Inside KICK THE PLASTICS HABIT BEAT BRAIN FOG ORGANIC PERSONAL CARE
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“Tea began as a medicine grew into a beverage.”
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- The Book of Tea cauldron roasted twig & mature dried tea leaves
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7/23/20 12:09 PM
Enhance these vegan recipes with organic ingredients.
Get clarity with brain-boosting herbs.
departments 6 Editor’s Note 11 News Bites
Dandelion tea may boost liver health • Organic meat higher in omega 3s • Eating late may lead to weight gain • More
19 On Organic
Try recipes like Spicy Spinach Artichoke Vegan Grilled Cheese with Green Goddess Dipping Sauce!
23 Healthy Planet © NIKKI LEFLER
Easy ways to cut back on single-use plastics.
26 Food Trends
The reasons why people choose organic.
33 Healing Herbs
Consider echinacea for immunity.
35 Natural Beauty
Go organic for nontoxic skin care.
37 Smart Supplements
Omegas support good health at every age.
38 In Focus
Natural ways to address the symptoms of dementia.
40 Last Word
For more health & wellness resources visit
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/tasteforlife SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/11/20 10:33 AM
Time for Tea, America? I’ve been reading The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson’s book that focuses on the way Winston Churchill handled the Blitz, Nazi Germany’s air raid campaign against London. From September 7, 1940, until May 11, 1941, the city was bombed almost nightly. Up until this time, the prime minister had a mixed career, filled with both brilliant successes and dismal failures. But when Hitler rose to power, this man in his mid-60s was the perfect leader for the job. Much has been made about Churchill’s relentless energy and his innate optimism—as well as his cigar smoking, day drinking, and taking meetings with generals from his bed as well as from his twice-daily baths. But Churchill also possessed a deep understanding of how to connect with people. He had an astonishing ability to be frank about dire circumstances while simultaneously rallying spirits. In his first address to the British people as prime minister, he said it would be foolish “to disguise the gravity of the hour.” He followed that immediately with, “It would be still more foolish to lose heart and courage.” Larson’s book includes diary entries from Churchill’s inner circle, top Nazi officials, and British citizens. One Londoner described how the air raids were more terrifying before the first bombing because she and others hadn’t known whether they’d be able to handle them courageously. Turns out, they could. Other diarists confided in their pages that they’d never felt so alive. The stoicism of the British people as well as Churchill’s defiance baffled the leaders of the Nazi party, who couldn’t understand why their constant air raids and propaganda campaigns, all designed to instill terror, did not sink Londoners to their knees. The book details the time when Churchill’s wife, Clementine, toured the air raid shelters and reported back to her husband that they were dark, dank, and ratinfested, but perhaps most dispiriting, there were no facilities for people to brew tea. Churchill immediately began working to rectify the tea situation. He knew people needed tea to keep up their morale, declaring later, “Tea is more important than ammunition.” I find this fascinating. Why was tea so important? Maybe it reminded people who they were. Maybe it gave them a sense of normality during extremely trying times. Maybe making and drinking tea is an inherently calming and comforting ritual. Maybe it kept alive the hope that life would be better one day. Churchill invested heavily in his strategy. It is estimated that in 1942, the British government bought, in order of weight, more tea than artillery shells, bombs, and explosives. As we enter the fall season, I’m wondering what Americans can invest in now. What’s more important to us than ammunition? What daily habits and routines can we double-down on to maintain our stamina during changing times? What can we do, as the British wartime slogan advised, to Keep Calm and Carry On? Perhaps we’ll awaken to our innate resiliency and courage and feel very much alive in spite of it all. 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 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, practices acupuncture, chiropractic, and herbal medicine Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling 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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S EP T E M BE R 2020
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Superfood Mushroom Mycelium Syrup
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Elderberry-Citrus Spritzer SERVES 1 HANDS-ON TIME 5 minutes TOTAL TIME 5 minutes
INGREDIENTS: •Sparkling water •Ice •1 serving Elderberry Plus Syrup •Fresh-squeezed citrus juice of choice •Lemon wedge and mint as garnish
•Pour 8 oz sparkling water into glass over ice. •Drizzle 2 tsp Elderberry Plus Syrup over top. •Add 2 oz fresh-squeezed citrus juice. •Stir slowly, then top with mint and lemon wedge as garnish. •Enjoy!
*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.
8/11/20 12:32 PM
ORGANIC “more important than ever” It’s no secret that shopping patterns have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey from the Organic Trade Association reveals that for shoppers who prioritize organic products, the commitment to such purchases has remained strong. In fact, more than 90 percent of survey participants said organic shopping is more important than ever. Shoppers are focusing more on produce, dairy, and meat. Well over 90 percent of the shoppers said they prioritize organic produce. Most participants also said that they are open to experimenting with new organic products, a likely result of people eating less often at restaurants. SOURCE Organic Trade Association, 5/18/20
Tea time for the LIVER Consider serving yourself a warm cup of dandelion root tea for its liver-enhancing benefits. This old-timey healer comes with modern support, showing that it can protect the liver from injury. According to naturopathic doctor Laurie Steelsmith, “after your liver breaks down toxins, a lot of them get bound up in bile acids that are excreted through the gall bladder, but the dandelion root increases bile flow and thus enhances the release of toxins out of the liver and into the small intestine.” Drink a cup a day to gently promote liver health. (This tea can be bitter. Fix that with a few drops of stevia or monk fruit to sweeten, or add a splash of almond milk.) SOURCE Personal communication: Victoria Dolby Toews with Laurie Steelsmith, ND
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/10/20 10:17 AM
Report: ORGANIC MEAT HEALTHIER A new report from the Organic Center supports the idea that organic meat is better for human health and for the planet. The report specifies that organic meat has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional meat; that such meat production entails a lower risk of exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides; and that organic farming has fewer negative effects on the environment and is less of a contributor to climate change. “Consumers have enough to worry about these days, and we want them to know that when they eat meat, choosing organic is especially important,” said Jessica Shade, director of science programs for the Organic Center. “Our report synthesizes scientific findings from around the world that show a multitude of benefits for people and the planet from choosing organic.” According to the center, choosing meats with the USDA Organic seal “not only ensures that the animals are raised without synthetic chemicals and have high welfare standards, but also that all the food that animals eat comes from organic sources that support soil health and biodiversity.” SOURCE “New report shows organic meat better for people and planet,” Organic Center, 5/20/20
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S EP TE M BE R 2020
8/10/20 10:17 AM
BEWARE the late dinner New research suggests that eating a late dinner may lead to weight gain and bloodsugar spikes. The study compared the effects of a 6 p.m. dinner with one at 10 p.m. All participants ate the same foods and went to bed at 11 p.m. Those who ate later burned less fat overnight and had higher levels of blood sugar. “The effect of late eating varies greatly between people and depends on their usual bedtime,” said author Jonathan C. Jun, MD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This shows that some people might be more vulnerable to late eating than others.” SOURCE “People who eat a late dinner may gain weight,” The Endocrine Society, 6/11/20
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/10/20 9:17 AM
B Y L I S A FA B I A N
Weekday Lunches GO ORGANIC!
Whether you pack up one of these vegan favorites or enjoy them at home, these recipes will keep you satisfied for the midday meal. Look for organic versions of the following ingredients whenever possible.
Walnut Pita Sandwich dV From Wild Recipes by Emma Sawko ($35, Flammarion, 2020)
30 minutes prep time + overnight soak time for nuts serves 4
2 c (scant) walnuts 4 whole-wheat pita breads 1 tomato, thinly sliced 1 cucumber, thinly sliced 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and flesh thinly sliced 1 small scallion, sliced For the Tahini Sauce 1 Tbsp tahini Generous drizzle of olive oil 2 Tbsp water Juice of 1 lemon 1 pinch garlic powder Salt and pepper To Serve Arugula Citrus Vinaigrette (recipe follows) Pine Nuts 1. Soak walnuts in a bowl of cold water overnight. Drain and roughly chop them. Cut pita breads in half crosswise and carefully open up each half to make a pocket. Set aside pita pockets with walnuts and prepared vegetables while you make tahini sauce. 2. Combine all tahini sauce ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
ÂŠ SARAH ARNOULD
3. To assemble pita sandwiches, divide tomato and cucumber slices between pita bread pockets. Arrange avocado and walnuts on top. Spoon over tahini sauce and scatter with sliced scallion. Serve sandwiches with arugula dressed with citrus vinaigrette and sprinkled with pine nuts. Per serving: 503 Calories, 9 g Protein, 38 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Fiber, 38 g Total fat (5 g sat), 513 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin K, HHH Vitamin E, Phosphorus, HH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B6, C, Folate, Magnesium, H Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), Iron, Potassium, Zinc
Citrus Vinaigrette dGnV From Wild Recipes by Emma Sawko ($35, Flammarion, 2020)
10 minutes prep time + overnight infuse time makes about 1/2 cup
1 leek, white part only, cut into 4 pieces Âź -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 6 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp orange juice 1 pinch salt
1. Gently heat leek and ginger in oil. 2. Remove from heat and leave overnight to infuse. Remove leek. 3. Put lemon and orange juices and salt in a deep bowl and whisk in infused oil in a thin drizzle until a smooth emulsion is obtained.
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Greek Salad in a Jar dGV From Plant Powered Athlete by Zuzana Fajkusova ($21.99, Page Street Publishing, 2020)
30 minutes prep time n serves 4
Salad 1 c uncooked quinoa 1 cucumber, diced 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped K c walnuts, chopped ¼ c sun-dried black olives, sliced 4 c chopped mixed greens (romaine is great too) Dressing ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil K c fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 3 cloves garlic, minced, or 2 tsp garlic powder ¼ c fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 Tbsp dried 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper (about ¼ tsp each) 1. Begin salad: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool. 2. Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a small jar or other container with a lid, combine all dressing ingredients. Screw lid on jar and shake to combine. 3. Assemble salad: Add 1 to 4 tablespoons of dressing to bottom of each jar, depending on personal preference. 4. Add cucumber, cooked quinoa, tomatoes, bell peppers, walnuts, and olives. Finish by adding chopped mixed greens to fill jar. 5. Screw lid on jar and store salad in refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to eat, unscrew lid and pour salad into a bowl. As you do so, the dressing will coat the ingredients. If not, use your fork to gently toss the salad. Per serving: 667 Calories, 21 g Protein, 97 g Carbohydrates, 13 g Fiber, 23 g Total fat (3 g sat), 276 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin B6, C, K, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, HHHH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), E, Iron, Zinc, HHH Vitamin A, HH Vitamin B3 (niacin), Potassium, H Calcium
Kitchen Note: Salads in a jar are the perfect, portable solution for getting in your veggies while on the go, plus you can make four or five at a time—enough to get you through the entire workweek without having to chop and assemble your salad ingredients every day. The great thing about this salad is that the lemony vinaigrette keeps its place on the bottom of the jar, while all the other ingredients get layered and packed on top, so everything stays dressing-free until you toss the salad in a bowl. A general rule to follow: Dressing always goes in first, lettuce last. Any canning jar can be used, but wide-mouth, pint-sized (500-ml) jars are the easiest for both packing the salad and shaking it out. Keep in mind these are versatile, so you can swap out anything you don’t like for something else or leave it out entirely.
© NIKKI LEFLER
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/3/20 5:31 PM
continued from page 15
Roasted Carrot Soup dGnV From the Taste for Life test kitchen
60 minutes prep time n serves 4
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2K-inch strips 2 Tbsp oil, divided 1 small onion, diced 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger 4 c low-sodium vegetable broth Salt ¼ c chopped fresh thyme for garnish (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. Toss carrot strips with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Transfer to a baking pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until carrots are tender and lightly browned in certain places, turning halfway through. 3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes. Add ginger, roasted carrots, broth, and salt to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cover pot. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 4. Transfer carrot mixture to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Serve garnished with fresh thyme, if desired. Per serving: 123 Calories, 2 g Protein, 15 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 7 g Total fat (1 g sat), 407 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin A, HH Vitamin K, H Vitamin B6, C, E
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8/10/20 2:45 PM
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Spicy Spinach Artichoke Vegan Grilled Cheese with Green Goddess Dipping Sauce dV Recipe courtesy of Food for Life, www.FoodforLife.com 25 minutes prep time + overnight soak time n serves 2
Green Goddess Dipping Sauce 1 c cashews, soaked overnight K c fresh cilantro K c + 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided N c fresh chives K lime, juiced 1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced Sea salt and black pepper
Grilled Cheese Sandwich L c + 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided 1 clove garlic, minced 3 Tbsp vegan Parmesan, divided K c sliced red onion 1 c chopped spinach 1 c chopped marinated artichokes 4 slices of Food for Life 7 Sprouted Grains Bread 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced 1 c vegan cheese shreds (we used mozzarella and Cheddar)
1. Make Green Goddess Dipping Sauce: Add soaked cashews and 1 cup of water to a blender. Blend to create a cashew cream. 2. Add cilantro, parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon of the parsley for herb oil), chives, lime juice, avocado, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend. Set aside to chill while you make sandwich. 3. Make Grilled Cheese Sandwich: In a small bowl, mix L cup of the oil with the garlic, the reserved tablespoon of parsley, 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan, and N teaspoon of salt and pepper. Set herb oil aside. 4. Lightly sauté onion and spinach in 2 tablespoons of the oil until wilted. Add 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and the artichokes. Mix and season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a small bowl. 5. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a pan set over medium heat. Brush herb oil on one side of each slice of bread. Place one slice of bread oiled-side down into pan and assemble sandwich with spinach and artichoke mixture, jalapeño slices, and vegan cheeses. Add a top slice of bread, oiled-side facing up. Cook on one side until golden brown. Flip and cook until cheese is melted and other side is golden brown and crispy. Slice grilled cheese and stack on a plate. Serve dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy! Per serving: 1,487 Calories, 40 g Protein, 90 g Carbohydrates, 22 g Fiber, 115 g Total fat (20 g sat), 951 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6, C, E, K, Calcium, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, HHHH Vitamin B3 (niacin), Potassium, HH Vitamin B12
Vegan Strawberry Cashew Mini Cheesecakes dV Recipe courtesy of Eden Foods, www.EdenFoods.com 4 hours 40 minutes prep time n serves 16
Crust 1 c Eden Oat Flakes 1 c Eden Dry Roasted Almonds or Tamari Roasted Almonds 5 Tbsp organic coconut sugar or maple sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract N tsp Eden Sea Salt 4 Tbsp organic coconut oil
Filling 5 c organic raw cashews, soaked overnight 1 c organic coconut oil, heated 1 c unsweetened organic coconut yogurt, or coconut milk O c organic maple syrup 8 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp pure vanilla extract N tsp Eden Sea Salt
Topping 2 c fresh strawberries, sliced, divided 2K Tbsp organic maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 4 (4-inch) mini-springform pans with parchment paper. Add all crust ingredients, except coconut oil, to a food processor or blender and grind until texture is a fine meal. Add coconut oil and pulse until a chunky dough is formed. 2. Place equal portion of dough in each parchment-lined pan. Press dough down with your fingers or a flat-bottom cup to pack it down. Make sure some of dough comes slightly up sides of pan, about N-inch. 3. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375° and continue baking crust another 5 minutes until slightly browned. 4. While crust is baking, place soaked cashews, heated coconut oil, yogurt, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until very smooth and creamy. Pour N of filling into each pan on top of baked crust. Refrigerate overnight or a minimum of 4 hours to set filling. 5. Prepare topping by placing half of strawberries in a blender with the maple syrup. Pulse several seconds. Pour into a bowl. Mix remaining half of sliced strawberries with sauce. 6. Pour an equal amount of sauce and berries over cheesecakes when set and ready to serve. Per serving: 557 Calories, 12 g Protein, 40 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 42 g Total fat (19 g sat), 90 mg Sodium, HHHHH Phosphorus, HHHH Magnesium, HHH Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Zinc, HH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Iron, H Vitamin B6, C, E, K, Potassium
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© EDEN FOODS
SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/10/20 1:14 PM
BY MARIA NOËL GROVES, RH (AHG)
Address the root cause: Blood sugar roller coasters, insufficient sleep, stress, and a lack of aerobic exercise, rejuvenation, and time spent in nature all take their toll. You’ll get the best results from herbs and supplements if you combine them with the appropriate diet and lifestyle changes.
Fast-Acting Perky Herbs These herbs often show effects within minutes and can also be taken regularly for cognition support. ✔ Peppermint’s (Mentha x piperita) uplifting aroma enlivens the senses and focuses the brain on tasks at hand. Studies show that people perform better on clerical tasks, memory tests, and alertness when inhaling peppermint. Chewing gum, mints, tea, and a few drops of tincture also work nicely.
✔ Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus, formerly Rosmarinus officinalis) “for remembrance” is the herb’s reputation. Studies support its use, inhaled or ingested, particularly in elders. Rosemary improves alertness, memory, cognition, and mood. Add the herb to food for best results. ✔ Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) roots provide a stimulating nervous system tonic. Low doses of 100 to 300 milligrams (mg) daily can be taken; take higher doses in acute need. Studies have shown better performance of students on exams and less stress-induced fatigue in night-shift physicians.
From time to time most of us feel a bit foggy-brained, which tends to get worse as we age and when our health, diet, and lifestyle get out of whack. Fortunately, we have many natural tricks up our sleeves to help us think clearly again. 20 tasteforlife
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Calm and Clear These herbs act quickly and can be taken long-term to calm irritation, agitation, anxiety, and hyperactivity while maintaining clear focus and improved cognition. ✔ Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) leaves have shown gentle yet profound benefits in children with ADHD, healthy young adults, and seniors with advanced dementia. The vibe it produces, via ingesting the herb or inhaling its aroma, is calm focus. Opt for recently made fresh plant extracts and direct-from-the-farm dried herbs. oly Basil/Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum, O. tenuiflorum), an ✔H aromatic with stress-busting, blood sugar–lowering effects, supports calm yet energized cognition. Available as teas, tinctures, and pills. chisandra (Schisandra chinensis) berries pack a flavor ✔S wallop of sour-bitter-sweet-pungent-salty with stressbusting, gently energizing, adaptogenic activity. Nibble a few berries, add powder to a smoothie, or try a few drops of tincture as a pick-me-up.
SELECTED SOURCES “Adaptogens: A review of their history, biological activity, and clinical benefits” by A. Panossian and H. Wagner, HerbalGram, 2011 n “Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults” by M. Moss et al., 1/03; “Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang” by M. Moss et al., 1/08, International Journal of Neuroscience n Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) n “The clinical efficacy and safety of tulsi in humans . . .” by N. Jamshidi and M. Cohen, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017 n “The cognitive-enhancing effects of Bacopa monnieri: A systematic review . . .” by M. Pase et al., Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 7/12 n “A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea . . .” by A. Spasov et al., Phytomedicine, 3/00 n “Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. on memory performance, anxiety, depression, and sleep quality in university students . . .” by P. Nematolahi et al., Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 2/18 n Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2019) n “Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract enhances specific cognitive parameters in healthy adult volunteers . . .” by S. Sampath et al., Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 1–3/2015 n “Improved performance on clerical tasks associated with administration of peppermint odor” by S. Barker et al., Perceptual and Motor Skills, 12/03 n “Melissa officinalis L. – a review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology” by A. Shakeri et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 7/21/16 n “Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of single doses of Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm) . . .” by D. Kennedy et al., Neuropsychopharmacology, 10/03 n “Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica” by J. Wattanathorn et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 3/5/08 n “Rhodiola rosea for physical and mental fatigue . . .” by S. Ishaque et al., BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 5/29/12 n “Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue . . .” by V. Darbinyan et al., Phytomedicine, 10/00 n “Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population” by A. Pengelly et al., Journal of Medicinal Food, 1/12 n “A systematic review of the Ayurvedic medicinal herb Bacopa monnieri in child and adolescent populations” by J.D. Kean et al., Complementary Therapies in Medicine¸ 2016
Slow-Building Brain Support You’re not likely to notice a dramatic improvement in brain fog right away with these herbs, but with regular use, they support healthy brain function as well as calm focus for children through elders. Both come from Ayurveda and are sometimes called Brahmi. otu kola (Centella asiatica) aerial parts improved working ✔G memory and mood in adults who took 750 mg as extract daily for two months. It improves nerve and circulatory health in the brain while helping repair and protect against damage. In Southeast Asia, leaves are eaten as a leafy green, juiced or pureed and sweetened.
acopa (Bacopa monnieri) has calm-alert, brain-protective ✔B benefits and appears useful for memory free recall in adults, as well as calming hyperactivity and ADHD in children and teens. It tastes unpleasant and is best as tincture or pill. TFL Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), bestselling 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 book, distance consults, online classes, and more at www. WintergreenBotanicals.com.
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
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7/22/20 11:01 AM
HEALTHY PLANET BY JANE EKLUND
PLASTICS: REDUCE YOUR USE WE CAN ALL DO OUR PART TO CUT BACK ON PLASTIC THAT’S POLLUTING THE PLANET—AND OUR FAMILIES. ELEVEN MILLION METRIC TONS OF PLASTIC WASTE FINDS ITS WAY INTO THE OCEAN EVERY YEAR, AND AN AVERAGE OF 5 GRAMS OF PLASTIC—ABOUT A CREDIT CARD’S WORTH—MAKES ITS WAY INTO EACH OF OUR BODIES EVERY WEEK. WE’RE MAKING SOME PROGRESS AT THE GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY LEVELS IN REDUCING THOSE NUMBERS, BUT, SAY ADVOCATES, REGULATING SPECIFIC ITEMS AND FOCUSING ON RECYCLING ISN’T ENOUGH. WE NEED TO WORK TO ELIMINATE PLASTICS. There are many ways we can tackle the plastics problem at a household level. While one family’s giving up on drinking water from disposable plastic bottles may not seem like it will make a dent globally, it can have a big effect on people’s health, as plastics are associated with conditions including cancer, diabetes, birth defects, and organ malfunction. “The good news is changes in how we buy, prepare, and store food to reduce our use of plastic can result in a significant reduction in exposure to the endocrinedisrupting chemicals in plastics,” said Emily DiFrisco, director of communications for the Plastic Pollution Coalition. More good news: Both consumers and natural foods stores are increasingly focused on cutting back on plastics. “Overuse of plastics is very much a concern for our customers and for us,” said James Holcomb, sustainability coordinator for the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH, adding the staff is looking forward to continuing its efforts to transition away from single-use plastics, which have stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some ways to cut back on plastics in the home and beyond: 1. Buy a refillable water bottle and don’t buy bottled water. 2. Opt for cloth diapers over disposables. 3. Store food in glass or stainless steel containers rather than plastic bags and plastic tubs.
4. Don’t use plastic straws. If you want to use a straw, buy one made of metal or bamboo. 5. Whenever there’s an option, buy products packaged in cardboard rather than plastic. 6. Keep a set of eating utensils in your glove compartment or messenger bag. You can purchase bamboo forks, knives, and spoons, or use your own flatware. 7. Buy milk in returnable glass bottles. 8. Suds up with bar soap and bar shampoo rather than buying the liquid versions in plastic bottles. Ditto shaving soap. 9. Buy toilet paper that’s not wrapped in plastic. 10. Go with the flow and give up feminine hygiene products that contain plastics. Try a reusable menstrual cup or washable cloth pads and liners. 11. Use cloth beeswax wraps in place of plastic wrap for storing food. 12. Replace nonstick cookware, which releases perfluorochemicals when heated, with stainless steel and cast iron pots and pans. 13. Rely on foods that come packaged in plastic? Whenever possible, make your own. You can find recipes online for yogurt, soy and nut milk, hummus, energy bars, and condiments including mayo, mustard, and ketchup.
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continued from page 23
14. Use a handkerchief instead of disposable tissues, which often come with a plastic window or covered in shrink-wrap. 15. Celebrate Christmas with a tree? Choose a real one or an artificial one made from natural materials. 16. Don’t buy plastic mailers. Reuse packing materials from items sent to you. When you order online or by phone, request packaging that’s not plastic, if that’s an option. 17. Step up your game and lobby your local, state, and federal representatives to enact legislation to regulate and eliminate plastics from the waste stream. Write to companies asking them to rethink their packaging and materials. Plastic is ubiquitous these days—it’s hard to avoid it. But we can all make choices when we shop, when we reach for a container or wrap to store leftovers, and when we throw an item into the landfill rather than repairing it. It’s OK to start small: choose the brand of peanut butter that comes in a glass jar rather than a plastic one; go online to check out organizations like Plastic Pollution Coalition and resources like https:// MyPlasticFreeLife.com, the website/blog of Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Many of the suggestions above come from Terry, who writes: “Choose a few that seem doable and that will make the most impact. No one can do it all at once. But we can all get started!” TFL SELECTED SOURCES “11 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste” by Margaret Badore, www.TreeHugger.com, 6/15/20 n “100 steps to a plastic-free life” by Beth Terry, https:MyPlasticFreeLife.com n “Breaking the plastic wave: Top findings for preventing plastic pollution,” www.PewTrusts.org n Personal communication: Emily DiFrisco, 7/25/20; James Holcomb, 7/27/20 n “Tips to use less plastic,” www.GreenEducationFoundation.org, 2018
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S EP TE M BE R 2020
8/10/20 11:05 AM
7/28/20 12:35 PM
FOOD TRENDS B Y E VA M I L O T T E
WHY ORGANIC? BETTER FOR YOU, BETTER FOR THE PLANET
ORGANIC IS A CHOICE. FARMERS, MANUFACTURERS, RETAILERS, AND CONSUMERS ALIKE HAVE REASONS WHY ORGANIC IS THE RIGHT DECISION FOR THEM. One reason organic is the only choice for some is the industry’s safety regulations. The USDA regulates the organic industry with strict standards. Products labeled “organic” are monitored to meet certain protocols. These include proof that the land where organic crops are grown is free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Another regulation is the prohibition of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in organic agriculture. Animal welfare is an important priority in the organic industry. No antibiotics or growth hormones are administered to organically farmed animals, and they are provided with organic feed. Synthetic additives are not allowed in any processed organic food. In comparison, nonorganic products generally contain ingredients that are lower in quality or feature substitutions for healthier items. The organic industry offers an environmentally friendly and efficient approach to production. Yet the benefits of going organic are still contested by some, including those concerned that organic’s extra cost
outweighs reported nutritional benefits. Studies using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)—a common method for studying the environmental impacts of food and agriculture—sometimes claim that organic agriculture is detrimental to the climate. One reason offered is that organic agriculture’s lower yields require more land in compensation. A recent study in Nature Communications made this claim, which was picked up by other publications. In the journal Nature Sustainability, researchers presented an analysis of LCA studies and stated that the implementation of LCA is too simplistic and rarely factors in pesticide impacts, soil quality, and biodiversity. Organic farms support biodiversity, a vitally important part of the earth’s ecosystem— particularly as globally, biodiversity is in decline. Organic agriculture promotes a diverse landscape complete with smaller fields and hedgerows. “Earlier studies have already shown that organic continued on page 29
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fields support biodiversity levels approximately 30 percent higher than conventional fields,” said Marie Trydeman Knudsen, a researcher from Aarhus University, Denmark. Worldwide pesticide use increased 73 percent between 1990 and 2015. Pesticide residues in water and soil can harm human and animal life. Nearly 70 percent of fresh produce sold in the US has chemical pesticide residues. Because organic agriculture avoids pesticides, consuming organic food lowers pesticide exposure. In four separate clinical trials, those who switched from conventional to organic saw a quick and dramatic reduction in their urinary pesticide concentrations, a marker of exposure to pesticides.
Know Thy Produce In the past, Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce ranked only fresh fruits and vegetables. This year a dried fruit was included. According to 2020’s Dirty Dozen list, raisins ranked the worst of all fruit tested. Almost every sample (99 percent) of nonorganic raisins tested contained at least two pesticide residues. Other popular fruits did not fare much better: fresh apples, cherries, nectarines, and strawberries all had two or more
pesticides on at least 90 percent of samples. Avocados and sweet corn topped the list as having the fewest pesticide residues. But kale—a popular choice for its vitamin and antioxidant content—ranked third on the 2020 Dirty Dozen list this year. Unfortunately, both the type and amount of residual pesticides on kale has increased significantly in recent years. One of the pesticides found on conventional kale is a possible human carcinogen that the European Union banned in 2009, making organic an even more important choice. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need to be better, say researchers,” www.ScienceDaily.com, 3/18/20 n “EWG’s 2020 shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce” by EWG Science Team, Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org, 3/25/20
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NOW Foods Real Food Organic Pumpkin Spice Monk Fruit is the perfect fallflavored, keto-friendly, zerocalorie liquid sweetener. Add to coffee, oatmeal, yogurt, and more. 800-999-8069 www.NOWfoods.com
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Garden of Life RAW Organics Organic Golden Flaxseed + Organic Antioxidant Fruit offers Non-GMO Project Verified support for digestion, heart, and breasts. www.GardenofLife.com
Wakunaga of America KyoGreen Harvest Blend supports a robust immune response with grains and seeds, fruits, veggies, prebiotics, herbal extracts, spirulina, and chlorella. www.Kyolic.com
Canâ€™t find these products? Ask your store to contact the manufacturer directly. 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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S EP TE M BE R 2020
8/10/20 2:55 PM
HEALING HERBS BY NAN FORNAL
ECHINACEA CONEFLOWER OFFERS SUPPORT FOR IMMUNITY LOVED BY BOTH GARDENERS AND POLLINATORS (AND, ALAS, BY WOODCHUCKS), THE CONEFLOWER ADDS GRACE TO A YARD’S PLANTINGS. ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR HERBS IN THE UNITED STATES, ECHINACEA ALSO FINDS A HOME IN MANY A REMEDY KIT DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON. Native Americans, especially Great Plains tribes, developed many medicinal uses for coneflowers, some of which have made the transition to modern herbal medicine. Of the many species grown in the US, Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida are the three most likely to find their way into herbal remedies.
How it works Echinacea’s action as an immune-system booster comes from its ability to promote the production of immune cells, according to results of testtube and animal studies. Research points to the activation of both lymphocytes and macrophages, specialized white blood cells, by three components of echinacea’s chemical makeup, including the wellknown polysaccharides. While more human studies are needed, researchers have found that echinacea increases the body’s supply of interferon. This virus-fighting protein works by interfering with virus cells’ ability to replicate.
For colds and flu One study of 473 patients who’d exhibited flu symptoms for less than 48 hours found that those who drank a beverage containing primarily echinacea herb and root extract for 10 days recovered at a pace similar to those who received the conventional antiviral medicine oseltamivir (brand name Tamiflu). Echinacea use is not without controversy. While some studies find that the herb helps recovery from colds and flu, others show less success. Part of the
challenge lies in the fact that echinacea products can contain different herbal concentrations. Also, the echinacea extracts used can come from the flowers, stems, or roots of different species. These factors complicate comparison of study results. One review of studies that included 2,500 people found that echinacea extract lowered “the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections” and decreased complications, including pneumonia, tonsillitis, and ear infections.
How to take Echinacea is most effective when taken at the onset of a cold or flu. It is available in tea, capsule, tincture, and extract forms.
Notes and cautions Experts often recommend taking echinacea on a short-term basis because long-term efficacy is not yet known. Though generally recognized as safe, echinacea may cause allergic reactions in those who have allergies to plants in the same family, including chrysanthemum, marigold, and ragweed. As with all supplements and medicines, talk to your healthcare practitioner before taking echinacea. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Echinacea,” Mount Sinai Health Library, www.mountsinai. org n “Echinacea for the common cold,” www.webmd.com, 5/10/19 n “Echinacea: How it works,” Kaiser Permanente Washington, http://wa.kaiserpermanente. org n “Echinacea: Is it effective for the common cold?” by Brent A. Bauer, www. mayoclinic.org n “Echinacea preparation as effective as Tamiflu in early flu cases in large clinical trial,” American Botanical Council, http://cms.herbalgram.org, 6/17/15 n “Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials” by A. Schapowal et al., Advances in Therapy, 3/15
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/5/20 2:06 PM
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6/3/20 10:56 AM
NATURAL BEAUTY BY NAN FORNAL
ORGANIC SKIN FOOD TREAT YOUR COMPLEXION TO THE BEST YOU CARE ABOUT THE FOODS YOU EAT, THE SUPPLEMENTS YOU TAKE, AND THE PLANET THAT PROVIDES THEM. BUT DO YOU GIVE SUCH CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO THE INGREDIENTS THAT GET INTO YOUR BODY VIA THE SKIN? The skin is the largest organ in the body, but it’s only a oneway protector. While it keeps you together, it doesn’t keep outside elements from getting in, including chemicals in skin care products. That’s important to remember when you’re shopping.
What to avoid Keep in mind that a product label that says “natural,” “pure,” or “gentle” was likely written by someone in the marketing department of a cosmetics company, not by a scientist. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests reading the ingredients label instead of the advertising hype. Some ingredients to steer clear of, according to the EWG, include triclosan in liquid soaps and its cousin triclocarban in bar soaps; retinol and retinyl palmitate in lip balms and moisturizers that will be worn in the daytime; the whole preservative family of parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propylparaben) that lurk in moisturizers, makeups, and hair and shaving products; and many chemical fragrances that may not show up on the ingredients list. Mainstream cosmetics may also contain lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, as well as ingredients that combine to produce nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer. All of them have shown toxic effects in the body.
Look for organics Because the government doesn’t regulate cosmetics ingredients, except for coloring agents, it can be difficult to choose the safest products. Look for the word “organic” on the label, not just “natural.” The trademark “EWG Verified” on packaging also provides assurance that a product has been tested for safety and for harmful ingredients. Organic skin care products are better for the environment. Choose products that are made without hazardous ingredients. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics warns, “Even if they’re not in your home, toxic chemicals from personal care products can still end up in our air and drinking water.” Better for your body and the environment: Choosing organic is a win-win. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Parabens in cosmetics,” US Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov n “Quick tips for choosing safer personal care products,” Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org/skindeep n “Top 5 Safe Cosmetics Tips,” Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, www.SafeCosmetics.org
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/5/20 5:12 PM
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7/13/20 8:00 AM
SMART SUPPLEMENTS BY NAN FORNAL
WHY YOU NEED OMEGAS SOME FATS ARE CRITICAL TO GOOD HEALTH THE NAME SAYS IT ALL. THE BODY MUST SOURCE ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS FROM FOODS, SINCE IT CAN’T MANUFACTURE THEM ON ITS OWN. Omega-3 fatty acids are important in all phases of life, beginning in the womb and continuing through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. There are three types: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both of which come from fish, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which comes from flax, flaxseed oil, nuts, and dark, leafy greens.
Omega-3 benefits The many critical health-promoting functions of omega 3s include the following: • Cardiovascular: Modulates heart rate and blood pressure, improves the condition of blood vessels, and helps prevent cardiac arrhythmias. • Mental health: Improves attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder in children; modulates symptoms of depression and other disorders in adults. • Cancer prevention: May reduce risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancers. • Joint and bone health: Potential reduction of risk of arthritis and osteoporosis. • Autoimmune conditions: Contributes to lower risk of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and gastrointestinal conditions including colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Who needs to supplement Whole foods, especially fatty fish, are the best sources of omega 3. But those who don’t eat fish at least twice a week and anyone who is deficient in this critical nutrient may benefit from taking a supplement. One clinical trial involving more than 25,000 subjects found that a supplement dose of 1 gram per day led to a 28 percent reduction in heart attack risk.
of causing inflammation, omega-6 fats either reduce inflammation or have no effect. “Omega-6 fats are not only safe, but they are also beneficial for the heart and circulation,” according to Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, coauthor of the advisory. Rather than cutting down on consumption of omega 6s, it’s enough to increase intake of omega 3s to balance the ratio of the two fats in the diet. TFL
Omega 6 reconsidered Omega-6 fatty acids, primarily linolenic acid found in vegetable oils, for years suffered a bad reputation until the American Heart Association released an advisory that turned it around. Instead
SELECTED SOURCES “No need to avoid healthy omega-6 fats,” Harvard Heart Letter, www.health.harvard.edu, 8/20/19 n “Omega-3 fatty acids: An essential contribution,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, www.hsph.harvard.edu n “Should you be taking an omega-3 supplement?” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, www.health.harvard.edu, 4/19
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SEPTEMBER 202 0
8/7/20 12:28 PM
IN FOCUS BY JACOB TEITELBAUM, MD
MIND MATTERS TREATMENTS FOR DEMENTIA DEMENTIA IS A DEVASTATING CONDITION AFFECTING UPWARDS OF 10,000,000 AMERICANS, WITH APPROXIMATELY 5 MILLION HAVING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AD). TREATMENT FOR AD CURRENTLY IS GEARED TOWARD TWO MODESTLY HELPFUL MEDICATIONS, ARICEPT AND NAMENDA.
Numerous studies show many factors increase the risk of developing dementia. There’s no reason to believe those factors stop contributing to progression and impairment once the dementia occurs. Unfortunately, these factors are largely not addressed in treating these conditions. With a thorough exam, we frequently find a person doesn’t have Alzheimer’s disease. Even if they do, modest improvements in mental function can dramatically improve the ability to function and remember names and people.
Treatment of Dementia Begin with a “brain tune-up.” A helpful mnemonic is the word “DEMENTIA,” which can stand for:
drugs. Work with your doctor to eliminate any that are not essential. emotional. Rule out depression and get enough sleep. Sleep protects and restores brain function. To assist with falling asleep, try 3 to 5 milligrams (mg) of melatonin at bedtime. If needed, add an herbal sleep aid. metabolic. Hormonal deficiencies dramatically increase risk of AD. These hormones need to be optimized— even if tests results are “normal.” You’ll need to work with a holistic practitioner or a compounding pharmacy to optimize hormones. Your doctor should check thyroid hormone, testosterone (in men), and estrogen/ progesterone (in women), using bioidentical hormones for optimization. ears & Eyes. Get them checked. Hearing and vision loss can mimic dementia. nutrition. Take a multivitamin. Eat for brain health by emphasizing whole fruits and vegetables and minimizing red meat and dairy products. The best vegetables for the brain are dark-green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Make sure ferritin and iron levels (as measured through a “ferritin” blood test) are over 60. Make sure vitamin B12 levels are over 540. Anything over 209 is “normal” but not necessarily acceptable. Low B12 is usually associated with low stomach acid. Adding 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar to each meal (as convenient, such as in a salad dressing) can help digestion. Add herbal support with a highly absorbed form of curcumin. This is the spice in Indian food that makes curry yellow, and high intake in India is associated with a 70 percent lower risk of AD. Consume fish oil, either by eating several servings of tuna, herring, or salmon each week, or by taking supplements. The brain is made of DHA, the same oil found in fish oil. This can also help treat depression. tumors and other brain lesions. An MRI or CT scan is appropriate if one is diagnosed with dementia. infections. Urine, candida, and sinus infections can drag down mental function. Eliminate any chronic infections (e.g., bowel yeast overgrowth, which is suggested by increased gas or clearing one’s throat a lot). anemia and other overt medical problems. TFL 38 tasteforlife
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“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best
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