women’s Multivitamin & Mineral offers more than 20 whole food-sourced nutrients to address the specific needs of women.
Xlear Rescue Nasal Spray quickly clears congestion with a blend of xylitol, sodium chloride, oregano, eucalyptus, tea tree, and parsley oils.
Protexin Bio-Kult Probiotic delivers 14 strains of beneficial bacteria to restore gut balance and help ease a range of digestive disorders.
WishGarden Herbs Emotional Ally stress concoction made of calming herbs such as St. John’s wort and motherwort works like a charm to get you grounded and centered.
Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle is perfect for the active woman who carries her hydration with her everywhere she goes!
Vital Planet Brenda Watson’s VITAL FLORA PRO Women’s Daily Probiotic + Prebiotics contributes to the digestive, vaginal, and immune health of women with 60 vital probiotic strains and 60 billion CFUs in each capsule.
Ridgecrest Herbals Thyroid Thrive supports thyroid function with a blend of nutritional tools and supportive herbs for associated glands and hormones.
ESSENTIALS AWARD WINNER 2020 Vitafusion GOODNESS Women’s Multi Gummies provides the organic nutrition you want, made with renewable energy sources in recyclable packaging.
Find the winners online and learn more at tasteforlife.com/ the-2020-womens-essentials-awards
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.
M AY 2020
4/13/20 9:15 AM
3/10/20 10:03 AM
IN FOCUS BY TO R I H U DS O N , N D
A NATURAL REMEDY FOR FIBROMYALGIA? HOW THE HERB SAFFRON STACKS UP AGAINST CONVENTIONAL MEDS FIBROMYALGIA (FM) IS A NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER WITH CHRONIC AND WIDESPREAD MUSCULOSKELETAL PAINS. IT CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH MILD TO SEVERE FATIGUE, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, SLEEP DISTURBANCES, HYPERSENSITIVITIES TO LIGHT/SOUND/TOUCH, DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS, HEADACHES, AND COGNITIVE DIFFICULTIES. MORE WOMEN THAN MEN HAVE FM.
We do not understand what causes fibromyalgia. It appears multifactorial, and may not have the same cause for every patient, but includes genetics; infections with some illnesses triggering or aggravating fibromyalgia; and physical and/or emotional trauma and other significant stressors. FM is considered neurological because there seems to be an abnormal increase in certain levels of select neurotransmitters in the brain that signal pain. The
pain receptors in the brain of those with FM also develop a pain memory and become more sensitive with a lower threshold to reacting to pain signals. Neither conventional nor natural medicine has yet to offer reliable and successful treatment. Conventional treatment may include pain relievers and antidepressants. Duloxetine, aka Cymbalta, is an approved treatment that may help reduce pain and improve fatigue and mood. Muscle relaxants and anticontinued on page 31
M AY 2020
4/13/20 9:13 AM
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inflammatories may offer help along with medications such as Gabapentin or Pregabalin. There is a need for expanded options as those in natural medicine are not sufficient either, such as vitamin D, magnesium, curcumin, ribose, and others. Human and animal studies indicate saffron has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective activity in the central nervous system that can increase levels of key neurotransmitters including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. As such, it may be a potential option for FM treatment, or at least part of a comprehensive treatment plan. One randomized, double-blind, controlled trial compared the effects of saffron and duloxetine on FM symptoms in patients. Fifty-four people with FM, ages 18 to 60, were enrolled in the trial. Patients were included if they had a diagnosis of FM according to the criteria set forth by the American College of Rheumatology and had pain scores greater than 40 out of 100 using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Patients were randomly assigned to take one capsule containing 30 milligrams (mg) duloxetine or one capsule containing 15 mg saffron extract daily
during the first week. Patients then took two capsules of duloxetine or saffron daily during the second week and continued at that dose for a total of two months. Primary outcomes were changes in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score, and Brief Pain Inventory pain score from baseline to eight weeks. Secondary outcomes were changes in VAS pain score, fatigue assessments, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scores from baseline to eight weeks. Patients were instructed to avoid taking medications that could affect FM during the study. Mean scores for all outcome assessments improved after eight weeks in both the saffron and duloxetine groups and were not statistically significantly different from each other. There was no significant difference in the number of adverse events in either group. The study shows good preliminary evidence of a measurable level of improvement in symptoms of fibromyalgia with this dose of saffron and lays important groundwork for saffron as part of a treatment strategy for those with fibromyalgia. TFL SOURCE: “Saffron (Crocus sativus) versus duloxetine for treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: A randomized double-blind clinical trial” by M. Shakiba et al., Avicenna J Phytomed, 11–12/18
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MAY 202 0
4/13/20 9:13 AM
Immunity YOUR BEST DEFENSE
Visit tasteforlife.com and download the Expert Advice information sheets below to learn different ways to boost your immunity.
Immune Benefits of Mushroom Mycelium & Cultured Substrate Confirmed*
STAY HEALTHY USING ALL AVAILABLE TOOLS
Coronavirus: How to Boost Your Immune System & Protect Yourself
Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, has been working professionally as a herbalist for almost 40 years. He is trained in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbal traditions and is the president of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.
Founder, owner and Director of Research of Fungi Perfecti LLC, Paul Stamets, D.Sc. has been recognized for decades as a leading innovator in the field of applied mycology, with a focus on revealing the health-supporting properties of mushrooms.
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS (www.AnnLouise.com), is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 books, including Radical Metabolism, The Fat Flush Plan, and The Fast Track Detox Diet. She has appeared on Good Morning America, 20/20, The View, PBS, and CNN.
COVID-19 has caused the world to re-evaluate many aspects of healthcare. Completely ignored by the conventional medical world are herbal and nutritional approaches. Considering there are few therapeutic options available against this virus, Americans should take advantage of what the world of supplements has to offer.
Scientists demonstrate significant health benefits of Host Defense® mycelium & cultured rice.*
to understand the immune impact of organic brown rice
10 Simple Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System For Maximum Protection And Immunity
In 2017, Paul Stamets and his team at Fungi Perfecti, LLC
substrate after being cultured by Turkey Tail (Trametes versi-
(FP) partnered with Natural Immune Systems, Inc. (NIS) to
color) mushroom mycelium.
Nutritional Integrity If you do nothing else nutritionally, consider these superstars. Vitamin A: Helps maintain the health of the mucous membranes and cells of the respiratory system. Vitamin C: This vitamin is an essential factor in antiviral immune responses, especially against flu. It contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system and provides protection against pathogens. Vitamin D: Reduces the risk of flu. Schoolchildren and the elderly in nursing homes benefit the most from supplementation. Zinc: More than 50 years of research has provided evidence for an antiviral activity of zinc through numerous mechanisms and is especially important for the elderly.
especially for children, is too good to ignore. Astragalus root, and its key formula Astragalus Jade Wind Screen Powder, was key in preventing hospital workers from contracting the SARS virus, which is closely related to COVID-19. Andrographis and the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao San are first-response formulas to take as soon as you feel you’ve been exposed or feel symptoms coming on. Additionally, there have been more than 320 large-scale epidemics in China over the past 2,000 years, which has resulted in the development of many herbal treatment protocols available from professional Chinese medicine practitioners. Naturopathic physicians and integrated medicine physicians can also provide individualized herbal and nutritional recommendations.
Get more health information! Pick up a free copy of Taste for Life magazine, and go to www.tasteforlife.com for more articles on building immunity. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by healthcare professionals or product manufacturers. Information appearing in Taste for Life publications may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher. Printed in the US on partially recycled paper. © 2020
tasteforlife.com/corona THIS INFORMATION IS COMPLIMENTS OF:
mushroom ingredients. NIS Labs specializes in bio-relevant
produces a near-inseparable matrix of mycelium and enzy-
assays, integrating their laboratory and clinical facilities to
matically-converted material. Utilizing an expensive and
evaluate how natural products impact human physiology.
time-consuming laboratory process, researchers were able
Together, NIS Labs and FP are uncovering some remarkable
to separate pure Turkey Tail mycelium from the
truths about mushroom ingredients used in the supplement
cultured rice substrate. Testing verified both the mycelium and the cultured rice
industry. To check for activation of various immune factors, three
mycelium and the cultured rice substrate are active in
MyCommunity® capsules, Reishi mycelium capsules and
different ways, each conferring unique and complementary
Agarikon mycelium capsules.
immune benefits.* By contrast, the same immune assays were performed
Testing by NIS Labs confirmed that these three
on organic brown rice substrate that was not cultured by
mycelium-centered products: • increase innate immune cells for protection*
mushroom mycelium. With the plain, uncultured rice,
• activate white blood cells for immune strength*
no significant immune activity was detected. This data definitively demonstrates that cultured
• regulate immune cell compounds for a
tasteforlife.com/mycelium mycelium on organic brown rice is extraordinarily active
balanced immune response*
in supporting immunity.*
Fig. 1 Immune Activation: Turkey Tail Mycelium Cultured Rice vs Plain Rice
SELECTED SOURCES “Andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian) symptomatic relief of acute respiratory tract infections in adults and children . . .” by XY Huo et al, , PLoS One, 11/14/18 n “Chinese herbal medicine for acute upper respiratory tract infections . . .” by Z.S. Huang et al., BioScience Trends, 5/12/19 n “The role of zinc in antiviral immunity” by S. Read et al., Advances in Nutrition, 4/22/19 n “SARS: Clinical trials on treatment using a combination of Traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine,” Report of the WHO International Expert Meeting to review and analyse clinical reports on combination treatment for SARS, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, World Health Organization, 10/03 n “Vitamin C and immune function” by A.C. and S. Maggini, Nutrients, 11/17 n “Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of Interferon-α/α at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection” by Y. Kim et al., Immune Network, 4/13 n “Vitamin D for influenza” by Gerry Schwalfenberg, Canadian Family Physician, 6/15 n “Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections . . .” by A.R. Martineau et al., BMJ, 2/15/17
substrate as immunologically active.* Furthermore, the
Host Defense® brand products were put to the test:
100 90 80
Activates White Blood Cells for Immune Strength*
Regulates Immune Cell Compounds for Balance*
Agarikon Mycelium Capsules
50 Mycelium Cultured Rice
Increases Innate Immune Cells for Protection*
Reishi Mycelium Capsules
Fig. 2 - Immune Activation Comparison Host Defense® Product MyCommunity® Capsules
As mushroom mycelium grows through brown rice, it
further clarify the immune-enhancing impacts of various
As with the key nutrients, botanicals can be used both for prevention and treatment. Elderberry juice has documented effectiveness against H1N1. Some have warned against use of elderberry, claiming it can worsen COVID-19 symptoms. There is virtually no good evidence to support this, and its safety and efficacy,
A separate research effort by FP and NIS Labs sought
Average % Change from Baseline - 5 Types of Immune Cells
Turkey Tail Mycelium & Cultured Rice Plain Rice *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
*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
With the fast, worldwide reach of the media, it seems like every year we hear about a new illness outbreak looming on the horizon. In 2001 it was anthrax, 2002 was West Nile virus, 2003 was SARS, and in the following years it’s been H1N1 influenza, Ebola, and Zika viruses, among others. And now in 2020, we have a new coronavirus. Fortunately, all viruses share the same fundamental weaknesses, and there’s so much we can do to safely, easily, and naturally exploit these weaknesses to boost our immune system and protect ourselves from getting sick. For instance, did you know the magnesium chloride that is commonly used even in hospital ICU departments to save lives can also help fight off a virus? It’s true, and magnesium chloride is readily available for home use as well, so you don’t have to get sick to have access to it. With a basic understanding of how common viruses spread, some simple common sense precautions, and nutrients to boost your immune system, you can help protect your family from this public health menace.
Common Sense Goes Viral
are immune-compromised, wear a mask.
10 Top Nutrients to Boost Your Immune System Viruses aren’t like bacteria, so you can’t simply take an antibiotic to get over them. Bacteria stick to the outside of your cells, while viruses inject themselves inside your cells, using your own cells as a layer of protection. This makes it difficult to develop medications that stop viruses without injuring our own cells. This is why we look to natural alternatives that help boost our immune systems so they fight off foreign invaders more quickly, and also help to strengthen cell membranes so the viruses can’t get in to begin with. Here are the 10 best immune support nutrients I’ve found: A Elderberry Syrup. Elderberry syrup has earned its reputation as a potent flu-fighter and works well to boost immunity for other viruses as well. Elderberry is an immune system modulator, increasing the production of cytokines to help the body regulate its response to infections and diseases. The best syrup is the one you make yourself by boiling fresh or organic dried berries and adding local honey to the strained liquid once it has cooled (to preserve the immune boosting enzymes found in the honey). If you choose store bought, make sure the syrup is organic with no artificial sweeteners. Aim for one tablespoon 3 to 6 times daily at the onset of symptoms. B Echinacea. Echinacea combined with elderberry is a dynamic duo. A Czech study of more than 400 people with early flu symptoms found it was more effective than a Tamiflu/placebo combination, with 90 percent of people experiencing symptom relief and shorter duration of the flu. This powerful combination also proved effective against avian influenza virus and other upper respiratory infections. Echinacea has an astringent effect on tissues, which decreases the ability of a virus to infect cells. It also increases the number of macrophages, the immune cells that kill bacteria and clean up dead viruses. Echinacea can be taken as often as every 4 hours in the first few days of infection as tincture, tea, or capsules.
tasteforlife.com/stay-strong The first thing you need to know about fighting off viruses is that the earlier you start, the better your interventions work. Don’t wait until you have a fever and cough, start at the first sign of a sniffle or that feeling that you might be coming down with something. When you have to go out in public during a viral illness outbreak (like flu season), make sure you understand how the virus is spread and take appropriate measures. Most viral illnesses that cause outbreaks are airborne. This means they spread through tiny droplets that come from coughs and sneezes, and can travel all the way across a crowded room through the air, landing on solid surfaces or being breathed in. Doorknobs, shopping carts, keypads at the checkout, chair arms, and even the items you touch while shopping can all have contaminated droplets on them. While you are out, take special care to not touch your face, and wash your hands regularly, or at least once you leave the store. If you
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tasteforlife.com 4/6/20 5:01 PM
Manufactured in the USA with 5:1 to 8:1 herbal extracts
Tested for potency, purity, and safety
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.
2/10/20 1:03 PM
BY MARIA NOĂ‹L GROVES, RH (AHG)
Bones by the Decade TAKE ACTION NOW TO KEEP YOUR SKELETON STRONG
More than half of Americans age 50 or older have osteoporosis or low bone mass (osteopenia). In osteoporosis, the bone gradually demineralizes until it becomes porous and lace-like, brittle, and breaks easily. Most of us donâ€™t think about bone health until we hit 50+, but the choices we make every day have a tremendous influence on the ability of our bones to hold us up. Osteoporosis affects five times more women than men, triggered by the rapid fluctuation and drop of estrogen in menopause and compounded by the fact that most women typically have less dense bones than men to begin with. That said, one third of hip fractures occur in men, who usually suffer worse outcomes and greater mortality than women. continued on page 37
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Available in Capsules, 8 & 16oz. Liquid and Tea.
Bio Nutrition, Inc.
Oceanside, NY 11572 U.S.A. www.bionutritioninc.com 516-432-1590 *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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Basics to Build Bones The core formula for bone density starts with this trifecta: calcium intake + vitamin D + weight-bearing exercise. It takes all three together to ensure strong bones. Skimp on one, and you don’t get the impact. Weight-bearing exercise tells your body to build bone for the perceived future need, using calcium and other nutrients from the diet, which it can’t use without enough vitamin D. Magnesium, boron, vitamin K, and silica all help to build strong bones. You need a healthy digestive system to absorb those nutrients. Start with a nutrient-rich diet, and not just from dairy (which gets mixed reviews) but also from leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, beans, and bones like bone broth, bones-in simmered dishes, sardines, and canned salmon. Supplements help fill in the gaps.
What Chews at Your Bones? Estrogen protects bones, but when it begins to wane in perimenopause, the balance shifts quickly. In addition, two overarching themes encourage the body to break down bone or impair its ability to build it: inflammation and acidity. That’s partly because your body uses calcium ions (which often get pulled from bones) to buffer acidity in the body to keep your pH stable. Increased risk of osteoporosis is linked to smoking, inactivity, stress, inadequate sleep, diabetes, etc. Too much caffeine, salt, red meat, soda, and sugar also wear away at bones.
Strong Bones by the Decade In Your 20s You build bone primarily during youth, so enjoy a healthy, plant-focused diet and regular activity. Consider digestive bitters and bitter salad greens that encourage healthy digestion. Avoid soda, smoking, excessive drinking, salt, and extreme dieting. Excessive red meat (sorry, Paleo peeps) is one of the worst foods for bone density. Strict vegan diets can miss important nutrients, but if carefully followed and supplemented, legume-rich vegetarian and vegan diets tend to benefit bones. In Your 30s Consider adding a calcium and vitamin D supplement alongside diet. Aim for 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium and a minimum 600 mg vitamin D daily. Calcium carbonate is cheap and dense (which means fewer pills), but calcium citrate, hydroxyapatite, or calcium chelated to amino acids are all better absorbed. Whatever form of calcium you choose, divide it up morning and night and take it with food for optimal absorption. Protect your bones during pregnancy. Your developing baby pulls from your calcium stores (your bones) if you’re not consuming enough. Eat healthfully and take a prenatal multi-
vitamin plus a calcium supplement, ensuring optimal calcium intake. Carve out time for stress management, adequate sleep, exercise, and nutritious food. Watch caffeine and alcohol consumption; find better ways to energize and relax. In Your 40s Scrutinize medications that accelerate bone loss, such as antacids and proton-pump inhibitors as well as glucocorticoids and steroids. Work with your doctor and naturopathic doctor or herbalist to seek natural alternatives whenever possible. In perimenopause, consider hormone balancing, boneprotecting herbs like black cohosh or red clover. Talk to your natural practitioner first if you have a risk of estrogen-dependent cancers. Boost your daily intake of beans and legumes, which contain plant estrogens that may help prevent bone loss. Get out hiking, running, or walking regularly, and do regular strength-training exercises. Add strong-brewed nutritive herbal teas like nettle leaf, red clover blossom, oat straw, and horsetail as well as bone broth to your routine. Don’t ignore chronic inflammatory diseases, including prediabetes, thyroid conditions, and chronic pain. 50s and Beyond Start regular bone density DEXA screenings with your primary care practitioner at age 65, but talk to your doctor when you turn 50 to see if you have risk factors that warrant earlier testing. Boost your calcium intake to 1,200 mg daily with 800 mg or more vitamin D, and consider a formula with additional nutrients like boron, vitamin K, magnesium, and silica. Yes, you’ll have to take several pills to get this in! Those herbal teas and bone broths help too. Keep up the strength training and weight-bearing routines. Don’t stop moving. Mind your mobility with gentle, regular exercises like walking and yoga. Seek professional guidance and physical therapy if pain impinges on your ability to move comfortably. Support your balance and reduce falls with yoga, t’ai chi, and sensible footwear. TFL SELECTED SOURCES Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health by Aviva Room ($73.95, Churchill Livingstone, 2017) n “The effects of phytoestrogen isoflavones on bone density in women: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial” by C. Atkinson et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2/04 n The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 3rd Edition by Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno ($32.50, Atria, 2012) n “Factors related to osteoporosis of postmenopausal women . . .” by O. Malairungsakul and P. Wiwatanadate, Archives of Osteoporosis, 2013 n “Facts and statistics,” International Osteoporosis Foundation, www.iofbonehealth.org n “Osteoporosis,” National Center for Health Statistics, www.CDC.gov/nchs, 8/17/16 n “Preliminary results demonstrating the impact of Mediterranean diet on bone health” by M.C. Savanelli et al., Journal of Translational Medicine, 4/24/17
www.tas teforl i fe.com
MAY 202 0
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FOOD TRENDS BY JANE EKLUND
CASSAVA A VERSATILE TUBER THAT’S NUTTY—IN A GOOD WAY! “IT’S A VERY VERSATILE VEGETABLE. IT PAIRS WELL WITH SO MANY DISHES. YOU CAN THROW IT IN SOUP. YOU CAN MASH IT AND EAT IT ON ITS OWN. YOU CAN FRY IT,” SAYS CHRIS BLANCO, CHEF AT PIEDRA FINA, A RESTAURANT IN MARLBOROUGH, NH, THAT OFFERS LATIN CUISINE.
Cassava, a tuber native to tropical regions, is also found as an ingredient in prepared products like chips and tortillas and in the form of gluten-free flour. It’s the key ingredient in the starchy dessert tapioca. In fact, tapioca is another name for cassava, as are mandioca, casabe, manioc, and yuca (not to be confused with the ornamental plant yucca). It’s a staple in Latin America and the Caribbean. Blanco notes than in his native Colombia, it shows
up in just about every dish. “It’s a fun ingredient,” he says. “It’s similar to the potato, but with more of a starchy content. Very mild, very subtle taste. I get a little bit of nuttiness from the yuca that I don’t get from the potato.”
Careful prep One caveat about cassava: When it’s raw, it contains cyanide, so it’s critical to prepare it properly. continued on page 40
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That means peeling the waxy skin and cooking the insides. When Blanco prepares cassava fries, a popular item on his menu, he first peels the skin, then cuts the cassava in half—if it’s fresh it should be white inside—and removes the fibrous core. He cuts the remaining cassava into thick wedges. The cooking process involves boiling the wedges, deep-frying them, briefly marinating them in a mojo sauce (water, vinegar, and spices), and deep-frying them again, until the skin is golden brown and the insides are creamy. They are best served with a sauce, like an aioli or a garlic-based mojo sauce, he says.
Wheat flour alternative Blanco also uses cassava flour (sometimes called tapioca flour) to make pan de queso, a kind of cheese bread that’s eaten throughout Central and South America. Flour from the cassava is also popular with home bakers. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, an Oregon-based producer of whole-grain foods, includes cassava flour among its offerings. “Cassava flour is grain free, nut free—and endlessly versatile,” says Sarah House, the company’s food innovation chef. “Since we’ve started offering our own cassava flour, we’ve been busy in the test kitchen developing different types of recipes. It has a mild flavor and fine texture that is perfect for gluten-free and paleo-friendly cooking and baking—everything from pancakes to muffins to flatbread.”
Health benefits How does cassava stand up, nutrition-wise? It contains double the calories of potatoes, but has more protein than potatoes, yams, and plantains. It’s a good source of complex carbohydrates. It can supply a third of the daily requirement of vitamin C, and also contains potassium, B vitamins, and some essential minerals.
Where to buy Cassava is imported from South and Central America and sold year-round in markets in the US. If you can’t find fresh cassava, Blanco recommends buying it frozen. If you have access to fresh cassava roots, look for firm, cylindrical tubers that are heavy for their size. Don’t buy any with cuts or breaks in the skin or with mold, soft spots, or blemishes. Store them fresh at room temperature for five to seven days. “Yuca should be eaten more,” says Blanca of the northern US. “It’s very similar to the potato, but it’s more flavorful, in a subtle way. It’s amazing!” TFL
SELECTED SOURCES “Cassava: Benefits, toxicity, and how to prepare” by Danielle Dresden, MedicalNewsToday.com, 11/21/18 n “Cassava nutrition facts and health benefits,” www.nutrition-and-you.com n “From cassava to cascara, trendy foods to try at your table in 2019,” Here and Now, www.WBUR.org, 12/1/19 n “Learn about cassava (yuca) and how to prepare it” by Hector Rodriguez, The SpruceEats.com, 3/12/20 n Personal communication: Chris Blanco; Sarah House, 3/2020
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