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December 2020

Winter

WellBeing RECIPES + MORE

Inside NATURE’S HEALING POWER LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE NATURALLY BOLSTER IMMUNITY DURING COVID

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DECEMBER 2020

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Serving Up a Good Mood Foods and recipes to ease anxiety and lift your spirit.

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Nature’s Release Valves Strategies for keeping blood pressure in check.

departments 6 Editor’s Note 9 News Bites

Black coffee may impair blood sugar control • Global body temperatures have dropped

10 Weighing In

14

© ERIN SCOTT

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21

Fiber can help you meet your weight loss goals.

13 Natural Beauty

DIY perfume with essential oils.

21 Healthy Family

Ways to combat nature deficit disorder.

28

26 Smart Supplements

Natural ways to fight post-viral fatigue.

Holiday

28 Taste for Life Holiday Guide & Giveaway

Giveaway 2020

Gifts sure to please everyone on your list.

30 Food Trends

Feed your microbiome.

32 Healing Herbs

Adaptogens offer immune support.

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

Long-Hauler Syndrome—We All Have It We ramped up our coverage of immune system support in early 2020 when COVID-19 started impacting life around the world. This month, we offer our first article on “long haulers” (page 26). Long haulers come in two groups: those who suffer damage to their organs (lungs, heart, brain, and kidneys); and people with no organ damage but who experience debilitating symptoms for three months or longer—even after they no longer test positive for the virus. We still have a lot to learn, but the current thinking is that those in the latter group will develop ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome). There are some recovery strategies that have worked well in the lives of people with CFS, and we report on those on page 26. When I think back to early 2020, I remember the way we talked about “getting back to normal” in a couple of months. “Getting back to normal” is a phrase that now sounds antiquated. This year has profoundly impacted Americans—and the world—in ways we don’t fully understand yet. We are, in some ways, all long haulers at this point, all experiencing some level of fatigue, with some suffering much more than others. As 2021 approaches, I wish you and your loved ones, health, peace, and the ability to recover, if not a complete sense of normalcy, something approaching at least a break from the fatigue of what 2020 has asked of you. May we all recover with our minds and hearts intact, take a deep breath, and continue pursuing optimal health and wellness for ourselves and our world. To your health,

Lynn Tryba

Letter to the Editor

Thank you very much for your magazine. I greatly enjoy reading it, learn “much from it, and look forward to each new issue when I walk into my

favorite natural food store.   I do want to ask you though, to please consider refraining from citing animal studies. For example, when I read in your May 2020 issue that “The survival rate of mice treated with AHCC was more than twice that of the controls,” after being injected with “what should have been a lethal dose of West Nile virus,” I am mortified to think about how much those who died suffered, as well as their comrades who probably did not thrive symptom-free.   When I read that “in another study, mice were infected with 100 times the 50 percent lethal dose of the avian flu,” and that “all the control mice that did not receive AHCC died within 12 days,” while others were still “alive” at 28 days, I wonder how much pain and suffering they endured while subjected to these tests.   In this era when we are trying to move towards a more equal and just society, please do not support the inhumane treatment of animals. I know you would not support the inhumane treatment of humans. —Mia Laurence

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba (Lynn.Tryba@TasteforLife.com) Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service: 800-677-8847 CustomerService@TasteforLife.com Client Services Director - Retail Judy Gagne (x128) Client Services Director - Advertising & Digital Ashley Dunk (x190) Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 603-831-1868 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell Editorial Advisory Board

Mike Barnett, marketing director for Clark’s Nutrition & Natural Foods Market Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong, Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, health journalist, and author of Body into Balance Clare Hasler-Lewis, PhD, MBA, CEO, OlivinoLife, Inc. Tori Hudson, ND, professor, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University Christina Pirello, MS, chef/host, Christina Cooks Sidney Sudberg, DC, LAc practices acupuncture, chiropractic, and herbal medicine Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, president, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Brenda Watson, CNC, author of seven books, a New York Times bestseller, and the creator of five PBS shows on digestive health Taste for Life® (ISSN 1521-2904) is published monthly by CCI, 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2020 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: $29.95. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in Taste for Life may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher. Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034

A note on recipes

Nutritional analysis from Edamam. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: HHHHH Extraordinary (50 percent or better), HHHH Top source, HHH Excellent source, HH Good source, H Fair source

Recipe key D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian 6 tasteforlife

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.

D EC EM BE R 2020

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GOOD MORNING

Rethink your COFFEE ROUTINE That first cup of coffee in the morning might be setting you back, especially if you haven’t slept well. A new study found that drinking strong, black coffee to help wake you up could impair control of blood sugar levels. “Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee, especially after a night of disrupted sleep,” said researcher James Betts, PhD. “We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we still feel we need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.” The researchers put healthy adults through three rounds of tests, with variations regarding normal or disrupted sleep and coffee and breakfast routines. Blood samples revealed the impacts on blood sugar control. SELECTED SOURCES “Drink coffee after breakfast, not before, for better metabolic control,” University of Bath, 10/2/20 n “Glucose control upon waking is unaffected by hourly sleep fragmentation during the night, but is impaired by morning caffeinated coffee” by H.A. Smith et al., British Journal of Nutrition, 2020

PERSONAL HEALTH

98.6 no more? For nearly two centuries, 98.6 has been the generally accepted “normal” temperature for the human body. But recent studies have found that the average measure has declined by about one degree. Scientists aren’t certain why. “Declines might be due to the rise of modern health care and lower rates of lingering mild infections now as compared to the past,” said researcher Michael Gurven, PhD. But Dr. Gurven added that “reduced infection alone can’t explain the observed body temperature declines.” Results from a 2017 study of 35,000 adults in the United Kingdom showed a norm of 97.9 degrees, while a 2019 US study showed 97.5. A new study of an indigenous population in the Bolivian Amazon settled on 97.7. Dr. Gurven speculated that the change may be because people are in better condition, so their bodies might be working less to fight infection. Better access to antibiotics and other treatments also shortens the duration of many infections. SELECTED SOURCES “A drop in temperature,” University of California—Santa Barbara, 10/28/20 n “Rapidly declining body temperature in a tropical human population” by M. Gurven et al., Science Advances, 10/28/20

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WEIGHING IN B Y LY N N T R Y B A

APPETITE FOR REDUCTION USE FIBER TO LOSE WEIGHT AND BENEFIT HEALTH INTERESTED IN A DIET TOOL THAT, IN ADDITION TO DECREASING YOUR APPETITE AND CONTRIBUTING TO WEIGHT LOSS, MAY HELP IMPROVE CHOLESTEROL, LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE, AND REDUCE YOUR RISK FOR HEART DISEASE, DIVERTICULITIS, AND TYPE 2 DIABETES? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN FIBER.

Types of Fiber There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. These nondigestible carbohydrates come from plant matter that cannot be broken down by the body’s digestive enzymes. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and helps food pass efficiently through the intestines, aiding regularity. You can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, nuts, whole grains, cereals, seeds, and vegetables. One long-term study found insoluble fiber was linked to about a 40 percent lower risk of diverticular disease (an inflammation of the intestine). Soluble fiber dissolves in water, creating a gel-like substance that slows your body’s absorption of glucose from food, preventing spikes in blood sugar. It binds to fat, helping the body excrete it, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. Oats and barley are great sources of this type of fiber. Research shows that when people with mild hypertension eat oats, they significantly reduce their blood pressure. Other good sources of soluble fiber include legumes, citrus fruits, apples, strawberries, and carrots. Another form of soluble fiber is psyllium, which comes from the seeds of Pantago ovata, an herb commonly grown in India. Supplements are available in pill, powder, husk, and granule forms. Taking psyllium before breakfast and lunch reduces hunger and increases a sense of fullness between meals. Women ages 50 and younger need 25 grams of fiber daily. Women older than 50 need 21 grams. Men ages 50 and younger need 38 grams; older men need 30. People typically get 15 grams of fiber daily, so there’s likely room for improvement in your diet. Try the suggestions below and look to fill your diet with the fruits and veggies to the right.

6 Ways to Increase Fiber Intake 1. Choose whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers. 2. Choose foods with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. 3. Opt for whole fruit instead of fruit juice. 4. Snack on raw veggies instead of packaged snack foods.

12 High-Fiber Fruits Fruit

Grams/Cup

Avocado 10 g Raspberries 8g 8g Blackberries Pomegranates 7 g Kiwifruit 5g Pear 4g Orange 4g 4g Blueberries Tangerine 4g Strawberries 3g Banana 3g Apple 3g

12 High-fiber Vegetables Vegetable

Grams/Cup

Acorn Squash Green Peas Collard Greens Artichokes Parsnip Kale Broccoli Carrot Spinach Green Beans Sweet Potato Swiss Chard

9g 9g 8g 7g 7g 5g 5g 5g 4g 4g 4g 4g

5. Eat fresh fruit for dessert. 6. Add a half-cup of beans and grated carrots to your salads. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “7 benefits of psyllium” by Arlene Semeco, www.MedicalNewsToday.com, 5/14/20 n “Effects of dietary fibre type on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of healthy individuals” by C.E. Evans et al., Journal of Hypertension, 5/15 n “Fiber” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, www.hsph.harvard.edu n “How to eat 37 grams of fiber in a day” www.WebMD.com, 6/1/18 n “Increasing fiber intake” www.UCSFHealth.org n “Nutrition and healthy eating” by Mayo Clinic Staff, www.MayoClinic.com, 11/16/18 n “Soluble vs. insoluble fiber” MedlinePlus, National Institutes of Health, https://medlineplus.gov, 6/21/18

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NATURAL BEAUTY B Y L I S A FA B I A N

SCENT-SATIONAL! MAKE YOUR OWN PERFUME

THE POWER OF FRAGRANCE HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN TO AFFECT ONE’S MOOD AND TO CREATE ATMOSPHERE IN A SPACE. The most concentrated form of herbal energy, essential oils have held an important role in creating perfumes. Even today, the essential oil known as ylang-ylang is part of the distinctive fragrance Chanel N°5.

Crafting Your Own Scents Why make your own perfume when there are so many available? Conventional perfumes are filled with toxic ingredients like acetone, parabens, and phthalates. Creating a signature fragrance from essential oils allows you to avoid these dangerous substances. While master perfumers may blend more than 100 aromatic compounds when developing a conventional fragrance, making your own natural version need not be so complicated. Start by considering whether you’d like a one-note perfume made with just one essential oil, or a many-note fragrance crafted from several oils. As for which oils to use, consider the scents most intriguing to you. Do you like ones that are floral? Citrusy? Woody? Spicy? Remember: A number of essential oils are delightful all on their own. You may find oils like jasmine, lavender, chamomile, rose otto, vanilla, or ylang-ylang need not be combined with anything else. When making blends, consider the following essential oils grouped together into their own fragrance families. Citrus: Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, lime, orange Floral: Geranium, helichrysum, lavender, rose, violet, ylang-ylang

Herbaceous: Basil, chamomile, clary sage, fennel, thyme, yarrow Spicy: Cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, litsea, vanilla Woody: Frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, pine, sandalwood, vetiver Stick to oils from just one or two fragrance families to avoid scent overload. Some essential oils are strong smelling. A potent oil can dominate a delicate oil’s scent. Once you’ve decided on the essential oils, start with a simple perfume blend of just two to three. This amount makes it easier to determine if the scent will be appealing to you. When you gain confidence, you can add more oils—up to seven per blend. When making perfume, always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil. Consider grape seed, jojoba, or borage oil. Do not use mineral oil. Follow this easy formula for blending essential oils with carrier oil in a small glass cup or bowl: 2 drops essential oil with 2 teaspoons carrier oil. This amount is good for experimentation, as it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. When you’re satisfied with the formula, make a larger batch by combining 6 drops essential oil with 2 tablespoons carrier oil. Don’t add the essential oils all at once. Add them drop by drop to monitor the direction the scent is heading. If it becomes

unappealing, discard the formula and begin again. Transfer the final blend to a sterilized, dark-colored glass bottle. Label the bottle with the date the perfume was made. You can also buy amber-colored glass roller-ball bottles. This type of applicator makes it easy to apply perfume behind the ears, on both sides of the neck, and along the collarbone. Always do a patch test before using your newly created scent. Apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow. Wait 24 hours. If any redness or irritation occurs in the area, do not use the perfume. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Essential Oils” edited by Claire Cross ($19.95, Dorling Kindersley, 2016) n Essential Oils & Aromatherapy Workbook by Marcel Lavabre ($19.99, Healing Arts Press, 2020) n Essential Oils for the Whole Body by Heather Dawn Godfrey, PGCE, BSc ($24.99, Healing Arts Press, 2019)

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B Y E VA M I L O T T E

Serving Up a Good Mood EAT HAPPY

Kind words and good deeds can bring a smile to your face. But did you know that certain foods come with their own mood-boosting properties? When we eat the right things, we can lessen our anxiety and lift our spirits. Consider oats, flaxseeds, lentils, avocado, cacao. These items produce longlasting, feel-good hormones that create a sense of well-being. The following foods are known for their mood-elevating effects. They also happen to be ingredients in the recipes featured here. Get ready to smile. acao. As one of the world’s favorite foods, it’s no surprise that chocolate ✔C brings cheer. Eating it increases the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, lowering stress levels and giving us feelings of happiness and pleasure. herries. The Montmorency tart variety contains significant quantities of ✔C melatonin, a hormone that promotes deep sleep. And, as we all know, a good night’s sleep is crucial to a sense of well-being. eafy greens. Spinach and Swiss chard are rich in magnesium, a mineral ✔L that helps lessen anxiety. entils. This slow-digesting carbohydrate is a low-calorie and ✔L nutrient-packed food that can help boost serotonin levels. ats. Rich in vitamin B1, this whole grain helps produce energy and a feeling ✔O of satiety. SELECTED SOURCES “Eat your way to happiness . . .” by Cindy Tran for Daily Mail Australia, www.DailyMail.co.uk, 8/21/20 n The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND ($39.95, Atria Books, 2005)

Chocolate-Cherry-Almond Baked Oats dV From the Taste for Life test kitchen

50 minutes prep time n serves 6

3 c rolled oats (not instant) K c slivered almonds L c cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder K tsp salt 2 c non-dairy milk 3 large eggs L c honey, plus additional for drizzling 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil, plus additional for greasing 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 2 c frozen cherries K c dark chocolate chips

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Brown Rice, Lentils & Greens Bowl with Glazed Cashews dGV From Let’s Fix Lunch! By Kat Nouri ($19.95, Chronicle Books, 2020)

60 minutes prep time n serves 2

Sweet and Spicy Cashews ¼ c roasted cashews 1 Tbsp honey V tsp ground cumin Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Brown Rice and Lentil Bowl 1 c cooked green or brown lentils 2 Tbsp Vinaigrette (recipe follows) 2 Tbsp Balsamic Caramelized Onions (recipe follows) 1K c cooked brown rice K c sautéed hearty greens, such as kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens K c roasted diced sweet potatoes ¼ c White Bean Hummus (recipe follows), thinned with 1 Tbsp water 1. To make cashews, place cashews, 1 tablespoon of water, the honey, cumin, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until a golden brown glaze coats nuts, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely. 2. To assemble bowls, stir together lentils, vinaigrette, and caramelized onions in a medium bowl. 3. Divide rice between two serving containers. Arrange lentils, greens, and sweet potatoes on top. Drizzle thinned hummus over everything. Scatter cashews over bowls just before serving. Per serving: 1,141 Calories, 41 g Protein, 196 g Carbohydrates, 19 g Fiber, 24 g Total fat (4 g sat), 750 mg Sodium, HHHHH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B6, K, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, HHH Potassium, HH Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), H Vitamin C, E, Calcium

1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. 3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, honey, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add milk mixture to oat mixture and combine well. 4. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips. Transfer mixture to an 8x10-inch baking dish greased with coconut oil. 5. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve drizzled with additional honey. Per serving: 534 Calories, 15 g Protein, 66 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Fiber, 26 g Total fat (13 g sat), 326 mg Sodium, HHHHH Phosphorus, HHHH Magnesium, HHH Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Iron, HH Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B12, Calcium, Zinc, H Vitamin B6, D, E, Potassium

Vinaigrette dGnV From Let’s Fix Lunch! By Kat Nouri ($19.95, Chronicle Books, 2020)

5 minutes prep time n makes approximately O cup

¼ c acid (citrus juice, vinegar, or a combination) K c oil 1 tsp kosher salt 2 tsp sweetener (optional)

1. Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl. Kitchen Note: Add-ins, such as minced aromatics (shallot, garlic, ginger), spices, fresh chopped herbs, mustard, and grated citrus zest, are a great way to further customize flavor.

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Balsamic Caramelized Onions dGnV From Let’s Fix Lunch! By Kat Nouri ($19.95, Chronicle Books, 2020)

50 minutes prep time n makes K cup

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium yellow onions, about 1¼ lb total, thinly sliced 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves K tsp kosher salt 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they soften and become translucent, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Add thyme and salt, lower heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking until onions are deeply browned and very soft, about 30 minutes, uncovering pan to stir every few minutes. When bottom of pan starts getting brown, add ¼ cup of water and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan; the liquid will be reabsorbed into onions. This step may be repeated, if necessary. 3. Uncover pan, add vinegar, and continue to cook until onions are thick and sticky, about 6 minutes. 4. Transfer onions to a large plate and let cool completely. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze in ice cube trays in 2 tablespoon increments.

White Bean Hummus dGnV From Let’s Fix Lunch! By Kat Nouri ($19.95, Chronicle Books, 2020)

10 minutes prep time n makes 1 K cups

1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 small garlic clove, minced 1K tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ c tahini ¼ c extra-virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1. Place beans, garlic, salt, and cumin in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add ¼ cup of water, the tahini, oil, lemon juice. Process until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape bottom and sides of work bowl as needed. 2. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

© ERIN SCOTT

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BY R OY U P TO N R H , D IPA YU

Nature’s

Release Valves HERBAL STRATEGIES FOR LOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE High blood pressure affects about 40 percent of the world’s adult population, contributes to approximately 7.5 million deaths annually (almost 500,000 in the United States alone), and appears primarily to be a disease of modern lifestyles due to smoking, obesity, stress, lack of exercise, and excessive consumption of salt, fat, and processed foods. The primary indicator of these as among the causative factors is the fact that hypertension is rising dramatically in developing countries, even developing cities, where adoption of Western lifestyles is most prevalent. This is good and bad news; the good news is it indicates hypertension is reversible, as was established by Dean Ornish, MD, decades ago. The bad news is many developed nations have realized the problems associated with the Western industrialized diet but neither we, nor developing countries, have learned the errors of our ways. America remains among the unhealthiest of all similarly developed nations. The primary consequence of hypertension is the strain it puts on the heart that has to overwork, eventual hardening and damaging of arteries that leads to atherosclerosis, blood clots, stroke, and eventual heart failure. Not a pretty picture, but it is a disease that is largely under our control, and herbal help is available. Conversely, high blood pressure is a serious condition that also must be approached cautiously, especially if already taking conventional medications. Some natural therapies mimic or can synergize the activity of conventional medications and so should be integrated under the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Herbal Solutions In addition to the lifestyle changes of dietary modification, physical activity, and stress reduction that address the underlying causes of high blood pressure, natural healthcare strategies center around addressing the various systems compromised: the heart itself, blood

circulation, and the vascular and nervous systems. Of primary importance is supporting a healthy heart. The primary botanical used in Western herbal traditions is hawthorn (leaf and flowers, or berries). It gently reduces blood pressure, strengthens cardiac output, decreases heart rate, relieves symptoms in patients with coronary insufficiency, and increases circulation. Hawthorn has potent antioxidant activity that can protect the vascular system from damage, a mechanism that potentially reduces the risk of stroke and atherosclerosis. Another botanical used in both Western and Chinese herbal traditions is motherwort, the Latin name of the Western species of which is Leonurus cardiaca, pertaining to the botanical’s long historical use for heart disease. In clinical trials, motherwort lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety, improved mood, reduced headaches, and improved sleep disorders in patients with hypertension. Remarkably, improvements were seen in as little as three weeks. Hawthorn and motherwort are especially beneficial as both have a calming effect on the mind, thereby addressing two additional underlying causes of high blood pressure, stress and sleep disorders. Also frequently used is Chinese salvia (Salvia miltiorrhiza), the primary herb used in China for promoting circulation and dissolving blood clots that can cause stroke. Pre-clinical research demonstrates it protects the heart from oxidative damage due to oxygen deficit and free radicals. Because Chinese salvia has a powerful effect at promoting blood circulation, it should not be used in conjunction with other blood-thinning strategies. In India, the cardiovascular superstar is arjuna www.tas teforl i fe.com

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(Terminalia arjuna), the bark of a tree widely studied for its antioxidant, blood pressure-lowering, antiatherogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which are critical for cardiovascular health. Clinical studies support its benefit in reversing symptoms of congestive heart failure, reducing angina, and lowering blood pressure. In addition to its direct blood pressure lowering actions, arjuna lowers cholesterol, which conventional medicine considers a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, arjuna is frequently studied in conjunction with the use of conventional cardiovascular medications, suggesting it is safe to use in such an integrative approach with expert guidance from a qualified healthcare practitioner. Arjuna, as does motherwort, also promotes diuresis, or urination. Diuretics are among the most common medications used for lowering blood pressure acutely by increasing fluid output and temporarily decreasing blood volume, thereby lowering blood pressure. Use of diuretics generally requires increasing potassium, which is also a key strategy in managing blood pressure. Bananas, melons, oranges, spinach, and zucchini are common foods rich in potassium, or a simple potassium supplement is usually sufficient. Magnesium and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are two other cardiac-supporting nutritional superstars.

The Movement Prescription Human bodies did not evolve to be sedentary. The body needs physical activity, which makes the heart stronger. A strong heart pumps more blood with less pressure; less pressure means less force on arteries. Less pressure on the arteries means lower blood pressure—and voilà! The activity need not be running triathlons or swimming the English Channel. Most important, physical activity needs to be integrated as a regular part of life, consist of a mix of aerobic, strengthening (weight bearing), and flexibility practices, and be something enjoyable that will be missed when you don’t do it. Consider a mix of walking, hiking, swimming, biking, yoga, t’ai chi, dancing, gardening, calisthenics, and weight training (low weights, more repetitions), etc. We all have to find what floats our physicality boat and make it a part of daily life.

Salt-Sensitive Individuals Reducing salt intake is a standard recommendation for those with hypertension as, in excess, salt can contribute to fluid retention that can exacerbate an already existing state of hypertension. However, there is a small subsection of people who are sensitive to salt and for 18 tasteforlife

whom salt is the primary causative factor of high blood pressure.

Breathing 4-7-8 In addition to the nutritional, herbal, physical activity, and salt-busting recommendations, there is a simple technique that can deliver dividends in health benefits; it is yogic 4-7-8 breathing. This is done by breathing in through the nose quietly for a count of four, hold that breath for a count of seven, and breathe out with a low whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat sequence four times. While it is an ancient practice, it was popularized by integrative health pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, who has taught thousands of physicians in integrative medicine, including this breathing technique. When surveyed, the majority of those integrative physicians said this was the single most important and clinically relevant technique they learned and passed on to patients. While the benefits of this breathing technique come over time, this simple measure can acutely lower blood pressure, help stave off an anxiety attack, promote a healthy night’s sleep, and otherwise cultivate a more calm and centered state of mental and emotional well-being that in itself can reduce blood pressure. TFL Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, has been working professionally as an herbalist for almost 40 years. He is trained in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbal traditions and is the president of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. SELECTED SOURCES “Cardioprotective effect of water and ethanol extract of Salvia miltiorrhiza in an experimental model of myocardial infarction” by R. Zhou et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2012 n “The effect of hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) on blood pressure: A systematic review” by A. Cloud et al., Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2020 n “Ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Chinese Salvia species: A review” by J. Xu et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2018 n “Evolving understanding of cardiovascular protection by SGLT2 inhibitors: Focus on renal protection, myocardial effects, uric acid, and magnesium balance” by E. C. Ray, Current Opinion in Pharmacology, 10/20 n “A global brief on hypertension,” World Health Organization, 2013 n “Hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida Bunge) leave flavonoids attenuate atherosclerosis development in apoE knock-out mice” by P. Dong et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2017 n “Heart failure improvement with CoQ10, hawthorn, and magnesium in a patient scheduled for cardiac resynchronization–defibrillator therapy: A case study” by J. Islam et al., Explore, 7–08/06 n “Medicinal properties of Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wight & Arn.: A review” by A. Amalraj and S. Gopi, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2017 n “NT-Pro BNP predicts myocardial injury post-vascular surgery and is reduced with CoQ10: A randomized double-blind trial” by A. Khan et al., Annals of Vascular Surgery, 4/20 n “Pharmacological effects of lavandulifolioside from Leonurus cardiaca” by K. Miłkowska-Leyck et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2002 n “A review on plants and herbal components with antiarrhythmic activities and their interaction with current cardiac drugs” by A. Beik et al., Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 4/6/20 n “Relation of low serum magnesium to mortality and cardiac allograft vasculopathy following heart transplantation” by E. Ram et al., American Journal of Cardiology, 5/15/20 n “Role of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in cardiac disease, hypertension, and Meniere-like syndrome” by A. Kumar et al., Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2009 n “Stachydrine hydrochloride suppresses phenylephrineinduced pathological cardiac hypertrophy by inhibiting the calcineurin/ nuclear factor of activated T-cell signalling pathway” by J. Zheng et al., European Journal of Pharmacology, 2020 n “Terminalia arjuna in coronary artery disease: Ethnopharmacology, pre-clinical, clinical & safety evaluation” by D. Kapoor et al., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2014 n “Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.—A useful drug for cardiovascular disorders” by S. Dwivedi, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2007

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HEALTHY FAMILY BY JANE EKLUND

GET OUT! NOW MORE THAN

EVER, THE BEST PATH IN LIFE MEANDERS THROUGH THE WOODS

Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature-deficit disorder” in his 2008 book Last Child in the Woods. The term describes the adverse effects of the dearth of nature in the lives of today’s young people, including depression, obesity, and attention disorders. His most recent book, Our Wild Calling, brings in another factor: Loneliness. “I believe our loneliness is also rooted in something older, deeper: our alienation from the natural world, our desperateness to feel that we are not alone in the universe—our ‘species loneliness,’” he told Taste for Life. Bring on the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders, and many of us—both children and adults—are longing for interaction with the natural world. Under work-from-home orders, we venture out for neighborhood walks during break time. In search of companionship, we adopt cats and dogs.

The best teacher We live in a digital age when both kids and adults spend more time indoors than ever, researchers say. That’s led to more sedentary lifestyles, less time in the sun and the fresh air, and fewer chances to interact spontaneously with others. For children, it can mean fewer opportunities to figure out their direction in life. “Nature is open-ended,” says Susie Spikol, community programs director and naturalist at the Harris Center for Conservation Education in Hancock, NH. “It’s unexpected and never the same. So when children spend time in nature, it wakes up their curiosity and allows authentic experiences. It’s the real deal.” Outside of classroom walls, Spikol notes, a child can be “an explorer, a scientist, or an artist. But mostly they can just be themselves. We are hardwired to be in nature. It’s where we came from and it’s where we are most ourselves. For kids, nature is one of the best teachers they can have.” continued on page 23 www.tas teforl i fe.com

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Time for a reset There’s never a bad time to connect—or reconnect— with nature. But in these days of COVID-19, nature can provide both a refuge and a way to connect with our humanity. “The novel coronavirus has forced us to reevaluate the value of natural outdoor settings, a rare pause to a decades-old trend,” writes Laurence C. Smith on the Scientific American blog. Need some ideas for safely communing with the outdoors? Here’s a sampling from Richard Louv’s Children & Nature Network blog: ■ Pick a “sit spot”: Find a special place in nature to visit and revisit—a tree in the backyard, a nearby creek, a rooftop garden. Get to know it in all seasons; learn the wildlife that visits, learn the plants.

■ Plant a tree or adopt one: Nurture nature in your neighborhood by planting or adopting a tree, perhaps to mark a special event, and watching the way it changes over the course of a year. Read books that will inspire outdoor adventure: Louv suggests Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Julie of the Wolves, and The Curious Garden for kids and Desert Solitaire, What the Robin Knows, The Thunder Tree, and The Sense of Wonder for adults. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Last child in the woods—overview,” http://RichardLouv.com n “More time out in nature is an unexpected benefit of the COVID-19 sheltering rules” by Laurence C. Smith, https://blogs.ScientificAmerican.com, 4/26/20 n Personal correspondence: Richard Louv, 9/23/20; Susie Spikol, 10/2/20 n “What is naturedeficit disorder?” by Kimberly Jordan Allen, www.sonima.com, 10/21/18

■ Set up a “world-watching window” for times when you can’t get outdoors: Pick a view that’s relaxing and will take you outside of yourself. ■ Take a hike: Choose a trail or a walk where you can safely avoid crowded places and pay attention to what you see, hear, and smell along the way. ■ Go camping in the backyard, on the rooftop, or on the deck: You and your kids can get away from it all without leaving home. ■ Look for nature everywhere: Live in the city? Check out National Geographic’s online Finding Urban Nature guide at www.nationalgeographic. org/idea/finding-urban-nature/. Have a yard? The National Wildlife Federation’s guide—www.nwf. org/garden-for-wildlife/create—can help you build a backyard wildlife habitat. www.tas teforl i fe.com

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IN FOCUS B Y TA S T E F O R L I F E S TA F F

GOOD NIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP

Consider these herbal sleep aids Several gentle herbs can help bring about more restful sleep. Herbs to consider: • chamomile • hops • passionflower. SOURCE “Natural ways to sleep better” by Annie Graves, www.TasteforLife.com

A POOR NIGHT’S SLEEP CAN INCREASE STRESS AND REDUCE JOY, ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY. “When people experience something positive, such as getting a hug or spending time in nature, they typically feel happier that day,” says Nancy Sin, PhD. But when participants in the study slept less than usual, they responded to stressors such as arguments and social tensions with a greater loss of positive emotions. Previous research by Dr. Sin and others demonstrated that being unable to maintain positive emotions in the face of stress puts people at risk of inflammation and reduced longevity. “The recommended guideline for a good night’s sleep is at least seven hours, yet one in three adults don’t meet this standard,” Dr. Sin said. TFL SOURCE “People react better to both negative and positive events with more sleep,” University of British Columbia, 9/15/20

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SMART SUPPLEMENTS B Y TA S T E F O R L I F E S TA F F

LONG-HAULERS

LIVING WITH POST-VIRAL COVID-19 SHORTNESS OF BREATH, HEADACHES, HEART PALPITATIONS, INABILITY TO FOCUS, GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS, MUSCLE PAIN, INSOMNIA, AND EXTREME FATIGUE. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF LONG-HAULERS, PEOPLE WHO CONTRACT COVID-19 AND REMAIN UNWELL FOR WEEKS AND EVEN MONTHS AFTER THEY NO LONGER TEST POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

Based on a CDC survey, 35 percent of Americans who became sick with COVID-19 but did not need hospitalization still had symptoms 16 days after testing positive. British researchers estimate about 10 percent of those who’ve had COVID-19 experience prolonged illness for longer than three weeks. In the United Kingdom, they call this occurrence “long COVID.” In comparison, 90 percent of people who get the flu recover within 14 days. In recent reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the most common persistent symptom of post-viral COVID-19 is chronic fatigue. Post-viral fatigue is also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, says post–COVID-19 syndrome “is highly suggestive of” ME, announcing in July that this can incapacitate people for weeks and weeks with fatigue and brain fog even after “so-called recovery” and the clearing of the virus. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, an expert on chronic fatigue syndrome and one of the world’s most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities, says a similar pattern of post-virus debilitation followed the MERS outbreak in 2012 and the SARS outbreak (also caused by a coronavirus) in 2002. Dr. Teitelbaum, the lead author of multiple studies on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, developed a S.H.I.N.E. protocol for treatment of people with CFS and fibromyalgia after his research showed striking improvements in patients, about half of whom had post-viral fatigue. That research, published in the Journal of Chronic Fatigue

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Syndrome, showed 91 percent of those who followed the protocol experienced an average 75 percent improvement in quality of life after three months. S.H.I.N.E. stands for Sleep, Hormonal function, Immune support, Nutrition support, and Exercise as able. The protocol is outlined in Dr. Teitelbaum’s bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! ($22, Avery, 2020). You can learn more about the protocol at Vitality101.com and EndFatigue.com. To enhance resistance against COVID-19, Dr. Teitelbaum recommends taking a daily multivitamin with vitamin D (1,000 international units), vitamin C (500 milligrams), vitamin A (2,250 IU), vitamin K (100 micrograms), and zinc (15 mg). He also recommends avoiding excess sugar, taking walks in the sunshine, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Effective treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia—A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, intent-to-treat study” by J.E. Teitelbaum et al., Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 12/4/11 n “Management of post-acute covid-19 in primary care” by T. Greenhalgh et al., British Medical Journal, 8/11/20 n Personal communication: Jacob Teitelbaum, 8/20 n “Symptom duration and risk factors for delayed return to usual health among outpatients with COVID-19…” by M.W. Tendforde et al., Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 7/31/20 n “Three months in, these patients are still ravaged by Covid’s fallout” by Sumathi Reddy, Wall Street Journal, www.wsj.com, 7/1/20 n “What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?” by David Levine, U.S. News & World Report, https://health.usnews.com, 9/3/20

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FOOD TRENDS BY NAN FORNAL

IMPROVE YOUR MICROBIOME TRY THESE FOOD HACKS FOR GUT HEALTH HAVE YOU THANKED YOUR GUT MICROBIOME TODAY? THE TRILLIONS OF GOOD BACTERIA THAT LIVE IN THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT CONTRIBUTE TO OVERALL HEALTH IN WAYS WE’RE STILL DISCOVERING.

“The richer and more diverse the community of gut microbes,” said Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, “the lower your risk of disease and allergies.” His conclusion is based on studies that compared the gastrointestinal microbes in people who have allergies, arthritis, colitis, diabetes, and obesity with those of people who do not have these conditions.

What your gut needs ✔ Probiotics. Supplements and foods, including yogurt, that are rich in live bacteria, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, “increase the number of those strains in your gut,” said Kevin Whelan, a professor of dietetics at King’s College London. ✔ Prebiotics. Indigestible molecules such as galactooligosaccarides and inulin nourish the gut’s probiotics. While they “increase specific bacteria,” Whelan told the BBC, “they won’t increase the number of different types of bacteria.” ✔ Diversity. “Dietary diversity is about challenging the concept of constantly eating the same thing,” said Whalen. Even if your diet contains nothing but healthy foods, consider whether you always eat the same healthy foods. Change your food selections to include a wider variety.

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Choosing gut-friendly foods Knowing that the kinds of foods we eat has narrowed in the last couple of generations may inspire you to eat with variety in mind. Steer clear of sweets and refined grains, and head in these directions instead: ■ Eat lots of fiber from different sources. If you always have whole-wheat toast for breakfast, for example, switch things up with a bowl of oatmeal. Don’t skimp on nuts and seeds. ■ Choose lots of different veggies and fruit, especially those that are in season. ■ Increase the fiber and nutritional content of your salad by adding artichokes and members of the onion family (garlic, leeks). Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) contain polyphenols, antioxidants that feed gut microbes. ■ In addition to yogurt and kefir, fermented foods contain live microbes. Eat more sauerkraut, or try kimchi, the Korean staple that’s gaining popularity here. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “15 tips to boost your gut microbiome” by Tim Spector, www.ScienceFocus.com, 2/10/20 n “A healthy gastrointestinal microbiome is dependent on dietary diversity” by M.L. Heiman and F.L. Greenway, Molecular Metabolism, 5/16 n “How to eat your way to a healthy gut” by Martha Henriques, www.BBC.com, 4/24/20 n “It’s not yet clear how to boost the microbiome. But diet is the best bet” by Markham Heid, www.Time.com, 8/8/18

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HEALING HERBS B Y D AV I D W I N S T O N , R H ( A H G )

ADAPTOGENS & THE IMMUNE SYSTEM HOW HERBS CAN BOLSTER IMMUNITY

The immune system is a network of specialized cells, tissues, and organs that protect the body from pathogens and rogue cells. It includes white blood cells, lymph glands, gut-associated lymphoid tissue, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow. One of the early and problematic consequences of chronic stress is decreased activity of the immune system. Stress decreases immune function by increasing levels of cortisol and suppressing resistance to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections as well as inhibiting immune competence. This means a person experiencing chronic stress may also be more susceptible to autoimmune disease or developing cancer. There is significant evidence that adaptogens act to enhance many aspects of the immune system and bring about increased resistance through a nonspecific, broad-based systemic process. Many adaptogens work to increase natural or innate immunity and provide vital support to the immune system. A relatively new area of research known as microbial endocrinology is the study of the interaction between microbes and stress hormones. According to studies, high levels of stress hormones can make us more susceptible to infections as well as promote the growth and virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Adaptogens may be able to help prevent bacterial infections by promoting a robust immune response as well as reducing stress-induced catecholamine (adrenaline, noradrenaline) levels.

Adaptogens for the Immune System Excerpted from Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston with Steven Maimes © 2019 Healing Arts Press. Printed with permission from the publisher, Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com David Winston, RH(AHG), is a clinical herbalist and ethnobotanist with 50 years of training in Chinese, Western/Eclectic, and Southeastern herbal traditions. He is a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild, the founder/ director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library, and the dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies. Steven Maimes, a researcher, freelance writer, and principal of SALAM Research, has studied natural medicine for over 30 years.

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All adaptogens are used for immune system support. They strengthen and modulate the immune system, improve immune response, enhance humoral and cellular immunity (increase T-cell and B-cell function), and have anti-inflammatory and antiallergy activity. Adaptogens support a healthy immune system that provides protection from acute illness (colds and flu). They also are used to treat immunological health problems such as viral infections, autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis), allergies, and cancer. Adaptogens have been shown to improve immune dysfunction and help reverse immuno­suppression caused by stress or drugs. ■ The following adaptogens are immune amphoterics (normalizers): American ginseng, ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, cordyceps, holy basil, jiaogulan, licorice, reishi, rhodiola, schisandra, and shilajit. ■ The following adaptogens nourish or stimulate the immune system: codonopsis, eleuthero, prince seng, rhaponticum, and shatavari. ■ The following adaptogens have antibacterial and antimicrobial activity: holy basil, licorice, schisandra, and shatavari. ■ Antiviral activity has been noted in the following: holy basil, licorice, reishi, and rhodiola. TFL

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