Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Maté Factor- Yerba Maté

Read about the qualities of Yerba Mate, the amazing herb from South America
Information collected from matefactor.com

The yerba mate plant, which is really a tree, is an evergreen from the Holly family that grows in the subtropical forests of South America. The yerba mate tree, from the Aquifoliacae family, stands between 6 to 8 meters tall, being able to reach even 15 meters. There are many different species in the family, the Ilex gender having more than 550, the holly plant included, 280 species found in South America, 60 of which occur in southern Brazil. Only 3 species though are used in the mate industry (I. paraguariensis, I. angustifolia, I. amara), Ilex Paraguariensis being the most important. The mate plant, due to the widespread genetic variety of the Ilex family, may have white or light purple stems, and thick waxy leaves that may present dented or smooth edges.

The Flavor

The amount of xanthene alkaloids in the leaves of maté is believed to be directly related to the quality of the soil. This influences the flavor of the yerba mate giving it a milder taste. This flavor varies from region to region, the soil of southern Brazil presenting drastic variations in mineral content, texture, and organic mass. The tendency though, is for the cultivated maté to have a stronger bitterness, and probably higher xanthene content. The native trees, which grow in the nitrogen-rich topsoil of the Paraná Pine forests, tend to have a milder bitterness, characterized by a stronger leafy flavor. Obtaining the right balance of these is the secret to having a stable, fresh tasting yerba mate.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bad Studies Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

~Jack Challem

In our 24‐hour news cycle, headlines are written to shock and scare, and most reporters don’t have the grasp of medicine needed to critically evaluate whether a study is valid or not and publication in a medical journal is no assurance of research quality.

That’s something to consider when you see negative reports on dietary supplements. For example, a recent article in the Archives of Internal Medicine claimed that older women who took a variety of supplements‐including multivitamins‐ had a greater risk of death from disease. But the conclusions drawn from this article were suspect, at best.

For one thing, the Archives study had serious flaws. The subjects were asked to remember, on three different occasions over a span of almost 20 years, which supplements they had taken. This type of data collection is notoriously inaccurate. After all, do you remember exactly what you took years ago? And would something you took 20 years ago actually cause your death today? It’s doubtful.

The researchers also ignored the fact that older people have a higher risk of death simply because of their age, their greater likelihood of having serious age‐related diseases, and their likely use of multiple prescription drugs with attendant side effects.

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Sweet It Is


Who among us is resolute enough to get through the holiday season without enjoying—or, for that matter, baking—sweets?  While a few extra calories in natural sweeteners and syrups won't hurt most of us, the new breed of sugar substitutes might.  Alarmingly, sugar's kissing cousins may be even more harmful to your health than sugar itself.

When you overindulge in salty foods, your body craves sweets more than usual.  Experiment with herbs and spices that increase flavor without salt or sugar.

The perception of sugar free is not unlike that of fat free in the 1980s and early '90s.  Ever since we started slashing fat, we've gotten fatter.  With all the new sweeteners on the market today (like high-fructose corn syrup and Splenda), refined sugar consumption has declined, but that doesn't mean people are consuming fewer calories.  In fact, when Jelly Belly added Splenda (aka sucralose) to its sugar-fee jelly beans, this artificially sweetened candy had only one calorie less than the original!  But the real problem is that Splenda has been linked to a variety of unwanted symptoms from bloating and stomach cramps to headaches.  Even the company Web site has warned against giving sugar-free jelly beans to children under three years of age.  Another popular artificial sweetener, NutraSweet (aka aspartame or Equal) appears to deplete the body's supplies of chromium—a trace mineral critical in sugar metabolism—and may increase cravings for sweets.  Aspartame has recently been linked to migraines, particularly in children and teens, possibly as a reaction to its metabolite formaldehyde.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest has concluded that Sunette (aka acesulfame potassium, or Sweet & Safe and Sweet One) may cause cancer, so avoid these sugar substitutes.  Even older artificial sweeteners, like Sweet'N Low (aka saccharin), a petroleum derivative, can cause problems in sensitive individuals.

Monday, August 26, 2013


ChagaMax is the most potent chaga capsule formula available. It is the only wild chaga capsule formula fortified with wild birch bark and oregano. Other chaga formulas are made with artificially-produced chaga grown in vats. The difference is beyond comprehension. Real chaga, the type used inChagaMax, grows wild on birch trees. The fake kind, the type used in most imitation chaga capsules, is grown indoors from live chaga mycelia. The growth medium is starch, which may be genetically engineered. According to an Asian biomedicine study by Koyama, the sterol content of the fake kind is 1000% lower than the wild kind. Thus, never accept cheap chaga capsules made from such fabricated sources.

With ChagaMax, all the raw materials are from remote sources and are completely wild. There could be no purer or more powerful supplement known. In fact, it is so powerful that for many people only one
capsule daily is necessary. Wild chaga is a dense source of a wide range of nutrients, including B vitamins, minerals, sterols, and enzymes. Regarding the enzymes chaga is exceedingly high in SOD (superoxide dismutase); in fact, it is the highest source of this substance known. Regarding sterols, it is also exceedingly dense. So is birch bark and wild oregano. These sterols are hormone-like, and they help the body make its own hormones. The body needs all the hormone support it can get. In this regard ChagaMax is essential.

 There are also the glucans, which boost the immune system or, in fact, normalize it. Plus, there are the wild oregano flavonoids, such as quercitin, which also help regulate immunity.

Additionally, wild oregano is a dense source of phenolic compounds, like carvacrol, which are natural antiseptics. Wild oregano, birch bark, and chaga are all top sources of natural minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper, and magnesium, all of which are needed for healthy tissues.

Now is the time to get the most potent natural complex known, containing the King of All Herbs—wild chaga, and the Delight/Joy of the Mountains—wild, raw oregano. Get the joy of ideal health throughthe powers of wild nature. Get only the original wild, raw chaga capsules plus wild birch bark and oregano, ChagaMax, and experience the real power of wild nature.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Natural Beauty Tips

Beyond The Label

—Myra Michelle Eby

Body care and cosmetic products are not regulated like foods, so many products actually contain toxic chemicals that aren't listed on the label. While this provides a challenge to consumers, there are things you can do even if the label doesn't tell the whole story. Here are a few suggestions:

YOUR NOSE KNOWS. Trust your senses to help you determine if something is pure. Seek out products that smell and look fresh. Products that have heavy scents and unnatural-looking colors probably contain artificial ingredients and toxic fragrances.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Chaga Knowledge

The Wild Chaga Mushroom ... The Secret of the Forest

Chaga is a wild growth of immense powers. Everyone needs more power, so everyone benefits from chaga. Real chaga is truly wild. It grows in the far northern forests, where the ecosystem is intact. This is crucial, because there is a vast difference between wild plants which grow in pure nature and farm-raised plants. Chaga thrives in the remote wilderness, growing on wild birch trees. It consumes and then concentrates the natural power of these trees. A polypore fungus taking up to twenty years to mature, chaga is a true force of wild nature. There is now man-made chaga grown in vats and labs. Do not accept cheap imitations.

The “Gift from God”

Rather than soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood. It is unique, nothing like common mushrooms. In fact, chaga is the most nutritionally dense of all tree growths. Known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” this vibrant growth has been used by humans to support health for thousands of years. The Japanese call it “The Diamond of the Forest,” while the Chinese deem it “King of Plants.” For the Chinese that is saying a lot, since they have an immense history with countless plants. Now, you can get the great powerful secret of the Orient through North American Herb & Spice’s wild chaga supplements. Despite this exceptional status, most Americans are unaware of it.
To survive in harsh climates, chaga concentrates natural compounds for its protection, and that is why it is so powerful. To strengthen the tree, as well as heal, it makes potent phytochemicals, including sterols, phenols, and enzymes. Researchers have inoculated sick trees with chaga to strengthen them. People benefit by consuming these forest-source phytochemicals and nutrients.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Green Housekeeping

Spring cleaning is here and it’s a great time to think about switching from conventional cleaning products to the more environmentally friendly versions.

It’s a well-known fact that conventional cleaners contain hundreds of chemicals that unleash harmful toxins and contaminate our waterways once discarded. What you may not know is just how harmful these chemicals can be. They can act as respiratory irritants, potential carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, and endocrine and hormone disrupters. Certain ingredients call Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are added to most cleaners to enhance their performance, but can impair neurological functions. Manufacturers of conventional cleaning products are not held to any labeling requirements, making it difficult for even the savviest consumer to tell what they are being exposed to.

The good news is that some of the most
environmentally friendly cleaning products can be found right in your own home or store.

Spring cleaning the natural way:

Soap, water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and a coarse scrubbing sponge can take care of most household cleaning needs
To Clean glass, use a mixture of half white vinegar and half water
Baking soda and cornstarch are both good carpet deodorizers
To clean mold and mildew, use a mixture of lemon juice and white vinegar and salt.
A paste of baking soda, salt and hot water makes a good oven cleaner

Taken from Green Housekeeping by Lisa Madsen.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Joel Salatin: Life Lessons from a Farmer

Joel Salatin: Life Lessons from a Farmer (via Organic Connections Magazine)

by Bruce Boyers Joel Salatin—farmer, author, featured speaker, and the subject of several documentaries—has spent his life learning from nature how a food system is supposed to function, and putting it into practice at his Polyface Farm. Then, raising…

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Studies Shed Light on the Surprising Benefits of Chewing Gum

A little snack just hit headlines with a smack, as new research revealed the unexpected advantages of chewing gum. Already known to freshen breath and provide a low-calorie treat between meals, new studies in the US and the UK have uncovered gum’s uncanny ability to help boost students’ test scores, counter fatigue and even lower stress levels.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chia Ice Pops

Serves 4—6
Nutritious and refreshing, these ice pops get their natural sweetness from fruit.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chia Gel

Makes 20 1-Tbs. Servings
 Use chia gel to thicken sauces, soups, dips, dressings, and other recipes without altering their taste

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Super Seeds

Want more stamina? Try chia, a gluten-free seed rich in omega-3s and fiber.

Chia seeds have been called the world’s healthiest whole food for good reason. “Chia contains the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids of any plant known, and also contains significant amounts of protein, fiber, and antioxidants,” says Wayne Coates, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, chia researcher, and author of Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

“Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber have been shown to have positive health benefits in terms of heart health and diabetes,” he says, “And omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants have also been shown to help reduce inflammation and boost immunity.” Plus, chia is gluten-free.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tropical Treats

Get baking with coconut products

If you eat gluten free and also avoid milk products, refined sugar, and maybe even honey, agave syrup, or all grains, do you sometimes wonder how can you make tasty, good-for-you baked goods? The solution is simple: coconut!

Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm and have an amazing number of food uses. Luckily for people with gluten sensitivity and other food allergies, each of the following coconut products can substitute nicely for common ingredients used in gluten-free baking.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Grain-Free Morning Glory Muffins

Makes 6 Muffins

A great combination of fruit, vegetable, nut, and coconut ingredients, this muffin is a healthy, fiber-rich addition to any breakfast or brunch.

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Eco-Friendly Tips

Here are some easy ways to "green" up your kitchen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grain of Truth

Stay healthy and trim, the wheat-free way

By Vera Tweed

Wheat is the world’s most popular grain but it’s also the most dangerous, triggering overeating and obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other ills, according to cardiologist William Davis, MD, author of the best-selling Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. What about whole or sprouted wheat? They’re just as bad, he says. Here’s why:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Safe Shopping: How to Avoid GMOs

By Melissa Diane Smith, Illustration by Dave Klug

More and more consumers are looking for ways to avoid genetically modified foods (GMOs).
Here's why — and how you can join them

What’s the quickest, easiest way to avoid buying foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal and the USDA Organic seal on the label.

Increasing numbers of consumers are doing just that. The Non-GMO Project Verified label is the fastest growing label claim in the natural foods industry, and sales of organic food products in the United States continue to grow each year. The Non GMO Project is North America’s only independent verification program for products made according to the best practices for GMO avoidance, and USDA certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients.

So, why the growing trend to seek out and buy non-GMO foods?
Here are a few reasons:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hang on to Your Hair

By Vera Tweed

Genes, toxins, hormones, and age all affect our hair, but nutrition also plays a key role. In fact, hair is especially likely to suffer from nutritional shortfalls.

To survive, the human body naturally assigns a pecking order to how nutrients are used, says Alan Christianson, NMD, medical director of Integrative Health Care in Scottsdale, Ariz. and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease. Essential internal organs such as the heart and brain get first priority, followed by muscles, bones, and connective tissue, and then skin and nails. “Hair is at the very bottom,” says Christianson.

Those priorities make good survival sense. Hair loss isn’t deadly or debilitating, but it isn’t usually desirable, either. To get a handle on what you can do to keep a healthy head of hair, it helps to understand what influences its growth.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Historic Vote Coming on GMO Labeling

On November 6th, California will hold an historic public vote on the issue of mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

If passed, the California measure (Proposition 37) would be the first law of its kind in the United States. It could start a wave of GMO labeling laws and might even automatically leads to labeling throughout the country, experts say, because it's unlikely that companies selling products nationwide will develop two separate labels - one for California, which has the eighth largest economy in the world, and one for the rest of the country.

Labeling is important not just because it gives consumers the information they need to make informed choices, but also because labeling is a critical tool to help health professionals track the effects of eating genetically modified (GM) foods. It will also make it easier to hold corporations that make GM foods accountable for any ill effects, says Andrew Kimbrell, a lawyer and author of Your Right to Know.

For more information about the California Right to Know campaign, see www.CARighttoKnow.org 

via Better Nutrition