We’re Moving!

For a very long time I’ve wanted to do more than just this blog. I’ve finally bit the bullet and set up shop selling antioxidant-related products.

I’ve moved the blog to the site as well. Please join us there!

Here is the link to the blog:
http://www.antioxidantalley.com/blog

The product catalog and the rest of the site is still a work in progress, but I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Regards,
Jon

Top Foods for Heart Health

Whew, I noticed that it’s been since September that I’ve posted anything. I have a stack of potential articles for review and comment, so I should have enough content for at least several weeks.

You’ve probably seen that the RealAge site is a favorite of mine. Once again they have an article regarding antioxidants and their action to decrease inflammation. They also mention dark chocolate!

Here’s a link to the original article:

YOU Staying Young Center — Top YOU Tip #1: Feed Your Heart

I don’t think you’ll see anything you didn’t already know, but as a wise man once said “The key to learning is repetition.” And he just said it again!

The article points out that the following foods are heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Fish
  • Alcohol
  • Foods with magnesium (whole grains, soybeans, lima beans, avocados and beets)
  • Dark chocolate

I know over the last couple of months I’ve slipped somewhat on the number servings of fruits and vegetables I eat each day. I’ve committed to eating more veggies. I’ve done a pretty good job of replacing unhealthy fats with healthy ones. Between eating fish and  taking pharmaceutical-grade fish oil, I get at least the minimum recommended amount of Omega-3 oils. We use olive oil almost exclusively in our house now. I eat small amounts of dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) daily. I rarely eat white bread.

The article recommends 25% of your diet to come from healthy fats. Since the guideline is for total fat consumption to be 30% or less, there isn’t much room for anything but healthy fats!

Greatest Peaches To Be Found!

Not much to do with my usual postings, but it is harvest season. I had to make a few comments about my peaches…

Utah’s motto is “The Greatest Snow On Earth.” Well, I’m not a skier, so I can’t comment on that with any degree of credibility, but I can comment on our peaches. I grew up in Brigham City and our annual agricultural festival is called “Peach Days.” We had peach trees in our yard growing up, and I have a peach tree in our yard in Orem. I’ve been to Georgia and bought peaches from fruit stands on the side of the road and just don’t understand all the hoopla about Georgia peaches. Maybe they beat Utah in quantity, but I prefer the peaches from my back yard hands down over the ones I’ve had in Georgia. These peaches are worlds apart from the stuff that gets imported from California too. Ours wouldn’t ship well, but they sure are sweet and juicy! Nothing better than eating a fresh peach that is five inches in diameter and so juicy that the juice runs down your arm and drips off your elbow.

I finished picking the peaches tonight and Linda and I will be making pie filling tomorrow night and freezer jam on Saturday. I’ll probably puree some so we can make peach smoothies this winter. Somewhere in there I need to press about 85 more pounds of grapes too.

Last year Alton Brown of “Good Eats” had a program on peaches. I emailed him and told him if he were ever in Utah, he should try some of ours, but he hasn’t called to see if he could drop in. Oh well, his loss.

My poor tree has seen better days though. The borers are starting to get to it, so I think I’ll be buying another one and next spring I’ll graft a start from the existing tree onto the rootstock of the new one. Even though I can buy the same variety as the one we have, I haven’t ever found an elberta peach that is as good as the one we have in our yard.

Food Cravings

Barrels of candy

A short time ago I was using StumbleUpon and came across a web page that discussed food cravings and what they meant. For example, the article states that if you crave bread, your body really needs nitrogen. The article then suggests food sources for the need. In the case of nitrogen, high-protein foods.

I’ve always been one who craves refined carbs and sweets. As a result, my triglycerides have been through the roof (well, before I changed my lifestyle anyway). I have noticed that eating some protein does satiate those cravings, while eating what I crave just makes me want more of the bad thing. For example, one of my favorite candies is cinnamon bears. If I get started, I literally could go through a whole pound of them in one sitting – eating them until I was sick to my stomach. If I eat a small amount of protein, I feel satisfied and the craving goes away.

If you have experience with replacing your cravings for unhealthy things for healthy ones, I would love to hear your stories. Please leave your comments.

If you’re interested in the original article, here’s a link to it. Read it and come on back and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Naturopathyworks – food cravings…

Photo by Jeff Tabaco
JG8D69D

Need A New Finger? Just Grow It!

All I can do is say wow! If you haven’t seen this story, please take a gander. Truly, we live in amazing times.

Salamander-inspired therapy may aid injured vets – CNN.com

I have a daughter that probably will need a kidney transplant someday. This indicates perhaps someday she might be able to grow her own kidney – no rejection, no lifetime drugs, no compromised immune system!

The End of a Decline in Heart Disease

Apparently for the past 40 years heart disease has been in decline. However, earlier this month Reuters reported that the trend may be at an end. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the University of British Columbia examined the autopsy reports of residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota that died between 1981 and 2004 from unnatural causes.

They found that “declines in the grade of coronary artery disease ended after 1995 and began to climb after 2000.”

While the data do not point to a specific cause of this about face in heart disease, the researchers do note that during this same period of time, Americans’ lifestyle became more sedentary, fast food consumption grew, physical education in schools was reduced and we all increased our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.

The most disturbing finding in the study was “the youngest age group was the age group with the worse disease[.] This age group will have major problems as they continue to age.”

You can find the Reuters report at:
Autopsies forecast surge in U.S. heart disease | Reuters

Another Cocoa Study Shows Positive Effects on Hypertension

Here’s a study from The Journal of the American Medical Association that shows that cocoa, or more specifically, the polyphenols in cocoa, has a positive effect on blood pressure. It points out several important facts:

  • It doesn’t need to be a huge quantity of dark chocolate to have an effect
  • The dark chocolate must be taken regularly
  • It must be taken on an ongoing basis

The study was performed on a rather small population (44 individuals) with untreated prehypertension (120-139/80-89) or stage 1 hypertension (140-159/90-99) without any other risk factors. According to the study, the prevalence of hypertension decreased from 86% to 68%. The participants were given either 6.3 g of dark chocolate containing 30 mg of polyphenols or the same amount of white chocolate which contained no polyphenols for a period of 18 weeks.

The study also points out that blood nitric oxide levels increased in the test participants. Nitric oxide is what triggers the dilation of the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

Here’s the link to the abstract of the study:

JAMA — Abstract: Effects of Low Habitual Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure and Bioactive Nitric Oxide: A Randomized Controlled Trial, July 4, 2007, Taubert et al. 298 (1): 49

In my opinion, the thing about eating chocolate as a “medicine” is that healthy individuals probably wouldn’t feel any different, even though the polyphenols would be of benefit. Individuals with cardiovascular disease could probably measure an improvement and may feel healthier.

I know that has been the case with me.