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November 2020

MANAGE

Blood Sugar WITH HERBS

Inside ESSENTIAL IMMUNITY PRODUCTS NO-GUILT HOLIDAY DISHES ARE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS SAFE?

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TRACEABLE TRACEABLE TRACEABLE SUSTAINABLY-SOURCED SUSTAINABLY-SOURCED SUSTAINABLY-SOURCED REVOLUTIONARY REVOLUTIONARY REVOLUTIONARY OUR CERTIFICATIONS OUR CERTIFICATIONS OUR CERTIFICATIONS OUR CERTIFICATIONS

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NOVEMBER 2020

8

15

Holiday Dishes

Guilt-free versions of your favorites!

29

15

Taste for Life 2020 Immunity Essentials Awards Our top picks to keep you healthy.

departments 6 Editor’s Note

© ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI

8 News Bites

24

29

Face masks: Which type works best? • Multivitamin/mineral supplements improve immunity • More

12 In Focus

Ginger may ease digestive woes.

19 Weighing In

MCT oil helps you burn fat, faster.

20 Healthy Family

Are your supplements safe?

37

24 Healing Herbs

Natural options for blood sugar control.

ESSENTIALS AWARD WINNER 2020

26 Natural Beauty

Winter is coming—protect your skin.

35 Smart Supplements

Glutathione can help you meet your exercise goals.

37 Food Trends

The 2020 Taste for Life

Skip the sugar with these sweet alternatives.

IMMUNITY E S S E N T I A L S AWA R D S

40 Last Word

For more health & wellness resources visit

tasteforlife.com

www.

Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Time-Out I highly recommend an Audible podcast, The 3-Day Effect. In this series, journalist Florence Williams takes journeys with people to see how a few days in wilderness changes us. For example, she and scientists accompany Iraqi war veterans with PTSD for three days of rafting on Utah’s Green River. She and trauma therapists go backpacking in Colorado with sex trafficking survivors. Researchers test participants to learn the physiological, psychological, and cognitive effects of these short wilderness exposures. Across the board, they find these “time-outs” produced positive effects on the groups’ nervous systems, with the results being reduced anxiety and increased well-being. One of the experiments included her taking her city-loving friend Eric Weiner camping despite his aversion to nature. Weiner, the New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, is suffering from writer’s block, and she hopes nature can cure him. I won’t tell you how the episode ends, but there was a moment during their trip that shocked me. Weiner, Williams, and a behavioral psychologist are looking at the stars. Weiner doesn’t understand that the milky band of light he sees is the Milky Way, asking how he can be looking at the Milky Way but also be part of the Milky Way at the same time. The researcher explains all the stars we see are in our own Milky Way Galaxy. It was astonishing to hear this smart man, who once covered major international events from more than 30 nations, expressing his disconnectedness. But then I looked up the Milky Way Galaxy on the NASA website and found out a bunch of things I also didn’t know, like the sun orbits the center of the Milky Way, just like Earth orbits the sun. (It takes the sun and our solar system 250 million years to go all the way around the Milky Way’s center, by the way.) This note is just my way of reminding us all to get outside, that not all time-outs are bad, and that we often don’t know how much we don’t know! And that is just one of the reasons we need each other so much! 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

Lynn Tryba

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

Printed in the U.S. on partially recycled paper.

The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

N OVE M BE R 2020

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COVID-19 UPDATE

Evaluating FACE COVERINGS Although research is ongoing, the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are still frequent and thorough hand-washing, maintaining distance between yourself and anyone from outside your household, and wearing a face covering when you are out in public. “Because it’s possible to have coronavirus without showing symptoms, it is best to wear a face covering even if you think you are healthy,” says Lisa Maragakis, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “If you have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms, a face mask reduces your chance of spreading the infection to others” when you talk, cough, or sneeze. When selecting a mask, look for one that has at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric; fits snugly against your face with no gaps; and completely covers your mouth and nose, according to the CDC. The use of a face shield in place of a mask has not yet been proven effective; the same is true for gaiters, which look like big, pull-up turtlenecks. Avoid knit fabrics. “You want fabric that doesn’t allow droplets to pass through while ensuring you can still breathe properly with your mask in place,” said Dr. Maragakis, who recommends holding the fabric up to light: The fewer tiny holes you see, the better the mask properties. While they may look cool, get your bandanna-wearing bros to consider giving them up in favor of real masks. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University found that a bandanna is the least effective at preventing the spread of droplets from sneezing and coughing. SELECTED SOURCES “Bandana is least effective form of face mask, study finds,” CNN, 7/1/20 n “Coronavirus face masks & protection FAQs” reviewed by Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 8/20/20 n “How to select, wear, and clean your mask,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 8/27/20

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COVID-19 UPDATE

CDC warns of COUNTERFEIT MASKS Healthcare workers and others who rely on respirator masks to protect themselves from airborne bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, may sometimes purchase their own supplies of personal protective equipment. Not all respirators are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Some masks are falsely marketed as being approved by NIOSH. These counterfeit respirators may not protect the wearer from inhaling virus particles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC regularly updates its warning page, Counterfeit Respirators, which contains examples of counterfeits and a guide to identifying NIOSH-approved respirator masks, as well as links to sites where consumers can verify the approval numbers of certified masks. SOURCE “Counterfeit respirators/misrepresentation of NIOSH approval,� Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 9/29/20

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PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

Daily multi appears to BOOST IMMUNITY A daily multivitamin/mineral supplement reduced the duration and severity of certain illnesses in a group of older adults. The 12-week study by scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute included healthy adults ages 55 to 75. Participants who received the daily multi showed improved levels of vitamin C and zinc, which are important nutrients for immune function. Illness symptoms reported by that group were less severe and went away faster than those experienced by a placebo group. (The researchers’ report did not specify the types of illnesses.) As we age, the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies that contribute to age-related immune system deficiencies rises. The supplement used in the study focused on vitamins and minerals typically thought to help immunity. It contained 700 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A; 400 international units of D; 45 milligrams (mg) of E; 6.6 mg of B6; 400 mg of folate; 9.6 mcg of B12; 1,000 mg of C; 5 mg of iron; 0.9 mg of copper; 10 mg of zinc; and 110 mcg of selenium. SELECTED SOURCES “The effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on immune function in healthy older adults . . .” by M.L. Fantacone et al., Nutrients, 8/14/20 n “Multivitamin, mineral supplement linked to less-severe, shorter-lasting illness symptoms,” Oregon State University, 8/18/20

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IN FOCUS BY SHAHEEN MAJEED

SPICE UP DIGESTIVE HEALTH WITH GINGER

GINGER HAS BEEN USED THROUGH THE AGES FOR BOTH ITS CULINARY PROPERTIES AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS. THE WORLD’S OLDEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS EMPHASIZE STRONG DIGESTIVE FUNCTION, AND GINGER HAS BEEN ONE OF THE PRIMARY HERBS USED FOR THAT PURPOSE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. TODAY, MODERN SCIENCE HAS NOT ONLY CONFIRMED THOSE BENEFITS, BUT EXPANDED UPON WHAT ANCIENT DOCTORS TAUGHT. Ginger’s wonderful flavor has a purpose. Its stimulation of the taste buds influences the release of digestive enzymes to break down food to extract nourishment. Throughout history, ginger has been used to improve gut-related conditions such as dyspepsia, flatulence, bloating, nausea, intestinal cramping, vomiting, and other stomach complaints. It’s not just an old wives’ tale recommending ginger for morning sickness: Research confirms that ginger calms nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, and is useful in quelling the same side effect of chemotherapy. Ginger also supports healthy liver function. Research shows benefits in managing nonalcoholic

fatty liver disease, a rapidly growing health concern, among other benefits. Today, ginger is not only used for food seasoning by many consumers, but it’s also taken in dietary supplements so people can reap its benefits. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia” by M.L. Hu et al., World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2011 n “The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) extract supplementation on gastric motility: A pilot randomized study in healthy volunteers” by S. Lazzini et al., European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 2016 n “The effectiveness of ginger in the prevention of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and chemotherapy” by I. Lete and J. Allué, Integrative Medicine Insights, 2016 n “Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials” by B.M. Nikkah et al., Food Science & Nutrition, 2018 n “Ginger supplementation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study” by M. Rahimlou et al., Hepatitis Monthly, 2016

America’s Finest Product Management Director Shaheen Majeed, currently serving also as the President, worldwide of Sabinsa (owners of and manufacturer for America’s Finest, Inc.), has served on the board of the American Herbal Products Association and is an alumnus of Rutgers University. With 30 publications to his name, he is continuously looking to educate and bring awareness of products and their science to industry members and consumers.

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B Y E VA M I L O T T E

Holiday Dishes WITHOUT THE GUILT! Traditional seasonal recipes are often full of unhealthy fats and added sugars. Not these choices. Enjoy the holidays guilt-free. Not only are these recipes gluten free and vegan, but they also feature natural sweeteners and ingredients that add a rich creaminess without dairy.

NO-BAKE MAPLE PECAN PIE From Evolving Vegan by Mena Massoud ($29.99, Tiller Press, 2020)

30 minutes prep time + 1 hour chill time n serves 12

For the crust 3 c almond flour 2 c unsweetened shredded coconut 1 c pure maple syrup K c smooth natural almond butter, well stirred K tsp ground cinnamon K tsp sea salt For the filling 1 c Medjool dates, pitted K c coconut oil, melted 1K tsp pure vanilla extract K tsp sea salt K c warm (not hot or boiling) water 1 c almond flour 1 c chopped raw pecans, plus O c pecan halves for topping ¼ c plus 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1. Make crust: Line an 8-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom with unbleached parchment paper (it’s okay if paper comes slightly over edge of pan). 2. In a food processor, combine the 3 cups of the almond flour, the shredded coconut, the 1 cup of maple syrup, the almond butter, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until dough comes together and forms a ball. Press dough over bottom and up sides of prepared tart pan. Refrigerate while you prepare filling. 3. Make filling: Wipe food processor bowl and blade clean. Place dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in food processor. With food processor running, slowly pour in the K cup of warm water (you may not need to use it all) until mixture is very smooth and caramel-like. Transfer date caramel to large bowl. 4. Add the 1 cup of the almond flour, the chopped pecans, the ¼ cup of maple syrup, and the pumpkin pie spice to bowl with date caramel. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined, with no visible almond flour (filling will be stiff; if you have a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, it will make this part easier). 5. Scrape filling into chilled crust. Use a lightly greased spatula or your fingers to smooth filling out evenly to edges of pan.

© ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI

6. In a medium bowl, toss pecan halves with remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup until well coated. Press pecans into top of filling. Refrigerate pie for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes before serving. Per serving: 702 Calories, 13 g Protein, 52 g Carbohydrates, 10 g Fiber, 53 g Total fat (19 g sat), 205 mg Sodium, HHHH Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Phosphorus, H Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B6, E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

Kitchen Note: This raw, fully vegan, gluten-free, no-bake pecan pie is a healthy and tasty alternative to traditional pecan pie. www.tas teforl i fe.com

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continued from page 15

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP From Evolving Vegan by Mena Massoud ($29.99, Tiller Press, 2020)

45 minutes prep time + 2 hour soak time n serves 4

2 tsp avocado oil or other neutral oil 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 pound peeled, cubed butternut squash 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Dash of ground cinnamon Dash of ground nutmeg Dash of ground cloves Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the Creamy Cashew Drizzle 1 c raw cashews, soaked in water to cover for 2 hours and drained 1 garlic clove 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast Pinch of sea salt 1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill, for garnish 1. In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is softened, about 3 minutes.

© ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI

2. Add squash, celery, carrot, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until squash is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

CRANBERRY-COCONUT RELISH From the Taste for Life test kitchen

15 minutes prep time + 2 hours chill time n serves 6

16 oz thawed cranberries M c coconut sugar 1 orange K c unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Pulse cranberries and sugar in the bowl of a food processor until cranberries are finely chopped. Transfer cranberries to a bowl. 2. Zest and juice orange. Add zest and juice to cranberries along with shredded coconut. Stir to combine. 3. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Kitchen Note: This relish is a refreshing and flavorful alternative to cooked cranberry sauce. Per serving: 172 Calories, 1 g Protein, 35 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 5 g Total fat (4 g sat), 15 mg Sodium, HHH Vitamin C, H Potassium

3. Meanwhile, make creamy cashew drizzle: In a blender, combine cashews, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and O cup of water. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. 4. Rinse blender jar. Working in batches, carefully ladle soup (broth and vegetables) into blender. Cover blender jar, place a towel over lid, and blend until smooth. (Be careful of splatter, as soup will still be hot). 5. Pour puréed soup into serving bowls; repeat to purée remaining soup. Swirl some creamy cashew drizzle in each bowl. Sprinkle with pepper, garnish with dill, and serve. Kitchen Note: Nothing says “plant-based Thanksgiving” more than this recipe. It’s warm, comforting, creamy, and pretty simple to make, which means you don’t have to slave away preparing a Thanksgiving dish for your guests. You can use any squash you have available to you. Try banana squash, kabocha squash, or pumpkin if you can’t get butternut. For an extra-special treat, dehydrate your own lotus root for garnish: cut the lotus root crosswise into very thin slices and place them on a baking sheet. Coat with oil and season with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, and paprika. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes until crisp, flipping slices once halfway through. Per serving: 299 Calories, 10 g Protein, 30 g Carbohydrates, 6 g Fiber, 18 g Total fat (3 g sat), 395 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, HHHH Vitamin B12, HHH Vitamin C, Magnesium, Phosphorus, HH Vitamin K, Iron, Zinc, H Vitamin E, Folate, Potassium

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Nutrition for Kids!

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WEIGHING IN BY KELLI ANN WILSON

MCT FOR WEIGHT LOSS DOES IT WORK? AFTER MONTHS OF COVID-19-INDUCED STRESS, MANY OF US HAVE PUT ON A FEW POUNDS. IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO GET YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS GOALS BACK ON TRACK, CONSIDER MCT.

What Is MCT? MCT stands for mediumchain triglycerides, a type of fat often made from coconut or palm kernel oil. Some shoppers prefer coconut over palm MCT oils because not all palm kernels are ethically sourced. Unlike long-chain triglycerides (LCT), which are the type of fats you commonly eat, MCT molecules are smaller and easier for the body to digest and turn into energy.

How is it used? MCT oil helps the body make ketones, a form of energy that doesn’t contain carbs. Ketones reduce insulin levels and burn more fat. On a lowcarb or ketogenic diet, MCT may help the body reach its fat-burning phase more quickly than LCT, leading to better and faster weight loss. MCT may also keep your appetite in check and help you feel fuller longer. If you’re not hungry, you’ll eat fewer calories. MCT may also make muscles more effective, giving you strength to finish workouts.

What the science says Research has shown MCT oil aids weight loss and improves some health markers. Two studies found that those who supplemented with MCT lost more weight and had lower

total fat mass than those who consumed olive oil. Additional research found that a low-fat diet combined with MCT oil supplementation reduced body weight and had a protective effect on cardiovascular health in rats with Type 2 diabetes.

Supplementing with MCTs MCT oil can be added to many foods and drinks, including smoothies, salad dressings, and coffee. It should not be used for cooking because it has a low burning point. Dosing depends on individual needs and tolerance, but the recommended range is no more than four to seven tablespoons per day (spread out, not all at once). Excess amounts of MCT oil may cause bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, and even vomiting, so discuss options with your healthcare provider or a dietitian before adding MCT to your diet. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “MCT oil,” www.WebMD.com, 8/25/20 n “Mediumchain triglycerides lower blood lipids and body weight in streptozotocin-induced Type 2 diabetes rats” by M-H Sung et al., Nutrients, 7/26/18 n “Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil” by M.P. St-Onge and A. Bosarge, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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HEALTHY FAMILY BY JANE EKLUND

WITH SUPPLEMENTS, THINK SAFETY FIRST TAKE THESE THREE STEPS

YOU MAY HAVE READ ARTICLES OR STUDIES SHOWING THAT SOME SUPPLEMENTS PURCHASED ONLINE MAY BE CONTAMINATED OR MAY NOT CONTAIN THE DOSAGES FOUND ON THEIR LABELS. IN ADDITION, SOME SUPPLEMENTS CAN INTERACT WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION. So how do you ensure the supplements you’re taking are safe for you and your family? Here’s a simple threestep process to follow.

1. Talk with your practitioner As with any health question, begin by going to your point person: your primary care physician or other healthcare practitioner. A few things you’ll want to discuss: ■ Do you need the supplement? In other words, are you already getting enough of the nutrient through diet or through another supplement, like a multivitamin/mineral? ■ Does the supplement interact negatively with a prescription or over-the-counter medication that you are taking, or with another supplement in your regimen? For example, you don’t want to take magnesium supplements if you are taking antibiotics or blood thinners—it will reduce the absorption of the first and increase the absorption of the second. ■ Is the supplement compatible with any recent or upcoming medical procedures? You’ll want to stop taking ginger, garlic, ginseng, and ginkgo supplements a week or two before a scheduled surgery, for instance, as they can interfere with blood clotting.

2. Do the research Once you’ve got the okay from your healthcare practitioner to add, say, a multivitamin or omega 3s or turmeric to your routine, how do you decide which one to purchase? Now’s the time to do a little research. Don’t worry— you don’t need to be a scientist to figure out if a particular product is safe. You can find some trusted resources online: continued on page 23

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coloradohemphoney.com This statement has 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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■ Look for independent certifications (USP, NSF, NPA, UL) for GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) on product labels. Not having these labels doesn’t necessarily mean a brand is not trustworthy. It may just be confident in its own manufacturing processes. Companies with stellar practices are not shy about telling their stories online. For example, Gaia Herbs uses DNA testing to verify that product ingredients match what’s on the label. The company pioneered herb traceability for consumers through its Meet Your Herb platform. All consumers need to do is go to www.GaiaHerbs.com and enter the herb ID number found on a product to access information on harvest date and quality assurance approvals for microbial, heavy metal, identity, and strength testing. ■ WebMD offers a drug interaction checker that lets you enter two or more drugs, over-the-counter medications, and/or supplements to see if they interact with each other (www.WebMD.com/interaction-checker). ■ The National Institutes of Health website provides charts and tables with recommended dietary allowance (RDA) numbers and tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and more at https://ods. od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx. Use them to ensure that the product you’re considering supplies an appropriate amount of the nutrients—some, like vitamin D, are toxic in large amounts.

3. Buy from a trusted source The FDA notes that supplements purchased online can be fraudulent or harmful. In fact, one producer of supplements, Bloomingdale, IL-based NOW, tested 43 phosphatidyl serine (PS) products sold via a major online retailer and determined that 36 failed to provide the potency claimed on their labels. Seventeen had less than 10 percent of the amount of PS reported on the label. The upshot for consumers: Buy your supplements from your trusted natural foods or products store or a knowledgeable pharmacist. That way you can be sure you are buying products from reputable manufacturers. TFL SOURCES “Drug interaction checker”; “Vitamin supplements: Popping too many?” by Jeanie Lerche Davis, www.WebMd.com n “How to choose supplements wisely” by Kevin Loria, www.ConsumerReports.org, 10/30/19 n “How supplements can interact with medications” by SingleCare Team, www.SingleCare.com, 7/17/20 n “NOW testing shows phosphatidyl serine content in top-selling Amazon products far below labeled claims” by Sebastian Krawiec, www.NutritionalOutlook.com, 8/24/20 n “Nutrient recommendations: Dietary Reference Intakes,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih.gov n “Supplements: A scorecard,” Harvard Health Men’s Health Watch, www.health. harvard.edu, 4/12 n “What you need to know about dietary supplements,” Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov

Nutty Blends yummy fruit & nut purees

Always consult your pediatrician before introducing allergens to your baby. www.tas teforl i fe.com

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HEALING HERBS BY MARIA NOËL GROVES, R.H. (AHG)

HERBAL BLOOD SUGAR SUPPORT BLOOD SUGAR INSTABILITY AFFECTS A STAGGERING NUMBER OF AMERICAN ADULTS. APPROXIMATELY ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP DIABETES (PRIMARILY TYPE 2). ABOUT 30 PERCENT HAVE PREDIABETES, AND 15 TO 20 PERCENT OF THESE PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW THEY ARE PRE-DIABETIC OR HAVE IT. Yet, expand the picture even more to include more subtle signs of blood sugar and metabolic instability, and we see that most American adults don’t have optimal metabolic health. In my clinical practice, I see subtle and overt blood sugar dysregulation impacting not only blood sugar levels but also weight, inflammation and pain, mood, cognition, insomnia, heart health, kidney function, and many disease risks including cancer. In many cases, this is controllable with diet, exercise, and herbal approaches. First and foremost, eating a low- to moderate-glycemic diet and exercising regularly are crucial components of any long-term holistic approach to blood sugar management. There are many dietary approaches, but they all include avoiding and limiting sugar, processed and “white” starches, and excessive alcohol, and emphasizing plenty of vegetables, whole foods, fiber, and lean protein with every meal. Both cardiovascular and strengthtraining exercise will improve glucose levels and tolerance. Always be careful when adding

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herbs that lower blood sugar into your routine, especially if you have advanced Type 2 diabetes or take medication. Introduce herbs slowly and take only with meals. Monitor closely blood sugar levels, labs, and how you feel. Keep your doctor informed so he or she can advise on adjusting medication levels if and as necessary. Failing to do so can lead to potentially lethal hyper- or hypoglycemic states! Fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum) seeds are well studied in Types 1 and 2 diabetes as well as in people with normal blood sugar with excellent results in human clinical trials in a variety of dosage ranges and forms. It appears to modulate blood sugar, insulin production and secretion, and insulin sensitivity based on what the body needs and has been used as far back as Greek and Roman times for diabetes. Bitter-Tasting Herbs such as artichoke or cardoon leaf extract (Cynara spp.) or dandelion root tea taken just before or with meals help regulate blood sugar, fasting blood sugar, appetite/hunger, and food consumption. They work best if you taste them, though pills also show benefit. Sour flavors, including vinegar, taken alongside meals, also have

hypoglycemic effects and reduce the glycemic impact of starchy foods by 20 to 30 percent. People often find they crave less sugar and more healthy foods. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia and other species) bark created quite a stir in 2000 when researchers began to realize this common spice’s potential for addressing insulin resistance and reducing blood sugar. To date numerous human trials have been completed with generally positive glycemic results including a 10 percent or more reduction in fasting blood sugar, as well as improved cholesterol, and hemoglobin A1C levels, particularly for the common cassia-type cinnamon. Because it tends to work primarily by improving insulin sensitivity, it’s most appropriate in insulin resistance, prediabetes, and early unmedicated stages of Type 2 diabetes. If insulin production is impaired or a person has Type 1 diabetes, it’s not appropriate. The powder, sticks as tea, or pills are most frequently used with good compliance since it’s inexpensive and yummy. These are my favorite herbs to support blood sugar, but there are many others. Blueberries repeatedly prove themselves as a supportive

food or supplement; holy basil (tulsi) and lemon balm are particularly good at modulating blood sugar instability and cravings associated with stress and insomnia; gymnema offers potent hypoglycemic action; nigella (black cumin seed) offers support for both cardiometabolic health and obesity; and both bitter melon and moringa have long histories of use in their indigenous countries. 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 book, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com. SELECTED SOURCES “2014 Diabetes report card,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 2014 n Body into Balance by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing 2016) n “Cinnamon in glycaemic control: Systematic review and meta analysis” by R. Akilen et al., Clinical Nutrition, 2012 n “Cinnamon uses in Type 2 diabetes: An updated systematic review and meta-analysis” by R.W. Allen et al., Annals of Family Medicine, 9/13 n “Do cinnamon supplements have a role in glycemic control in Type 2 diabetes? A narrative review” by R.B. Costello et al., Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 11/1/17 n “Effect of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) intake on glycemia: A meta-analysis of clinical trials” by N. Neelakantan et al., Nutrition Journal, 1/18/14 n “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” by Michael T. Murray and Joseph Pizzorno ($29.99, Atria Books, 2012) n “The potential of cinnamon to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance” by S. Kirkham et al., Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism n “Vinegar: Medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect” by C.S. Johnston et al., Medscape General Medicine n Wild Medicine Solution by Guido Mase ($18.95, Healing Arts Press, 2013) www.tas teforl i fe.com

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NATURAL BEAUTY BY NAN FORNAL

TLC FOR WINTER SKIN

TURN DRY INTO FIRM AND SUPPLE

CREPE LENDS A GOOD LOOK TO CLOTHING. WHETHER IT’S SILK, WOOL, OR ANOTHER FABRIC, THE CRINKLY TEXTURE DRAPES BEAUTIFULLY. BUT IF YOU’RE TALKING SKIN, CREPEY IS NOT SO LOVELY. FAR FROM IT. Aging skin, especially on the hands and face, begins to look loose, saggy, and fragile because of a lack of the structural proteins collagen and elastin. You also may notice wrinkles that weren’t there before. Lack of moisture compounds the problem. But you can make this the winter you turn it around.

Lifestyle factors Sun, smoking, stress, and too little sleep all contribute to the skin’s aging and appearance. Protect yourself from sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and the effects of stress that rob you of sleep, and you will be on your way to healthier skin.

Topicals to the rescue In a word, moisturize! Facial products that contain hyaluronic acid draw moisture to the skin and keep it there, plumping it up to downplay the crepey appearance. Also look for moisturizers that contain vitamin C and other antioxidants, which bolster collagen. For months now, you’ve likely been drying out the skin on your hands by washing many times a day, and winter’s outside cold and overheated air indoors will compound the problem. After every handwashing, slather on and rub in a moisturizer. Before you turn in for the night, massage a vitamin E–rich lotion into your hands, paying particular attention to the skin around the cuticles. Top the lotion with a hydrating skin oil (think jojoba or almond); for an extra layer of soothing and smoothing, wear cotton gloves to bed. You’ll want a few pairs so you can wash the gloves after each wearing. Bonus: This technique, only with socks instead of gloves, works for dry feet too. Cracks and calluses improve in no time.

The inside scoop The skin on your face and hands may benefit from tackling dryness from the inside out. Collagen supplements help by strengthening the skin and by encouraging the body to produce more collagen. Taking them may also lead to an increase in elastin, another skin-strengthening protein. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “9 things your hands say about your health” by Lambeth Hochwald, www.Prevention.com, 2/26/15 n “The benefits and limits of vitamin A for your skin” by Corey Whelan, www.Healthline.com, 8/20/18 n “Crepey skin: Causes, prevention & how to treat paper-thin skin” by Jamie Schneider, www.MindBodyGreen.com, 4/25/20 n “Top 6 benefits of taking collagen supplements” by Brianna Elliott, RD, www.Healthline.com, 2/19/20 n “Want great hands? Try wearing gloves to bed,” Fit&Fab Living, www.fitandfabliving.com

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The 2020 Taste for Life

IMMUNITY

ESSENTIALS AWARD WINNER 2020 E SS E N T I A L S

AWA R D S

We typically write about immunity most often during cold and flu season. COVID-19 has changed all that; like most people, we now have immunity on the brain most days. Consider the following tools to help support your and your family’s health now and in the future.

HAND SANITIZER

ADAPTOGEN HERB Adaptogens help the body cope with stress and stay strong. America’s Finest Ashwagandha 2100 comes in a bioavailable formula. Each capsule delivers 2,100 milligrams of ashwagandha.

COUGH RELIEF

Penn Herb Olbas Pastilles Herbal Cough Drops give instant, soothing relief from coughs and sore throats. Each drop delivers powerful vapors to the nasal passages and throat.

ELDERBERRY Host Defense Mushrooms Elderberry Plus Syrup, with superfood mushroom mycelium, supports the immune system, lung health, and upper respiratory wellness.

ANTIOXIDANT

Jarrow Formulas N-A-C Sustain tablets offer both quick release and sustained release of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, a precursor to the critical antioxidant glutathione, which fights infections.

mykind Organics Cough & Mucus offers clean, Certified USDA Organic relief, with elderberry and English ivy leaf, a traditional remedy to clear mucus.

NOW Foods ElderMune boasts a 65:1 elderberry juice concentrate plus vitamin C. Prebiotic Sunfiber is added to replace fiber lost in the juicing process.

Deep Steep Hand Sanitizer reduces germs on skin with a 62 percent sugar-cane-derived ethyl alcohol—and without a goopy residue. Aloe vera and glycerin help skin feel smooth.

HONEY

Frangiosa Farms Colorado Hemp Honey Elderbery Support Sticks, made in small batches, provide the wellness benefits of raw honey, naturally occurring CBD, and black elderberry extract.

ECHINACEA ChildLife Essentials Echinacea, flavored with a natural sweet orange essential oil, contains bioavailable forms of echinacea. The yummy drops support the immune system.

PharmaCare Sambucol Black Elderberry Gummies are a tasty way for the family to enjoy the immune support of black elderberry. Vitamin C and zinc added for more support.

NASAL SPRAY

Xlear Nasal Spray alleviates congestion, dry sinuses, and irritated nasal tissues. Xlear Sinus Care products feature the power of xylitol, a natural ingredient that works against bacterial colonies.

OMEGA 3

Carlson Immune Omega provides 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 and sustainably sourced omega 3s, a powerful antioxidant blend for healthy immune system function.

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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continued from page 27 continued from page 29

GINSENG

Korea Ginseng Corp Koreselect Wellness supports focus, energy, and immunity. Formulated from potent, mature ginseng root extract.

MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS

Doctor’s Best Three Defenders Mushroom Complex helps optimize the immune system and support cognition.

SUPERFOOD

Wakunaga Kyo•Green Harvest Blend offers ancient grains, plant-based nutrients, prebiotic fiber, and herbal extract phytoactives to support immune function.

Nordic Naturals Immune Daily Defense promotes the body’s innate and adaptive immune mechanism with vitamins C and D3, zinc, and elderberry.

HOMEOPATHY

Boiron Oscillococcinum reduces the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. For adults and children ages 2 and up.

Mushroom Wisdom Maitake D-Fraction EZ Spray supports healthy immune function in a quickly absorbable spray.

LUNG SUPPORT

RidgeCrest Herbals ClearLungs Classic is a blend of Chinese herbs that help the body maintain favorable respiratory-health functions. This lung formula supports free breathing.

PROBIOTICS

Arthur Andrew Medical Syntol AMD is a scientifically formulated combination of enzymes, probiotics, and prebiotics that provides digestive and immune support while offering a gentle yeast cleanse.

QUERCETIN

SLEEP

Natural Factors Quercetin LipoMicel Matrix contains antioxidants that support blood vessel health. A liquid micelle matrix disperses the quercetin into microdroplets for enhanced absorption.

Nature’s Way Sambucus Sleep + Immune Gummies add extra benefits to elderberry gummies. Vitamin C and zinc support healthy immune function; melatonin helps you get to sleep.

Bluebonnet Targeted Choice Wellness Support contains all the heavy hitters of immune defense, including andrographis, astragalus, olive leaf, odorless garlic, eldeberry, turmeric, zinc, and more.

CV Sciences CV Acute Immune Support, made without CBD, is inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s intended as highintensity support when the immune system needs an extra kick.

Irwin Naturals Global Wellness Immuno-Shield with Mega-D3 combines 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 with turmeric, eleuthero, magnesium, and zinc.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula Daily Immune Support delivers highpotency vitamin C plus more than 25 other vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

Living Alchemy Defense Immune Support supplies shiitake’s immunomodulatory properties as well as fermented immune-supportive herbs.

WELLNESS FORMULA

LIP CARE Cold sores come with colds. Nutrients such as propolis in Quantum Health SuperLysine+ Immune Support help keep immunity strong and lips beautiful.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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e n d E F r e u r i u t P 100% No

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Eden Apple Sauce

Northern U.S. organic apples, tart cherries, and strawberries. Hall of Fame Applesauce, San Francisco Chronicle. Kettle cooked the right way. 9/8/20 1:20 PM


QUICK TIPS

DEFUSING HOLIDAY STRESS IDEAS FROM THE FOLKS AT TASTE FOR LIFE NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER ARE TYPICALLY MARKED WITH STRESS AS PEOPLE PREPARE FOR THE HOLIDAYS. THIS YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS MAY LOOK DIFFERENT GIVEN THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND YOUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. MAYBE THE OLD STRESS OF FRENETIC BUSYNESS AND OVEREXTENSION WILL BE REPLACED WITH A DIFFERENT KIND OF STRESS, ONE TINGED WITH NOSTALGIA FOR A DIFFERENT TIME. WE POLLED OUR PEEPS TO SEE WHAT TIPS THEY HAVE FOR SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS. “ We do family gatherings for the holidays. Over the years we’ve tried to alleviate the stress by switching the host house. Meal prep is delegated. Everyone pitches in so no one person is dealing with the task of cooking for the group. We shop local and order desserts from local bakers. The priority is to spend time with loved ones and create memories. One of the more fun things I do with my grandson is decorate a gingerbread house. We pick out a premade kit and have so much fun decorating it. He looks forward to it every year.”

“ A friend gave me an infrared sauna blanket for my birthday. I pair that awesome heat with reiki music, and it produces a sense of calmness for the rest of the day. Massage and acupuncture have also been great tools for de-stressing—and recovering from injuries. ” Lynn Tryba, Chief Content Officer & Strategist

Leanna Houle, National Sales Manager

“ Nature is my consistent stress reliever—a walk in the forest or mountains is always the right dose for vanquishing holiday (or anytime) stress.” Shannon Dunn-Delgado, Western Brand Promotions Director

“ My tips to get through the stressful holidays and life in general is to make sure I get in daily physical movement and laughing, Epsom salt baths, Yogi Kava Stress Relief tea, and Bach Rescue Remedy. I always have an arsenal of calming essential oils close by, such as lavender, lemon balm, ylang-ylang, neroli, and rose.” Anna Johnston, Executive Director of Retail Sales & Marketing

“ To de-stress, I choose a Nia routine from the Nia website [free trial at www.niatv.fit]. Of all the workout modalities I’ve tried, Nia is the one that consistently leaves me feeling both relaxed and energized. This year’s holidays may bring emotional stressors if loved ones are not part of our celebrations. To fight loneliness, I intend to indulge in one of my most relaxing activities, baking (great for gifts, too); to increase my donations to organizations that do the most good among vulnerable populations; and to schedule phone or video chats with loved ones.” Nan Fornal, Proofreader

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For more great natural products, visit www.TasteforLife.com/hot-products

Ridgecrest Herbals’ ClearLungs Classic is a synergistic blend of 13 herbs that work together to sustain the respiratory system. www.rcherbals.com

Host Defense MycoBotanicals Complete Calm is designed to support a calm and relaxed body and mind, supporting adaptation to stress and quieting overactive thinking. www.hostdefense.com

Quantum Health TheraZinc Organic Elderberry Raspberry Lozenges are designed to eliminate the zinc coating taste accompanying most traditional zinc lozenges. www.quantumhealth.com

With fermented cinnamon, turmeric root, and black pepper fruit, Ancient Nutrition Organic CBD Hemp Golden Chai can be added to your favorite beverage to promote mental clarity, relaxation, emotional wellbeing, and restful sleep. www.ancientnutrition.com

Eden Foods Apple Cinnamon Sauce is a time-honored classic. Sweetness comes from a select blend of organic apples from a Michigan familyowned orchard. Organic cinnamon illuminates its flavor. www.edenfoods.com

Wake up in the morning feeling renewed and refreshed. Solgar Sleep Ease Full Spectrum Curcumin changes what you believed was possible from a sleep formula. Take two liquid extract capsules at night. www.solgar.com

Can’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.

www.tas teforl i fe.com

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Caring for yourself is caring for the

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Supports the Immune System

For the Garlic Lover and Smoker

Clinically tested, quickly relieves dry mouth and is buffered to protect your teeth; helps prevent tooth decay.

Put the power of alkylglycerols behind your immune system.

The all natural parsley seed oil and sunflower oil in this soft gelatin capsule works in the digestive tract to cleanse bad odors.

STRIX® Bilberry

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Good for the Eyes STRIX acts as a micro-enhancer that helps strengthen the capillaries while acting as a powerful anti-oxidant.

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SMART SUPPLEMENTS BY JANE EKLUND

GLUTATHIONE FIGHT FATIGUE, INCREASE STRENGTH, AND MORE!

FOUND IN NEARLY ALL OF OUR BODIES’ CELLS, IT CONTAINS NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE AMINO ACIDS—CYSTEINE, GLYCINE, AND GLUTAMIC ACID. SO IT’S NO WONDER GLUTATHIONE IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE “MOTHER OF ALL ANTIOXIDANTS.” Glutathione plays a number of major roles in the body. It makes DNA, a vital component of proteins and cells. It supports immune function. It’s used in forming sperm cells. It regenerates vitamins C and E. It breaks down harmful free radicals. For athletes, glutathione is a go-to nutrient. Among its benefits: ■ Boosting energy, focus, mental clarity, and sleep ■ Reducing symptoms of stress, discomfort in muscles and joints, and the effects of aging ■ Removing toxins from liver and cells ■ Aiding in athletic performance and recovery.

Boost your levels Our livers produce glutathione, though levels decrease as we grow older. But there are ways to ensure we have enough. Exercise itself increases glutathione levels over the long and short term. One study indicated that older adults who were regularly active throughout their lives had higher glutathione levels. Younger adults who weren’t active registered increases in glutathione after exercising. Whey protein, a favorite of many athletes, contains

an abundance of cysteine and increases glutathione levels. People who use protein powder and protein drinks can check the labels for whey when they make purchases. Glutathione can be purchased as an oral supplement, but it may not be effective in that form. It can also be administered through creams, suppositories, and intravenously. If you’re thinking about trying a glutathione supplement, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider—side effects may include lower zinc levels and breathing problems in people who have asthma. Finally, you can take supplements that promote production of glutathione in the body. Three to try are milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine, and superoxide dismutase. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “7 health benefits of glutathione”; “How to increase glutathione levels: 4 natural ways,” www.MedicalNewsToday.com n “Do you have a glutathione insufficiency?” by Amy Myers, www.AmyMyersMD.com n “Does glutathione enhance sports performance?” by Chris Latham, www. HealWellNutrition.com, 9/4/18 n “Glutathione for building muscle mass and strength,” https://blog.DesignsForHealth.com, 12/21/18 n “Glutathione supplementation suppresses muscle fatigue induced by prolonged exercise via improved aerobic metabolism” by Wataru Aoi et al, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2/5/15 n “Glutathione: Uses and risks”; “Glutathione: Uses, side effects, interactions, dosage, and warning,” WebMD.com

www.tas teforl i fe.com

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The Health Benefits of the

As summer sunshine ends, with it goes that natural boost of Vitamin D. KD Ultra is the only product on the market that combines vegan Vitamin D3 with a full-spectrum blend of Vitamin K2, Vitamin K1 and lipase to balance blood calcium levels and support immune health, strong bones, and cardiovascular function. Without Vitamins K and D, calcium does more harm than good. KD Ultra Benefits: 2500 IU Vegan Vitamin D3*

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Lipase For Greater Absorption*

Too often, bloating and digestive discomfort can be a harsh reality during the holidays. Dairy and gluten are threatening. Indigestion leads to regret. And it’s all from an imbalance of digestive enzymes. Devigest makes all your favorite foods easy to digest while taking the pressure and fear out of eating. Devigest Benefits: Gluten and Dairy Support*

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Reduced Occasional Gas & Bloating* Normal Digestive Acidity* Complete Food Enjoyment*

*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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FOOD TRENDS B Y L I S A FA B I A N

SUGAR’S NO SWEETHEART HOW TO STAGE A BREAKUP

WE ARE HARDWIRED TO LOVE SUGAR. IN FACT, IT’S A DEEP AND ANCIENT CRAVING, ACCORDING TO EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGIST DANIEL LIEBERMAN. OUR PREHISTORIC ANCESTORS CRAVED SWEET TASTES FOR THE ENERGY SWEETER FOODS PROVIDED.

If people living in the Paleolithic era couldn’t stand the taste of sweet foods, they wouldn’t eat the items that gave them enough energy to survive and procreate, explains Lieberman. The difference back then was that, aside from honey, one of the only other relatively sweet foods was carrots. We live in a different world. Today there’s an overabundance of tempting sweet stuff, and much of it is hidden in packaged foods. The average American consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. For women and children over the age of 2, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 25 grams a day (6 teaspoons). The recommended amount for men is 36 grams a day (9 teaspoons). The overabundance of sugar in our modern diets is

a problem. We have not adapted to the amount we are currently consuming, and it’s making us sick.

Not So Sweet Sugar is high in calories, causes inflammation, and offers no nutritional benefits. Sugar not only stimulates the appetite, but it can also increase risks for Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and tooth decay. While some foods contain natural sugars (fruits, vegetables, and milk are a few examples), it’s the added sugars that are a problem. This type of sugar hides in foods we may not suspect, such as granola bars, cereals, yogurts, baked goods, beverages (sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks), pasta sauces, crackers, and condiments such as salad dressings, barbecue sauces, and ketchups.

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For those living in the United States, beverages are the number one source of added sugar in the diet. In fact, sugary drinks contribute to nearly half of all total added sugar consumed. There is some good news. Sugar cravings start to fade when you cut back on added sugars in the diet. The naturally sweet flavors in whole and healthy foods become more pronounced and satisfying, and the desire to consume sugary items decreases.

How to Break Up with Sugar To reduce sugar intake, start by limiting the amount of sugar you add to coffee and tea. Dilute fruit juices by half with water. Read labels when shopping. Most added sugar is found in processed food and premade items. Learn the names sugar goes by. There are more than 60 different ones! Corn syrup, honey, molasses, raw sugar, and turbinado sugar are easy to spot on a label. But added sugars go by less common monikers, including dextrose, fructose, glucose, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, sucrose, and trehalose. By the middle of 2021, or earlier depending on the size of the food manufacturer, there will be a requirement to list the amount of added sugars on Nutrition Facts labels. Currently the Nutrition Facts label does not separate the amounts of naturally occurring sugars from added sugars.

Some Sweet Alternatives For many it’s not realistic to eliminate all sweeteners, so consider the following alternatives. Keep in mind that however tempting natural sweeteners are, too much of any sweetener is still too much. So use sparingly. Here are some healthier options to consider. ■ Fresh and frozen fruits. Sweeten oatmeal by topping it with fresh berries or stirring in some applesauce. The natural sugars in fruit come with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which helps lower the fruit’s natural sugar absorption rate by the

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body. This helps keep blood sugar levels under control. ■ Coconut sugar. This granulated sweetener can be swapped out in equal measure for table sugar in recipes. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index score. ■ Date sugar. With a rich flavor, this sweetener is another good choice. Dates used to make this sugar are dehydrated and then ground to create this tasty alternative. ■ Raw honey and pure maple syrup. Both of these add unique flavors and some antioxidants. The darker the honey, the greater its nutritional content and antioxidant value. Never feed honey to infants under the age of 1. ■ Agave nectar. This liquid sweetener offers fewer nutrients than raw honey or pure maple syrup, but its thin consistency makes it a favorite for sweetening beverages. ■ Stevia. This alternative sweetener has no calories. It comes in granulated or liquid form. When shopping for stevia, make sure to choose a product that contains no maltodextrin and has not been genetically modified. If you can, find a brand that’s been processed with water and not through chemical-based extraction. Steer clear of artificial sweeteners, as they can be linked with increased fat storage in the body and changes in gut bacteria. Studies also link artificial sweeteners with an increased risk of glucose intolerance—a precursor to prediabetes and diabetes. Finally, remember that food and drink don’t always have to be sweet. Appreciate the other tastes (sour, bitter, and umami) that whole and healthy foods provide. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “The 5 best (and worst) sweeteners you can eat,” www.health.ClevelandClinic.org, 4/28/20 n “Cut down on added sugars,” Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 Eighth Edition, www.health.gov n “An evolutionary explanation for why we crave sugar” by Dina Spector, www.BusinessInsider.com, 4/25/14 n “Finding the hidden sugar in the foods you eat,” by Erin Gager, RD, LDN, www.hopkinsmedicine.org, 2020

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LAST WORD

“Keep your eyes

stars, on the

and your feet

on the ground.” —Theodore Roosevelt

For more inspirational quotes, visit TasteforLife.com/words-for-life

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