Superfoods

Kefir Benefits: 7 Secrets You Must Know About This Superfood

Kefir In JugKefir is a unique cultured dairy product that is one of the most probiotic rich foods on the planet and has incredible medicinal benefits for healing issues like leaky gut.

Its unique name comes from the Turkish work “keif”, which means “good feeling”.

For centuries, it has been used in European and Asian folk medicine due to the wide variety of conditions it has been known to cure. When made correctly, it is one of my favorite drinks and, after reading this article, I hope that you consider including it into your regular natural health regimen.

Kefir Benefits and Nutrition Profile

Kefir is a fermented milk product (cow, goat or sheep milk) that tastes like a drinkable yogurt.

Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.

Because of kefir’s unique set of nutrients it has been show to benefit the body in 7 main ways:

  • Boost Immunity
  • Heal Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Build Bone Density
  • Fight Allergies
  • Improve Lactose Digestion
  • Kill Candida
  • Support Detoxification

And these are just a few of the benefits of consuming kefir daily.

Kefir Probiotics

Since the beginning of time, every culture has pickled and fermented foods primarily to preserve them. Unknowingly, they were magnificently creating Superfoods jam-packed with healthy microorganisms (also known as “probiotics”) and regularly enjoyed healthy, long lives because of them.

In his Theory of Longevity, Nobel Laureate Elie Metchnikoff pioneered research suggesting that fermented milk has significant health benefits back in the early 20th century.

Since then, research has proven time and time again that the age-old practice of fermentation is good medicine because of the “healthy bacteria” that are contained within these foods.

A list of the more common probiotics that we regularly see in fermented foods include:

  • Bifidobacteria species
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus caucasus
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Acetobacter species
  • Leuconostoc

At this point you may be wondering: Why would we want to eat foods with bacteria in them? Don’t people take antibiotics to kill the bacteria so that they can feel better?

Living in the American “antibacterial” culture, where hand sanitizer is only an arm’s length away, it may seem like suicide for people to knowingly eat foods or drink beverages filled with microorganisms. However, nothing could be further from the truth! The key to understanding this is to learn a little bit about your gut.

Symbiosis of your MicroBiome

Did you know that over 75% of your immune system is housed in your digestive system?  Essentially, trillions upon trillions of “good” bacteria and fungus kill the “bad” microorganisms, which keeps you alive and well.

So what happens when you take antibiotics or regularly use antibacterial lotions and soaps?

You literally kill the good bacteria and the bad ones take over. This, in turn, disturbs the symbiosis (balance) of your microbiome which will lead to digestive issues and immune reactions.

Studies have linked everything from autism to most chronic diseases to leaky gut syndrome and improper digestion. Bottom line is that if you can’t absorb the nutrients in your food because you don’t have the proper bacteria balance in your gut, your body will never run on all cylinders because it lacks the fuel.

Kefir Grains and Research

First described by tribes in Russia, “kefir grains” are actually not grains at all, but are a delicate balance of yeast and bacteria.

Able to ferment milk in around 24 hours, kefir grains can transform raw milk into a Superfood probiotic drink (kefir), a naturally-carbonated, refreshing beverage that has several key medicinal benefits.

Rich in Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, kefir also provides significant amounts of lactic acid bacteria and beneficial yeast. In fact, the cocktail of beneficial microbiota within kefir makes it one of the most powerful probiotic foods on the planet!

Fights Cancer - Consumption of fermented foods has been shown to kill several different types of cancerous tumors in animal studies. The Journal of Dairy Science, for example, published a study that evaluated the immune cells in mice and discovered that regular kefir consumption help stop breast cancer growth.

Supports Detoxification - “Mutagens” are various agents that can literally alter your DNA and can be found everywhere in our environment.

Aflatoxins, for example, are food-born toxins created by mold and can be found in many groundnuts (which is why peanut butter causes allergies and immune reactions), crude vegetable oils (like canola, soybean, and cottonseed), and grains (wheat, soy, and corn).

Being rich in lactic acid bacteria, kefir can literally bind (kill) aflatoxins and other funguses, which helps preserve healthy genetic expression.

Immune Boosting - Next time you get sick, think twice about taking an antibiotic and drinking kefir instead. A study out of University College Cork, Ireland compared Lactobacillus probiotic preparations, compared them to conventional antibiotics in three animal models that are similar to humans and discovered that, “In all three animal diseases we observed a positive effect in that the animals were significantly protected against infection.”

In fact, the researchers discovered that probiotics worked as well as or even better than antibiotic therapy in not only eliminating the infectious agent, but in resolving symptoms!

Lactose Intolerance Improvement - It may sound crazy, but yes fermented milk products like kefir can help people with milk-related lactose intolerance. To grip your brain around this, you have to keep in mind that fermentation changes the chemical make-up of foods and, in the case of fermented milk, kefir is relative low in lactose.

Additionally, if you struggle with lactose problems, you may want to try adding kefir to your diet in small amounts because a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that, “Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose malabsorption.”

As a disclaimer: although I have found most people do very well with goat’s milk kefir a small percent of people may still have issues with dairy.  My advice is try it for yourself and make sure to listen to your body.

Do you drink kefir or yogurt? What health benefits have you experienced from it?

Resources:

  • Guzel-Seydim ZB, et al. Review: functional properties of kefir. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Mar; 51(3):261-8.
  • St-Onge MP, et al. Kefir consumption does not alter plasma lipid levels or cholesterol fractional synthesis rates relative to milk in hyperlipidemic men: a randomized controlled trial BMC Complement Altern Med. 2002;2:1. Epub 2002 Jan 22.
  • de Moreno de Leblanc A, et al. Study of immune cells involved in the antitumor effect of kefir in a murine breast cancer model. J Dairy Sci 2007; 90(4):1920-8.
  • Guzel-Seydim ZB, Kok-Tas T, Greene AK, Seydim AC. Review: functional properties of kefir. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2011; 51(3):261-8.
  • Hertzler SR, Clancy SM. Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion. J Am Diet Assoc 2003; 103(5):582-7.
  • Lopitz-Otsoa F, et al. Kefir: a symbiotic yeasts-bacteria community with alleged healthy capabilities. Rev Iberoam Micol 2006; 23(2):67-74.
  • Liu JR, et al. Hypocholesterolaemic effects of milk-kefir and soyamilk-kefir in cholesterol-fed hamsters. Br J Nutr 2006; 95(5):939-46.
  • Vinderola CG, et al. Immunomodulating capacity of kefir. J Dairy Rez 2005; 72(2):195-202.
  • Lopitz-Otsoa F, et al. Kefir: A symbiotic yeasts-bacteria community with alleged healthy capabilities. Rev Iberoam Micol 2006; 23:67-74.
  • Society for General Microbiology. “How Probiotics Can Prevent Disease.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090401200433.htm (accessed April 12, 2014).
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Cruciferous Vegetables: Cancer Killer or Thyroid Killer?

Are you getting enough cruciferous vegetables in your diet?  For most people, the answer is no.  But I want to encourage you to focus on getting more of these nutrient dense super foods in your diet on a daily basis.

Cruciferous vegetables are unique because they are rich in sulfur containing compounds called glucosinolates which support detoxification and indole-3-carbinol which greatly reduces the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer.

Here is list of the cruciferous vegetables:

  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Radish
  • Turnip
  • Watercress

Cruciferous Benefits  

 

whitespacerCruciferous Vegetables Studies

Ever since a landmark study from 1996, cruciferous veggies have been a hot topic in cancer prevention research. The article – published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention – reviewed 94 studies and found that consumption of these veggies indicated a decreased risk of both primary and secondary cancers.

Of the 94 research trials evaluated, 70% of cabbage studies showed an decreased relationship with cancer risk. Other notables include cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts studies that reported 67%, 56% and 29% relationship with decreased cancer risk, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the authors of the study concluded that,

A high consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer. This association appears to be most consistent for lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer and least consistent for prostatic, endometrial, and ovarian cancer.

Glucosinolates Kill Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, the secret behind the cancer-killing ability of cruciferous veggies is that they are rich in glucosinolates – a large group of sulfur-containing compounds.

These powerhouse chemicals are known to break down during the chewing and digestion process into biologically active compounds that prevent cancer cells growth, which are referred to as indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates.

Having been discovered to prevent cancer growth in rats and mice, indoles and isothiocyanates are heralded to protect against cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach.

Research suggests that this happens because glucosinolates stimulate what are known as Phase II enzymes, the body’s natural antioxidant system. In essence, glucosinolates trigger the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes that block free-radical attack on your DNA. It has also been reported that glucosinolates:

  • Are anti-inflammatory
  • Contain antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Inactivate carcinogens
  • Reprogram cancer cells to die-off
  • Prevent tumor formation and metastasis

Anticancer Pesticides? 

Glucosinolates act as natural pesticides in plant cells and, when they are consumed by humans, are utilized for DNA repair and help prevent cancer by slowing cancer cell growth.

According to Jon Michnovicz, MD, PhD, the President of the Foundation for Preventive Oncology, Inc., “Studies have shown that if you make cabbage into a paste and rub in on the backs of laboratory animals, you can prevent tumors from developing.”

In addition to animal studies, Dr. Michnovicz reports that several studies on cruciferous vegetables have been conducted on people and many of these cancer-fighting properties have been confirmed.

Cruciferous Vegetables Thyroid Side Effects

One of the most common questions I get from patients is “does eating cruciferous vegetables cause thyroid problems?”

According to the research, it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause hypothyroidism and it appears that there is only a risk if someone also has an iodine deficiency.

One study in humans found that the consumption of 5oz a day of cooked brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.

So my advice if you have a thyroid issue is to consume cruciferous vegetables that have been cooked and keep them to about 1-2 servings daily.

Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes

Do you want more cruciferous vegetables in your diet?  Then try these recipes:

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Turkey Bacon

Lime Cilantro Cole Slaw

Creamy Kale Salad

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Nutrient Density

Finally, amongst the many known benefits of cruciferous vegetables they rank as the most nutrient dense foods on the planet as seen in this chart from worldshealthiestfoods.org.

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whitespacerReferences:

  • Dole Nutrition Institute. How do glucosinolates in vegetables protect me from cancer? Available at: http://www.sharecare.com/health/antioxidants/glucosinolates_protect_cancer
  • Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Liu Y, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. A prospective study of cruciferous vegetables and prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2003; 12(12): 1403-1409
  • Hecht SS. Inhibition of carcinogenesis by isothiocyanates. Drug Metabolism Reviews 2000; 32(3-4): 395-411.
  • Johnson IT. Glucosinolates: Bioavailability and importance to health. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2002; 72(1): 26-31.
  • Murillo G, Mehta RG. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. Nutrition and Cancer 2001; 41(1-2): 17-28.
  • National Cancer Institute. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/diet/cruciferous-vegetables
  • Verhoeven DT. Epidemiological studies on brassica vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1996; 5(9): 733-48.
  • Yang G, Gao YT, Shu XO, et al. Isothiocyanate exposure, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms, and colorectal cancer risk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 91(3): 704-711.
  • Yeager S. The doctors book of food remedies: The latest findings on the power of food. Rodale. New York. 2007. p 127.

 What is your favorite Cruciferous Vegetable?

 

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40 Coconut Oil Uses and Cures

40 Coconut Oil InfographicCoconut oil might just be the most versatile health food on the planet. Not only is it my favorite cooking oil, but coconut oil uses are countless and can be used for everything from deodorant to toothpaste and body lotion to weight loss aid.

Coconut oil contains a three unique fatty acids in lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid that are some of the rarest in nature.  These medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) have tremendous health benefits and are easy burn as fuel for energy and have anti-microbial properties.

 

 

Some of the top benefits of using coconut oil include:

  • Balance Hormones
  • Kill Candida
  • Improve Digestion
  • Moisturize Skin
  • Reduce Cellulite
  • Decrease Wrinkles and Age Spots
  • Balance Blood Sugar and Improve Energy
  • Improve Alzheimer’s
  • Increase HDL and Lower LDL Cholesterol
  • Burn Fat

Are you ready to see some incredible results?  Here are my top 40 coconut oil uses in 3 categories: Food Uses, Body Care and Natural Medicine.

Food Uses

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1. Cooking at High Heat - Best oil for cooking because it has a high smoking point and is superior to olive oil.

Cooking coconut

2. On Toast Instead of Butter – Spread coconut oil on your sprouted grains bread instead of butter.

3. Energizer - Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 1/2 tbsp chia seeds as energy fuel.  The MCT’s in coconut oil plus nutrients in chia will send your energy soaring.

4. Coconut Oil Coffee – Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your coffee can give you an extra boost of energy and replace dairy creamer.

5. Chocolate Fondue – Mix 4 tbsp coconut oil with 1 dark chocolate bar then melt on medium heat.  Then take fruits like strawberries and banana’s and dip then in the chocolate sauce.

6. Smoothies - Add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil to fruit smoothie to improve texture and increase healthy fat intake.

7. Popcorn topping – Use in making homemade stovetop popcorn.  Pour over organic popcorn and then sprinkle on some sea salt for non-GMO popcorn.

8. Non-stick oil – Best oil to use when cooking eggs for non-stick.  Let skillet with coconut oil get warm then add eggs in to cook.

9. Homemade Mayo – Use as oil in homemade mayonnaise recipe mixed with egg yolks.

10. Sweet Potato Topping – Put on baked sweet potato and then sprinkle on cinnamon.  Also, use for sweet potato fries recipe.

11. Baking Oil - Use in baking recipes like brownies to replace other oils.  Also perfect for greasing pans so foods don’t stick.

Body Care

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12. Skin moisturizer - Apply 1 tsp of coconut oil to hands and rub into needed areas for hydration.

13. Mineralizing toothpaste - Mix equal parts of coconut oil with baking soda then add a few drops of peppermint essential oil for homemade toothpaste.

14. Lip Balm – Can soothe chapped lips.  Can also mix with beeswax and lavender essential oil for homemade chap stick.

15. Coconut Shampoo – Coconut can cleanse hair and great if used with apple cider vinegar.

Coconut tincture

16. Oil Pulling – To oil pull Swish oil between teeth for 5-20 minutes to kill bad bacteria and freshen your breath.

17. Natural Deodorant Excellent as natural deodorant and can be used for deodorant recipe by mixing with baking soda and essential oils.

18. Face Wash – Coconut oil can be used in natural face wash recipe to cleanse an moisturize.  Lavender and tea tree essential oils are also excellent.

19. Wound Salve – Perfect to use as wound ointment because of anti-microbial properties.  Put on just like you would neosporin.

20. Hair Conditioner - Add to hair as conditioner to repair split ends.  Rub in hair and leave in for 30 minutes, then rinse.

21. Body Lotion – Use coconut oil by itself as natural body lotion or mix as part of body butter recipe with shea butter.

22. Cellulite Solution – Use as cellulite-reduction cream with grapefruit essential oil.  Mix 1 tbsp coconut oil with 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil then massage into area after getting out of shower.

23. Eye Makeup Remover – Use with cotton swab as eye makeup remover instead of chemicals.

24. Shaving cream – Excellent replacement for shaving lotion that provides a gentle glide for a razor and soothes skin.

25. Bath Soak – Mix 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil, with 1/4 cup epsom salts for an incredible healing bath.

26. Sunscreen / Sunburn remedy – Coconut oil is an SPF 4 and can soothe and moisturize skin from sunburn.

27. Personal Lubricant – Often used as personal bedroom lubricant and won’t disturb vaginal flora like other lubricants.

28. Anti-Aging Skincare – Put coconut oil on skin before bed to reduce age spots and wrinkles.

29. Massage Oil – Coconut oil works as the perfect massage oil and when mixed with lavender and peppermint essential oils can relax and heal sore muscles.

30. Insect repellent – Mixing coconut oil with essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and citronella are more effective and safer than DEET at keeping bugs away.

Natural Medicine

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Coconut tincture

31. Alzheimer’s Treatment - Take 1 tbsp daily to support brain health and prevent Alzheimer’s as part of ketogenic diet.

32. Aromatherapy – Used as perfect carrier oil when making home remedies with essential oils.

33. Candida Killer – Coconut oil contains caprylic acid which has anti-microbial properties that can kill yeast and candida.

34. Fat Burning Supplement - The MCT’s found in coconut oil have been proven to support weight loss and help your body burn fat for energy.

35. Hormone Balancer – The healthy fats in coconut oil support the thyroid and adrenal glands which can lower cortisol to naturally balance hormones.

36. Digestive Support – Coconut oil is easy to digest and contains compounds that destroy bad bacteria, promote growth of probiotics and heal leaky gut.

37. Anti-Fungal Cream – Can be used topically to treat athletes foot and skin fungus.

38. Blood Sugar Stabilizer – Coconut oil can help balance blood sugar levels and has been medically proven to improve diabetes.

39. Healing Ointment - Can be used as cream to heal dry and flaking skin for those with Eczema and Psoriasis.

40. Cholesterol Supplement – The healthy fats in coconut oil have been proven to increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol supporting heart health.

As you can see, coconut oil uses are numerous and so are the health benefits.

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Do you use coconut oil?  If so, how do you use it?

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Coconut Remedies Infographic

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Raw Milk Heals Skin, Allergies and Immunity

Pouring milk in the glass on the background of nature.If you’ve been told that drinking raw milk is dangerous, you’ve been mis-lead!  The truth is raw milk benefits your body in many ways and you shouldn’t miss out on this amazing superfood.

I did extensive research on claims made by the FDA and CDC that raw milk is dangerous and found that their accusations were completely unwarranted.

In fact, according to medical researcher Dr. Ted Beals, MD, you are 35,000 times more likely to get sick from other foods than you are from raw milk!

The CDC reports show an estimated 48 million food borne illnesses each year and only 42 (about 0.0005) are reported from those who drink fresh, unprocessed milk.
As you can see, most concerns over raw milk have been overstated and I believe that the heath benefits have been extremely underrated.  Raw milk benefits are numerous and can help address a large number of nutritional deficiencies you may be experiencing.

Some of the main reasons over 10 million Americans drink raw milk on a regular basis include:

  • Healthier skin, hair and nails
  • Stronger immune system
  • Reduced allergies
  • Increase in bone density
  • Neurological support
  • Weight loss
  • Building lean muscle

And these are just a few of the benefits!  What makes raw milk such an incredible superfood?  Let’s take a look at it’s nutritional profile and it will become quite clear.

Raw Milk Nutritional Profile

Raw milk is truly one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and has a nutritional profile unlike any other food.  I understand if you’ve been cautious in the past about drinking raw milk because of all the negative media, but I’m sure you’ll see why more and more people are drinking raw milk everyday.  Here are 5 reasons raw milk benefits are out of this world!

#1  Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D, and K2 – Since raw milk comes from cows grazing on grass, research studies have shown that it contains a higher level of heart healthy, cancer killing, fat-soluble vitamins.

Studies have shown that one of the most common deficiencies in children is a lack of fat soluble vitamins.  These vitamins support the brain and nervous system and are crucial for development, focus and brain function.  Also, fat soluble vitamins support bone density and help naturally balance hormones.

#2  Short Chain Fatty Acids, CLA and Omega-3’s – In addition to being high in Omega-3s, raw milk is a rich source of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that is widely known to control health issues related to inflammation, slow metabolism and stress resistance.

In fact, researchers in Japan conducted a study on mice that suggests that butyrate can be used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease!

Also, raw grass-fed milk is packed with CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has been proven to fight cancer and help reduce body fat.

#3  Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium – Raw milk is one of the highest sources of minerals.  One serving of raw milk contains about 400 mg of calcium, 50 mg of magnesium and 500 mg of potassium.

These minerals are vitally important for cellular function, hydration, building bone density, circulation, detoxification, muscle health and metabolism and also happen to be three minerals many people are deficient in.

#4  Probiotics: Kefir, Cheese, Yogurt – Probiotics are only found in small amounts in raw milk but when you ferment raw milk to make kefir, yogurt or cheese the good bacteria dramatically increases.  In fact, there are no other foods in the world as high in probiotics as cultured dairy products.

Probiotics are microorganisms that line your gut and support nutrient absorption and protect you from foreign invaders like E. coli and parasites. The best way to include probiotics in your diet is in their most natural state, which includes raw milk products such as cheese, kefir and yogurt. Some disorders probiotic rich foods are known to help with include:

  • Colon cancer
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin infections
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary track infections
  • Vaginal yeast infections

#5  Whey Protein and Immunoglobulins – By far, the best tasting curds and whey come from raw milk.  Whey protein is fantastic for anyone who is looking to burn fat and build muscle.  Whey is high in the following enzymes and proteins and the best way to get these immunity boosters is in their natural form which is real, raw milk.

  • Alpha-lactalbumin
  • Beta-lactoglobulin
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Immunoglobulin

As you can see, raw milk is loaded with nutrients that support healing.  There is no other food in the world that contains such a stunning nutritional profile.

Problems With Pasteurization

Dairy products have gotten a bad rap over years because of the pasteurization process.  When milk is pasteurized it destroys many of the nutrients that make raw milk beneficial.

According to medical studies the following nutrients that are destroyed or altered during pasteurization include:

Nutrient and Immune Factors Pasteurized Milk Raw Milk
  Vitamin A  35% Reduction  100% Active
  Vitamin C  25 to 77% Reduction  100% Active
  Vitamin E  14% Reduction  100% Active
  Iron  66% Reduction  100% Active
  Zinc  70% Reduction  100% Active
  B-Complex Vitamins  38% Reduction  100% Active
  Calcium  21% Reduction  100% Active
  Enzymes  100% Destroyed  100% Active
  Immunoglobulins  Damaged  100% Active
  Whey Protein  Denatured  100% Active

As you can see, nutrients are greatly reduced during the pasteurization process, but in truth the damage is much worse than this chart shows.

If you consider the fact that many of these nutrients are not only reduced, but altered from their original state, you can understand that some of these nutrients are completely unavailable for your body to use.

For instance, in a study published in the Journal of Dairy Research found low temperature pasteurization decreases vitamin C content by 25%.

But the authors go on to explain that the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is oxidized into dehydroascorbic acid which is an inactive degraded form of vitamin C.  So in reality, you may not be digesting any vitamin C at all.

Another major negative of pasteurization is that it destroys the enzymes needed to break down and absorb certain nutrients.  In the previously mentioned study, they found lactase (the enzyme in dairy) levels are greatly reduced with pasteurization so we now have an explanation to why so many people are lactose intolerant.

A survey conducted by the Weston A. Price Foundation found that of the 700 families interviewed 80% of those diagnosed with lactose intolerance stopped having symptoms when they switched to raw milk.

Raw Milk Benefits for Skin

As we’ve seen, the benefits of raw milk are numerous but possibly the most common reason people consume it is to benefit their skin.  The success stories of people consuming raw milk to improve conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne are very common.

Raw milk benefits the skin for the following reasons:

Healthy fats - because raw milk contains large amounts of healthy saturated fats and omega-3 fats it supports skin hydration.

In fact, some people don’t only consume raw milk, they use raw milk as a moisturizer topically.  Today, goat milk soap bars are popular as well as making homemade moisturizing face cream.

To make raw milk face cream simply mix:

  • 2 tablespoons of raw cream
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Then put on face for 2-5 minutes then rinse off.

Probiotics - the probiotics in raw milk can kill off bad bacteria in your gut and in your face that can cause acne and skin issues like eczema.

Kefir is quite possibly the highest probiotic rich food on the planet. Using kefir as a face wash and taking it internally can kill off bad bacteria that is a main cause of dry, flaking skin and acne.

Raw Milk Benefits for Allergies

Studies are now proving that children who drink raw milk are 50 percent less likely to develop allergies and 41 percent less likely to develop asthma compared to other children.

This study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology was done on 8,000 children and the researchers believe that by drinking raw milk you are “naturally immunizing” the body the way God created.

Nutrients like probiotics, vitamin D and immunoglobulins (antibodies) found in raw milk naturally boost the immune system and reduce the risk of allergies in both children and adults.

Where to Buy Raw Milk

There are 3 main places I personally buy raw dairy products.

1. Local farmers market – I go to my local farmers market and buy raw goat’s milk kefir, raw cheeses and plain raw milk.  In the state I live it is labeled “for pet consumption only” and while I do give raw milk to my dog, my whole family enjoys the benefits of raw milk from the farmers market.

2. Whole Foods Market - I buy a lot of “raw” cheeses at health food stores.  Whole Foods has a large selection of raw cheeses including raw sheep cheese which is my absolute favorite.  For an appetizer or dessert we will dip our cheese in raw local honey.

3. Online – There are online companies that sell raw dairy products like Beyond Organic, Wise Choice Market and Real Milk where you can have raw cheese shipped right to your front door.

Do you drink raw milk or eat raw dairy products?  What do you consume and what do you love about them?

References:

CDC. Raw Milk Questions and Answers. [Internet]. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html#history.

University of Granada. “Goats’ Milk Is More Beneficial To Health Than Cows’ Milk, Study Suggests.” ScienceDaily 2007.

Guyenet S. Butyric Acid: an Ancient Controller of Metabolism, Inflammation and Stress Resistance? 2009.

Medical News Today. Gut bacteria’s fatty acid boost immune system, reducing inflammation.

Macdonald LE, Brett J, Kelton D, Majowicz SE, Snedeker K, Sargeant JM. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of pasteurization on milk vitamins, and evidence for raw milk consumption and other health-related outcomes. Journal of Food Protection 2011: 749(11): 1814-32.

Lewis, L.R., The relation of the vitamins to obstetrics, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 29.5:759. May, 1935.

Panfili G, Manzi P, Pizzoferrato L. Influence of thermal and other manufacturing stresses on retinol isomerization in milk and dairy products. Journal of Dairy Research 1998: 65: 253-260.

Zurera-Consano G, Moreno-Rojas R, Amaro-Lopez M. Effect of processing on contents and relationships of mineral elements of milk.  Journal of Food Chemistry 1194, 51(1): 75-78.

Gabriella Study Group. The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011. 128(4): 766-773.

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Ancient Superseed Chia Increases Energy and Metabolism

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Most wellness doctors agree that Chia is one of nature’s true superfoods.  It delivers maximum nutrients with minimum calories and promotes digestion, energy and detoxification of the body. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they we

re even used as currency!

Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance.  They said just 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours.  Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning concluded that consuming chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for workouts that lasted 90 minutes the same way a sugar-laden sports drink would, but without all the sugar.

In the study, half of the athletes drank 100 percent Gatorade, while the others consumed half Gatorade and half chia drink.  Their runners time were matched and the half-chia group consumed far less sugar.

There are several reasons why Chia can improve your fat burning potential and increase endurance.  The nutritional profile of chia ranks it high in foods rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Chia contains essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, 20% protein, Vitamins A, B, E, and D, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, and anti-oxidants.

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Fiber for Fat Loss and Improved Digestion

Chia is super-high in fiber, providing nearly 11 grams per ounce. One serving can provide the recommended fiber intake for the day, according to the American Dietetic Association Fiber is essential for your body’s ability to balance insulin levels.  According to the National Institute of Health, seeds like flax and chia can be a natural blood sugar balancer due to it’s high fiber content and healthy fats.

One of the characteristics that make chia so unique is that it can absorb up to 10X its own weight in water.  Because of this, chia seeds can prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes.  This also slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer reducing sugar cravings.

When consumed, chia seeds create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach.  This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds and it can work as a prebiotic supporting the growth of probiotics in the gut.

More Omega’s than Salmon

Chia seeds are high in linoleic, a fatty acid which helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.  For such a tiny seed, chia is quite high in healthy fats boasting more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon.

Typically nuts and seeds with a high fat content have a short shelf life before they turn rancid, but chia seeds are so rich in antioxidants they can be kept in storage for up to four years without deterioration.

Packed with Protein and Nutrients

Chia seeds also rank among the top plant based sources of protein.  This is another reason this super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean m

uscle, burn fat, and balance blood sugar levels.

Chia seeds pack a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those lost nutrients. They’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and niacin.

According to a study by Natural Standard Research Collaboration, chia seeds have shown possible effectiveness for allergies, angina, athletic performance enhancement, cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack, hormonal/endocrine disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and vasodilatation. Some evidence also suggests possible anticoagulant, antioxidant, and antiviral effects.

Flaxseed is a similar superfood, rich in omega-3 and antioxidants.  A study done at Duke University suggests that flaxseeds may stunt tumor growth.  Flax is also high in fiber and low in carbs, making it great for dieters who want to feel full for longer. High in B vitamins, magne

sium and manganese, these tiny seeds counter inflammation, a key contributor to arthritis, joint pain and chronic disease.

Incorporating Chia in Your Diet

Chia is quite versatile. The seeds can be eaten raw, soaked in water to form a gel or sprouted like alfalfa sprouts. When eaten raw they have a nutlike flavor and are a great addition to your morning superfood shake, or tossed on a salad. Because of their ability to absorb liquid they are a great way to thicken up soups or a smoothie.

Chia is high in fiber so start out with a small amount and be sure to drink plenty of water.  Look for sprouted chia, when this superseed is sprouted it  unlocks even more of the nutrients and improves it’s digestibility.  The recommended daily serving is 1 – 3 tablespoons of dry seeds, start out slow and give your body time to adjust to the increased fiber intake.

Now go enjoy the benefits of chia and other superseeds!

Sources
Illian, T.G., Casey, J.C., and Bishop, P.A. (2011). Omega 3 chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25, 1, 61–65

Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogavik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A. Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care 2007 November 30(11) 2804-10

Nutritional Science Research Institute. Chia (Salvia hispanica L) Research. http://www.nsrinews.com/nsriChia_research.html, Retrieved September 4 2013.
Ulbricht C, Chao W, Nummy K, Rusie E, Tanguay-Colucci S, Iannuzzi CM, Plammoottil JB, Varghese M, Weissner W. Chia (Salvia hispanica): a systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration.  Reviews of recent clinical trials. 2009 4(3): 168-74

Division of Cancer Prevention and Population of Sciences, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery. Cancer Epidemiology Prevention. 2008 17(12): 3577-87

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Are You Protein Deficient?

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.