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Cooking Up Cruciferous Delicious recipes to fight cancer.
’Tis the Season!
© KATE SEARS
How to stay cold-free for the holidays.
Taste for Life Holiday Guide & Giveaway
Show some love with these unique items.
4 Editor’s Note 7 News Bites
Cranberries may aid digestion • Ginkgo may help with Type 2 diabetes • Try a golden milk latte! • More
15 Smart Supplements
Omegas for inflammation, depression, and weight management.
23 Herbal Helpers
Tonics for vitality and stress relief.
26 Special Diets
What you eat can enhance fertility.
33 Natural Beauty
Super-hydrating solutions for winter skin.
36 In Focus
Tap into the power of supergreens.
40 Last Word For more health & wellness resources visit
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/tasteforlife D ECEMBER 2019
11/11/19 1:35 PM
Your Health, a Vision for 2020 Looking to optimize your health as 2020 approaches? Supplements and herbs can help. Learn how to bolster immunity during cold and flu season (page 19), detoxify from heavy metals (page 36), and lower inflammation (page 15). If your energy is depleted due to chronic stress, please read about adaptogen herbs on page 23. Registered clinical herbalist Maria Noël Groves introduces us to these natural healers that have been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine traditions. If you’ve ever tried them, you know why—they work! Not only do adaptogens boost energy and ease stress by modulating stress hormones like cortisol, some also support libido, cognition, and immunity. I encourage you to explore and find the exact adaptogen to suit your needs— your body will thank you for it! My favorite is ashwagandha because it unfailingly provides me with a sense of calm and balance during times of stress. If you’re searching for tasty anti-cancer recipes, try Sheet Pan Cauliflower with Crispy Onions and Caper-Parsley Vinaigrette (a dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan recipe) and Creamy Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Potatoes (a dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan recipe), on pages 12 and 13. We’ve also got some amazing natural products featured in our Holiday Guide Giveaway on page 30. Enter to win. They’ll help you get the new year off to a healthy start! 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) Retail Account Manager Kim Willard Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell Editorial Advisory Board
Mike Barnett, marketing director for Clark’s Nutrition & Natural Foods Market Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong, Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, health journalist, and author of Body into Balance Clare Hasler-Lewis, PhD, MBA, CEO, OlivinoLife, Inc. Tori Hudson, ND, professor, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University Christina Pirello, MS, chef/host, Christina Cooks Sidney Sudberg, DC, LAc, herbalist (AHG) Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, cofounder and vice president, American Herbalists Guild; executive director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia 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); © 2019 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 4 tasteforlife
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CRANBERRIES may aid digestion Bacteria in our digestive tract are known to have positive effects on our health, but how do we keep them healthy? Researchers from the University of Massachusetts determined that carbohydrates in cranberries (xyloglucans) can help those bacteria grow. “When we eat cranberries, the xyloglucans make their way into our intestines where beneficial bacteria can break them down into useful molecules and compounds,” said microbiologist David Sela, PhD. “These gut bacteria are extremely significant to us. . . . Our food makes a difference for us as well as the beneficial microbes that we carry around with us.” SELECTED SOURCES “Food scientists find cranberries may aid the gut microbiome,” University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 7/10/17 n “A human gut commensal ferments cranberry carbohydrates to produce formate” by E. Ozcan et al., Appl Environ Microbiol, 6/30/17
DID YOU KNOW? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, about half of all US women will have a urinary tract infection (UTI) sometime during their lives. Clinical trials have produced mixed results when testing the effectiveness of cranberry products in treating or preventing UTIs. A 2019 study shows how they may work. Researchers tested the urine of animals who’d been fed cranberry powder. They found evidence of compounds known as oligosaccharides from the cranberry that appear to work as anti-adhesive components. They may help prevent E. coli bacteria from causing infections. SOURCE “Cranberry oligosaccharides might help prevent UTIs,” American Chemical Society, 5/1/19
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D ECEMBER 2 019
11/11/19 11:29 AM
Ginkgo may HELP TREAT DIABETES An extract of Ginkgo biloba leaves helped to restore cells responsible for insulin secretion in a new study of subjects with Type 2 diabetes. The dietary supplement was reported to have “a very good effect” on damaged pancreatic cells. “The extracts derived from Ginkgo biloba have been frequently used in traditional medicine and have been shown to exhibit antioxidant potency,” said researcher Helal Fouad Hetta, PhD. His study, which was conducted with lab animals, determined that the extract increased the size of the pancreatic cells and the amount of insulin they held. He anticipates additional studies with humans. SELECTED SOURCES “Ginkgo biloba may aid in treating Type 2 diabetes,” University of Cincinnati, 8/22/19 n “Impact of Ginkgo biloba extract and magnetized water on the survival rate and functional capabilities of pancreatic B-cells . . .” by A. Saleh et al., Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, 8/7/19
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D ECEMBER 2019
tasteforlife 9 10/9/19 10:25 AM
11/11/19 1:50 PM
ENHANCE your drink Since sugary drinks have been linked to various health issues, the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter has offered a tasty list of fruits and herbs to enhance the appeal of plain old water. Try adding any of these to a pitcher of water, refrigerate for a few hours, and enjoy. (Mash or slice them first for more flavor.) ■ Basil leaves ■ Berries ■ Cucumber ■ Grapes ■ Grapefruit or oranges ■ Herbal tea bags
■ Mangoes or peaches ■ Mint leaves ■ Pineapple ■ Pitted cherries ■ Rosemary sprigs ■ Seedless watermelon
SOURCE “Enjoying Water More,” Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, 7/17
NATURE = NURTURE Spending more time in “green space” can enhance your sense of worth, your happiness, and your life satisfaction, according to an interesting new study from England. The study found a very strong link between the amount of green space around a person’s home and feelings of well-being. Green space within 300 meters of home had the largest impact. The researchers said their study can help governments and urban planners develop “healthier, happier, and more productive urban landscapes.” SELECTED SOURCES “Green space is good for your mental health—the nearer the better!” University of Warwick, 8/20/19
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B Y L I S A FA B I A N
Cooking Up Cruciferous
© KATE SEARS
For Crispy Kale Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing recipe, visit TasteforLife.com/crispy-kale
WHAT DO CABBAGE, CAULIFLOWER, KALE, ARUGULA, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, BOK CHOY, COLLARD GREENS, WATERCRESS, AND RADISHES HAVE IN COMMON? They’re part of a group of vegetables known as cruciferous. They are members of the mustard family. The term cruciferous is derived from the Latin word cruciferae, meaning “cross bearing,” because the four petals in mustard flowers look like a cross. Though cruciferous vegetables appear vastly different from one another in shape, size, and color, they all offer high vitamin and mineral contents (A, C, E, and the B vitamins as well as folate). With impressive amounts of fiber, the 12 tasteforlife
cruciferous family keeps you feeling full. These veggies also contain compounds known as phytonutrients, which can help reduce inflammation and lower cancer risk. Eat cruciferous vegetables several times a week for the most benefit. Add raw cauliflower or broccoli florets to salads. Add chopped kale, cabbage, or bok choy to soups, stews, or casseroles. The following recipes can get you started! SOURCE “The beginner’s guide to cruciferous vegetables” by Holly Larson, MS, RD, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, www.EatRight.org, 2/21/18
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Sheet Pan Cauliflower with Crispy Onions and Caper-Parsley Vinaigrette dGnV From Umami Bomb by Raquel Pelzel ($19.95, Workman Publishing, 2019)
50 minutes prep time n serves 4
© KATE SEARS
1 medium to large head of cauliflower, cored and separated into florets 1 medium red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided Kosher salt 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp capers (rinsed if saltpacked), roughly chopped 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley K tsp freshly ground black pepper 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place a rimmed sheet pan on it, and preheat oven to 400°. 2. Put cauliflower, onion, 3 tablespoons of the oil, and O teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Turn out onto hot sheet pan (reserve bowl). Roast for 20 minutes. Then stir and continue roasting until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and onion is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes longer. 3. Place lemon juice, capers, parsley, N teaspoon of salt, and pepper in reserved bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and whisk to combine. Toss cauliflower into vinaigrette. Turn out onto a platter and serve. 4. The cauliflower will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 3 days. Kitchen Note: Be sure to heat the sheet pan in the oven so when the cauliflower and onions are added they sizzle, just as they would in a skillet. The caper-parsley vinaigrette adds a little salty punch. Per serving: 199 Calories, 3 g Protein, 10 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, 17 g Total fat (3 g sat), 449 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin C, HHHH Vitamin K, HH Vitamin B6, Folate, H Vitamin E, Phosphorus, Potassium
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Leeks and Potatoes dGV From Umami Bomb by Raquel Pelzel ($19.95, Workman Publishing, 2019) 1 hour, 15 minutes prep time n serves 6
O c raw cashews 3 Tbsp canola oil 2 large leeks, trimmed, rinsed well, white and light green parts finely chopped Kosher salt 5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into K-inch cubes 2 c broccoli florets K fennel bulb, cored and roughly chopped N c nutritional yeast 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 2 c leaves)
1. Put cashews in a blender and add 1 cup of water to cover. Let them soak for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight (soaking softens cashews—the longer they soak, the silkier the cashew cream will be). 2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and K teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until leeks are tender (lower heat if they start to brown), 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add potatoes and 4 cups of water, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. 3. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add broccoli, fennel, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and boil until broccoli and fennel are tender, 6 to 9 minutes. Turn off heat (don’t drain). 4. Add nutritional yeast and 1 teaspoon of salt to cashews (and their soaking liquid) in blender and blend until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer broccoli and fennel (reserve cooking liquid) to blender along with all but a few sprigs of cilantro. Add 1K cups of the cooking liquid and blend again until smooth and creamy. Add more cooking liquid if mixture is difficult to blend. 5. Pour broccoli mixture into pot with leeks and potatoes and stir to combine. Add more salt and/or water to taste. Chop remaining cilantro and sprinkle it on top of soup before serving. The soup will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 3 days. Per serving: 288 Calories, 12 g Protein, 31 g Carbohydrates, 6 g Fiber, 15 g Total fat (2 g sat), 459 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, B12, HHHH Vitamin K, HHH Vitamin C, Zinc, HH Magnesium, Phosphorus, H Vitamin A, E, Folate, Iron, Potassium
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SMART SUPPLEMENTS BY V I C TO R I A D O L BY TO E WS , M P H
BENEFITS OF OMEGAS
WHO GETS ENOUGH OMEGA 3S? ALMOST NO ONE, ACCORDING TO NUTRITION EXPERTS. OMEGA 3S ARE ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS—WHICH SIMPLY MEANS THAT THEY ARE DEEMED ESSENTIAL TO GET IN THE DIET BECAUSE THE BODY NEEDS THEM, YET CAN’T MAKE THEM ON ITS OWN, EXPLAINS CERTIFIED HOLISTIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS COACH ABBY PHON.
Concerning Ratio A big concern when looking at the modern American diet is a lack of balance when it comes to the various fats in the foods most people eat. As health coach Phon explains about the ratio of essential fats: “An optimal diet balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids would be 1:1.” In other words, omega 3s and omega 6s would be present in equal amounts. The reality, however, is that “the modern American diet, full of processed foods and grain-fed meats, falls closer to a 16:1 ratio, in favor of omega 6s.” Fatty acid ratios are a problem because “too much of a fatty acid from one family can create a deficiency of another type of fatty acid, as they share the same enzymes and metabolic pathways,” agrees Ronette Lategan-Potgieter, PhD, a visiting assistant professor of
health sciences at Stetson University in Florida. In addition, this skewed ratio can create myriad problems, since the omega 6s promote inflammation. “The ratio of omega-3 to -6 fatty acids (how we balance intakes) affects our risk for disease, as blood clotting, inflammation, and constriction of our blood vessels are affected by these,” points out Dr. Lategan-Potgieter. When omega 6s fan the flames of inflammation in the body, they serve as a contributing factor to everything from arthritis and diabetes to heart disease and some types of cancers. Omega 6s show up in all sorts of less-desirable foods in the average diet, namely vegetable oils and meat. On the other hand, omega 3s “ . . . fight inflammation, improve immune response, and positively contribute to brain development and cognition,” shares Dr. Lateganwww.tas teforl i fe.com
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continued from page 15
Potgieter. In short, the vast majority of people need to cut back on sources of omega 6s and focus on getting more omega-3s from foods and/or supplemental sources. The two main types of omega 3s are EPA and DHA.
Where to Get It . . . and Why Omega-3 fatty acid research often shows the most benefit for diseases that relate to inflammation, since omega 3s show strong anti-inflammatory effects. This explains why so much research centers around heart disease and joint health. However, there are many other emerging areas of scientific inquiry. Individuals coping with certain mental health challenges, for example, might want to seek out more omega 3s, since “a recent meta-analysis found that omega-3 supplementation was effective in treating mental disorders, with positive effects especially in the treatment of depression,” says Dr. Lategan-Potgieter. Omega 3s also help the brain in another way. When older adults add in omega-3 supplements to their regimen, their thinking ability improves . . . even if they are already experiencing a mild level of cognitive impairment. An even newer area of omega-3 research indicates that supplements might even help with weight management. This research found that obese people who
took omega-3 supplements felt greater satiety (a sense of fullness) and showed a trend to weight loss. “Wild-caught fish are one of the most abundant sources of omega 3s, but they are also high in toxic heavy metals like mercury along with industrial pollutants like pesticides and even flame retardants. If you want to limit your mercury exposure, or follow a plant-based diet (like I do), there are many great whole-food ways to increase your omega 3s. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all great natural sources,” notes Phon. There are numerous choices in omega-3 supplements, but one thing to look for is one that provides both EPA and DHA. Health experts generally agree that 1,500 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA makes sense for men and 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA is an adequate amount for women. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on serum leptin levels, appetite sensations, and intake of energy and macronutrients in obese people: A randomized clinical trial” by Y. Khaje-Bishak et al., J Diet Suppl, 2018 n “The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation improved the cognitive function in the Chinese elderly with mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind randomized controlled trial” by B. Yacong et al., Nutrients, 1/10/17 n Personal communication: Abby Phon and Ronette Lategan-Potgieter, 2019
Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, has been a health journalist for more than two decades. She is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).
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This season, when it comes to your immune health:
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AmericanHealthUS.com ©2019 American Health Inc. | 19-AH-1182
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S e e a h t s o s n i T ! ’
BY JACOB TEITELBAUM, MD
HOW TO STAY JOLLY & COLD FREE
It’s not only the holidays that make this time of year so expensive. Americans collectively suffer a billion colds every year, shelling out $3.5 billion annually for doctors and nonprescription treatments. Many colds are caused by viruses such as the rhinovirus. The rhinovirus stampedes even harder than its namesake African beast. The flu virus is even worse than a cold, each year costing Americans $10 billion while sending 240,000 to the hospital. Discover simple, smart, and affordable ways you and your family can shorten the length and severity of a cold or flu— or better yet prevent them—by increasing the strength of your virus-fighting immune system. www.tas teforl i fe.com
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An Ounce of Prevention Simple habits can be dramatically effective in preventing cold and flu infections. Here’s what you need to know. 1 Take a good multivitamin/mineral every day. Many nutrients, especially zinc and vitamin C, are important for your body’s immune defense systems to work properly. 2 Wash your hands! You typically don’t catch a cold from inhaling the virus. More likely, the viruses were on a doorknob or other object, and you transferred them from your fingers to your mouth or face. During cold season, wash your hands more frequently. And do a thorough job (wash your hands for about the same length of time that it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday”). 3 Try to get eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can suppress the immune system. Aim for eight hours of sleep nightly.
What to Do If You Already Have the Infection 1 Avoid dairy products. Feel a cold coming on? Don’t overdo the dairy. Yes, foods like milk and cheese are filled with bone-building calcium. But their proteins can also make existing phlegm thicker and more irritating to the throat and sinus passages, which worsens uncomfortable upper respiratory symptoms like stuffiness and coughing, and sets the stage for a post-cold throat or sinus infection. 2 Use a nasal rinse. Coughing out mucus or blowing your nose is your body’s way of getting rid of billions of bacteria and viruses so your immune system doesn’t have to kill them in hand-to-hand combat. An easy way to help your body get rid of those bugs is to use a nasal rinse, which washes out more than 90 percent of the critters. A homemade recipe for a nasal rinse is to mix a half teaspoon of salt per cup of lukewarm water. You can add an optional pinch of baking soda to make it more soothing. An effective way to use nasal rinse is by using a neti pot. You can find neti pots at your health food store, and they’ll likely include the salts to make the rinse. If you don’t want to use a neti pot, you can either sniff the rinse from the palm of your hand or squirt an eyedropper of it into each nostril (you’ll need to lie down to do this). After rinsing your nose, blow gently.
3 Drink lots of warm water. Drinking warm water (hot tea or hot water with a squirt of lemon for flavor) loosens the mucus and allows you to cough it out more easily. 4 Inhale steam. This is a great tip for colds that have turned into bronchitis. Just take a hot shower and take a few deep breaths. This will loosen the mucus so you can cough it out. 5 Suck on zinc lozenges. An analysis of several studies shows that using zinc lozenges during a cold can reduce its duration by 42 percent. Use zinc acetate, and suck on enough lozenges to get at least 70 milligrams (mg) of zinc a day. For example, suck on four 20 mg lozenges per day. If you can’t find lozenges with more than 10 mg, suck on two at a time. 6 Take elderberry extract. Supplementing with elderberry helps support your immune system. 7 Try Oscillococcinum. Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic remedy that can help ease the symptoms of the flu or flu-like symptoms of a cold, such as chills, fever, achiness, and just plain old feeling bad. The remedy also speeds healing. For it to work, take it early in the infection, as soon as you have symptoms. 8 Take 1,000 to 8,000 mg of vitamin C daily. It’s helpful to take vitamin C even while you have a cold. Researchers analyzed 30 studies on vitamin C and colds, involving more than 11,000 people. They found that taking the vitamin shortened the duration of colds up to 13 percent in adults and up to 22 percent in children. 9 Use dark chocolate and honey as “cough medicine”! A two-ounce square of dark chocolate can suppress coughs as effectively as cough medicines. If you have a dry cough that irritates your lungs, eating dark chocolate can soothe it. A wet cough, in contrast, is actually a productive cough that gets rid of mucus and shouldn’t be suppressed. Another tasty home remedy commonly used to treat scratchy throats and coughs is honey. TFL Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies.
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HERBAL HELPERS BY MARIA NOËL GROVES, RH (AHG)
“MAGICAL” HERBS ADAPTOGENS SUPPORT YOU IN SO MANY WAYS!
WHAT’S TRENDING NOW IN MAGIC HERBAL “DUST” (WHICH SOUNDS SEXIER THAN “POWDER”), TEA BLENDS, FAUX COFFEE, ENHANCED GOLDEN MILK, AND MORE? AMAZING ADAPTOGENS! ADAPTOGENS OFFER THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF HISTORICAL USE AND ARE AMONG THE MOST REVERED LONGEVITY AND VITALITY TONICS IN THE TRADITIONAL HEALING SYSTEMS OF AYURVEDA AND CHINA.
Simply put, adaptogens are safe tonics that help the body adapt to stress so you’re less likely to launch into “fight or flight” mode yet still have good energy to handle what life throws your way. Even though our adaptogenic herbs have been around for millennia, the term was coined and defined by Soviet researchers starting in the late 1950s. The popular term often gets misused for anything that’s remotely safe and health-promoting, but adaptogens are specifically safe, broadacting herbs that boost energy and ease stress by modulating stress hormones like cortisol in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal glands (HPA axis). You can assume all adaptogens boost energy, vitality, and longevity. Most also support libido, cognition, focus, and immune health. But each has its own affinities and some are more stimulating while others are more calming. Try finding those that best fit your personal needs. Adaptogens provide extra support, but keep in mind that they are not an excuse to ignore your body’s basic needs for sleep, a healthy diet, down time, and exercise so you can just go-go-go. ★ Ginseng and Friends: True ginseng includes Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) in two forms—white (crude) and red (steamed)—as well as American
ginseng (P. quinquefolius). All are warming, stimulating, and restorative; however, American is generally considered more tonic whereas red ginseng is the most stimulating and heating. Ginseng roots help you reconnect with your vigor when you feel depleted and fatigued. However, it is a slow-growing plant of deep woodlands, nearly eradicated in the wild from overharvesting and illegal poaching, and subject to rampant adulteration due to centuries of popularity. If you buy ginseng, opt for organically cultivated, woods-grown ginseng from reputable sources. Otherwise, seek out more sustainable ginseng substitutes: bitter-tasting jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum) leaves, eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) roots, and slightly sweet codonopsis (Codonopsis pilosa) roots. All of these herbs may aggravate overstimulation, insomnia, mania, and anxiety in sensitive people, especially if taken later in the day or alongside caffeine. ★ Rhodiola: Long revered in Hungary and Siberia, this root (Rhodiola rosea) is one of my favorite energizing adaptogens, boosting physical energy and excelling at improving mental energy and mood. Many human studies support its use for stress, energy, cognition, and uplifting the mood, with some effects noted within just one day. Seek cultivated
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North American rhodiola for sustainability reasons, and (as with ginseng and friends) use caution if you tend toward overstimulation. ★ Ashwagandha: This Ayurvedic root from India (Withania somnifera) is the adaptogen I use most often in my clinical practice because it’s deeply energizing yet also calms anxiety. It boosts thyroid function, supports nerve health, sleep, mood, cognition, fertility, and libido in all genders, and gently eases inflammation and improves muscle strength. It’s believed that if you take ashwagandha regularly for one year, you’ll have the strength of a stallion for the next 10. Ashwagandha’s well tolerated by most people, but use caution if you’re sensitive to nightshade family plants, have hyperthyroid disease, or take thyroid medications. ★ Schisandra: Also known as five-flavor fruit (Schisandra chinensis), this berry wakes up your senses with an explosion of flavor that’s sour, slightly bitter, pungent, salty, and sweet. It benefits many body systems and is one of my favorite liver and detoxifying tonics. Schisandra promotes a clear, focused mind, boosts digestive juices, and supports long-term immune vitality. It balances
energy levels and rarely overstimulates. It may interact with some medications and irritate people with a sour stomach or ulcers. ★ Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum, syn. O. tenuiflorum), also called “tulsi” and “sacred basil,” has the most profound calming effects of these adaptogens. It uplifts the mood, promotes focus, eases anxiety, and decreases inflammation. Through cortisol modulation, it not only eases stress but also gently reduces blood sugar, cholesterol, and stressrelated sugar cravings. It makes an excellent tea but can be enjoyed in any format. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “An alternative treatment for anxiety: A systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)” by M.A. Pratte et al., J Altern Complement Med, 12/1/14 n “The clinical efficacy and safety of tulsi in humans: A systematic review of the literature” by N. Jamshidi and M.M. Cohen, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 3/16/17 n “Rosenroot (rhodiola): Potential applications in aging-related diseases” by W. Zhuang et al., Aging Dis, 2/19
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.
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SPECIAL DIETS B Y E VA M I L O T T E
THE FERTILITY DIET IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START DIETARY CHANGES CAN’T GUARANTEE FERTILITY. HOWEVER, GETTING ENOUGH FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B12, AND OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS HAS POSITIVE EFFECTS.
Foods for Fertility Before getting pregnant, consume a variety of items to fill any nutrient deficiencies. Here are some foods to focus on. ◉ Fruits and vegetables. Fill half the plate at each meal with fresh produce. Kale offers nutrients that help with estrogen metabolism. Asparagus and watermelon have high amounts of glutathione—an important nutrient for egg quality.
up to two servings a day of whole yogurt, whole milk, and other full-fat dairy products. ◉ Vegetable protein. Replace one serving of meat a day with beans, peas, or nuts. These sources of vegetable protein may help improve fertility.
◉ Iron-rich food. Consider spinach, beans, tomatoes, beets, pumpkin, and whole-grain cereals, as they appear to promote fertility.
◉ High-quality animal protein. Egg yolks contain the nutrient choline, which helps with a baby’s brain development. Eating lean chicken and omega3-rich seafood (salmon, sardines, and canned light tuna) can help cut premature birth risk. In addition, the nutrients they contain help with the development of a baby’s nervous system.
◉ Full-fat dairy. This is a better choice than low-fat dairy. A high intake of low-fat dairy has been shown to increase the risk of ovulatory infertility when compared to eating higher-fat options. Consume
◉ Whole grains. Minimally refined options are the best choice, as they exert a more gradual effect on insulin and blood sugar levels. Whole grains also contain high amounts of B and E vitamins as well as continued on page 29
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fiber—nutrients that all help with fertility. Eat brown rice, quinoa, millet, and amaranth. ◉ Healthy fats. Avocados, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and nuts reduce inflammation, which in turn encourages fertility and healthy ovulation. According to integrative nutritionist and author Alisa Vitti, “Studies have shown that consuming a certain quantity of monounsaturated fats in the form of avocados during the IVF cycle increased the success rate by three and a half times, as opposed to women who don’t eat good plant-based fats during that period.”
Foods to Avoid ● Stay away from sodas. They appear to promote ovulatory infertility. ● Artificial sweeteners cause a cortisol response, which blocks ovulation. If you need to use a sweetener, stick to a less-processed option such as honey, maple syrup, or stevia. ● Avoid trans fats, since they harm heart and blood vessels and increase insulin resistance. Increased insulin levels cause metabolic problems that affect ovulation. A Harvard School of Public Health study of almost 19,000 women found a higher incidence of ovulatory disorders in women who ate more trans fats and carbs. ● Stress plays a role in infertility, and eating certain foods can increase stress levels. Overconsumption of sugar and processed food elevates blood-sugar levels. Too much salt heightens stress levels by increasing blood pressure. Drinking too many cups of coffee can cause issues, since high amounts of caffeine fill the body with cortisol—a fat-storing hormone.
Supplementation Before becoming pregnant, start supplementing with a daily multivitamin/mineral. Look for one that offers 40 to 80 milligrams of iron and 400 micrograms of folic acid. A Harvard School of Public Health study followed women for eight years and found that those who supplemented with a daily multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid were 40 percent less likely to experience ovulatory infertility over this time period than those who did not supplement. Keep in mind that while diet and supplements can help with fertility, it may be worth discussing with your physician if an infertility work-up is necessary. TFL SELECTED SOURCES Clean & Lean Pregnancy Guide by James Duigan ($18.95, Kyle Books, 2015) n “The fertility diet: What to eat when trying to get pregnant” by Holly Eagleson, www.Parents.com, 2019 n “Follow the fertility diet?” Harvard Mental Health Letter, www.health.Harvard.edu
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WINTER FACIAL CARE
● S erums can be used morning and night. If your night cream contains vitamin A or retinols, consider skipping nightly serum applications to avoid potential irritation. ● D rop a few pea-sized amounts of serum into your palm and gently pat on your face and neck. Wait a few minutes before applying moisturizer. ● S erums target specific skin issues. If you have eczema or rosacea, look for products designed for those skin conditions. They may contain antioxidants to help reduce redness or soothing herbs like calendula to reduce blotchiness and flare-ups. Serums with vitamins C and E can help fade hyperpigmentation, also known as brown spots or age spots.
YOUR GUIDE TO MOISTURIZERS, SERUMS, AND FACIAL OILS WINTER’S ON ITS WAY, BRINGING WITH IT COLD, DRY AIR OUTSIDE AND OVERHEATED INDOOR SPACES. BOTH ATMOSPHERES ROB THE SKIN OF MOISTURE.
While drinking extra water is good for overall hydration, winter skin needs topical help too. The idea for moisturizing has been around since the time of Cleopatra. But facial serums have come into their own only in this century. So, what’s a person to choose? For help in sorting it out, we turned to Ellen Smith, a holistic licensed esthetician. Founder and owner of European Esthetics Wellness Spa & Tea Room in Peterborough, NH, Ellen specializes in clean, safer beauty.
Moisturizer 101 There are two main types of moisturizers: Daytime formulas shield your skin from whatever your day throws at it. Nighttime moisturizers work to feed and nourish your skin while you sleep. Smith suggests using a moisturizer after washing with a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser and a balancing toner that will keep the skin’s pH intact. This
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MAKES EYES LOOK YOUNGER
prepares your skin to utilize the hydrating effect of the moisturizer.
The Serum Story
Facial oils nourish and hydrate skin. Extracted from seeds, nuts, and fruit, facial oils hydrate well in part because they form a “seal” on skin that retains moisturize. When choosing facial oils, consider your skin type. Sea buckthorn oil is good for combo skin, which can be shiny in the morning and dry during the day, or vice versa. Argan face oil benefits any skin type. Rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, it hydrates well, fights free-radical damage and acne, minimizes fine lines, and softens skin. Those with sensitive skin should choose unscented oils. Those with dry, delicate skin may benefit from rosehip oil. —Lynn Tryba
Serums are different from moisturizers in both form and function. “A serum has a more specific, undiluted, and high concentration of a certain ingredient for a certain benefit to the skin. Different cosmetics companies will have their own serums, or multiple choices of serums,” Smith says. “Some serums are formulated to help restore the balance of oil in the skin,” she says, “while others promise to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid is widely used to help the skin hold on to its own moisture content.” If you decide to add a serum to your skin care regimen, Smith recommends applying it after cleansing and toning—but before adding your moisturizer. Serum has a very light, almost gel-like, consistency, and is usually absorbed into the skin quickly. “We all need to use moisturizer,” Smith says, and “a serum is optional.” Read labels and try one that offers what your skin needs. TFL
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SOURCE Personal communication: Ellen Smith, 9/19
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WE ALL KNOW WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE EATING MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (FIVE TO NINE DAILY SERVINGS) THAN MOST OF US ACTUALLY DO. MANY PEOPLE TURN TO SUPERGREENS TO FILL THEIR DIETARY GAPS. These antioxidant-rich blends, typically made from veggies, fruits, seaweed, herbs, and extracts, deliver nutrients, often in the form of concentrated powders that can be mixed with smoothies and juices. Benefits may include enhanced immunity, increased energy, relief from inflammation and stress, and better post-exercise recovery.
Meet Your Supergreens Supergreens are rich in chlorophyll, a detoxifying green pigment that helps the body clear away heavy metals like lead and mercury. Young cereal grasses such as wheatgrass, and algae such as chlorella and spirulina are the most common forms. Supergreens are ideal for busy people—both on Earth and in space. Researchers at the Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, Germany, are investigating whether microalgae could serve as a food source for astronauts on long-duration missions. “Chlorella biomass is a common food supplement and can contribute to a balanced diet thanks to its high protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and various vitamins, including B12,” explained continued on page 38
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biotechnologist Harald Helisch of the Institute of Space Systems.
MAKES WRINKLES ALMOST DISAPPEAR
Chlorella Native to Japan and Taiwan, chlorella, a unicellular green algae, is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, chlorophyll, and B vitamins as well as vitamins A, C, and K and the minerals iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition to reducing heavy metal levels, chlorella may provide anticancer activity and enhanced immunity. One recent in vitro study showed that Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella zofingiensis exerted anti–colorectal-cancer activity with “significant antitumor effects.” Researchers noted these “microalgae species are worth further investigating as alternative potential antitumor agents.” Chlorella comes in dried granules, tablets, and powder. Try adding a few tablespoons of chlorella to a stew or pasta sauce. Chlorella has a strong taste, so a half-teaspoon works well for smoothies or juices. Seek reputable sources that have been tested and found to be free of heavy metals.
Spirulina This blue-green algae provides protein, fiber, chlorophyll, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. It’s been linked to improved exercise duration and performance, reduced cholesterol, decreased inflammation, and immune system support. The dried form of spirulina is readily available. Try it in dips, soups, stews, and smoothies.
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The bright green young grass of the wheat plant contains amino acids and fiber and is high in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as iron, magnesium, and calcium. In animal experiments, wheatgrass helped prevent cancer. In clinical trials, it eased inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. In other studies, it decreased chemotherapy-related side effects. Wheatgrass is available as fresh juice, frozen juice, tablets, and powders. Try adding a couple of tablespoons of powder to muffin recipes or stir into juices and smoothies.
Notes of Caution Certain supplements can interact with common medications. For example, chlorella should not be taken by people who take blood thinners. Check with your healthcare practitioner before adding any supplements to your nutritional regimen. Greens supplements, just like their fresh veggie counterparts, can absorb pesticides from their growing environments. Buy organic greens whenever possible. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “The long-term algae extract . . . decrease heavy metals levels in patients with long-term dental titanium implants and amalgam fillings restorations” by J.J. Merino et al., Antioxidants, 4/16/19 n “The medical use of wheatgrass . . .” by G. Bar-Sela et al., Mini Rev Med Chem, 2015 n “Nutritional quality and antioxidant activity of wheatgrass” by S.B. Parit et al., J Food Sci, 8/18 n “Production and characterization of exopolysaccharides from Chlorella zofingiensis and Chlorella vulgaris with anti-colorectal cancer activity” by J. Zhang et al., Int J Biol Macromol, 8/19 n Super Foods by Tonia Reinhard, MS, RD ($24.95, A Firefly Book, 2014)
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