tomatosCarotenoids are what cause some fruits and vegetables to have bright colors, such as yellow, orange and red. Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their rich colors and is one of the most popular carotenoids found in the diets of many Americans and Europeans. Many carotenoids enable the body to make the vitamin A that it needs in order to be healthy, though lycopene is not one of them.

The cancer-preventing benefits of lycopene
Though the body does not use lycopene to make Vitamin A, it still adds a very valuable component to the diet. Studies have shown a positive correlation between those people with a diet high in tomatoes, and, therefore, lycopenes, and having a lower risk of some forms of cancer. This type of diet has been shown to be particularly helpful for reducing the risk of getting prostate, cervical, skin, bladder, stomach and lung cancers.

Other benefits of lycopene
As if the cancer-reducing benefits of lycopene were not enough, there are other health benefits of eating a diet rich in tomatoes. Researchers have found that the risk of heart disease can be lowered by such a diet. The risk of macular degeneration, which is a disease that often occurs as a person ages and can result in blindness, and lipid oxidation, the damage that occurs to normal fat cells that can then cause both inflammation and disease, have also been shown to be reduced by eating a diet that includes a variety of tomato-based dishes.

Lycopene is an impressive antioxidant which helps block the free radicals that can cause disease. Studies have also shown that lycopene helps protect DNA, cellular fats and enzymes while also lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, LDL, and boosting the immune system. While other foods, such as watermelon, apricots, papaya, pink grapefruit and guava, are also a significant source of lycopene, tomatoes contain the most concentrated amount of the carotenoid.

The form of tomatoes matters
While tomatoes eaten in any form deliver a powerful amount of lycopene, there are some methods of preparation that increase the amounts. Studies found that the levels of lycopene in the blood were greatest after study participants had eaten cooked tomatoes, compared to their levels after drinking tomato juice or eating raw tomatoes. In addition, by combining the consumption of tomatoes with oil or fat, such as the cheese in a pizza or a drizzle of salad oil, the amount of lycopene absorbed by the intestines is increased. For those people who want to supplement, lycopene is available either as a liquid or as soft gels.

Eating a diet rich with tomato-based foods gives the body a number of health benefits that are difficult to replicate in other ways. For best results, eat cooked tomatoes several times each week.

Originally posted 2014-04-11 12:07:44.

strawberriesGastritis, a condition in which the stomach lining becomes inflamed, can be caused by a number of factors. Too much alcohol consumption, viral and bacterial infections, taking aspirin or ibuprofen, having an autoimmune disorder and even stress are common culprits behind this digestive problem. That’s the bad news.

The good news? European researchers have uncovered the powerful ability that strawberries have to combat gastritis.

How strawberries help heal gastritis
“The positive effects of strawberries are not only linked to their antioxidant capacity and high content of phenolic compounds (anthocyans) but also to the fact that they activate the antioxidant defences and enzymes of the body,” explains one of the researchers, Sara Tulipani. Their studies showed that ingesting strawberries led to a reduction in the appearance of stomach ulcerations, post-ethanol consumption. Bottom line: The ripe fruit contains substances that can help prevent the start of inflammation at the cellular level.

This finding led them to conclude that strawberries are among the most important fruits to fight inflammation and also paved the way for others to look deeper into new stomach inflammatory diseases and related treatment options.

The Mayo Clinic advises people with gastritis to eat a diet that consists of low-acid fruits and to avoid spicy, fatty foods. Strawberries make the list of low-acid fruits, as do pears, raspberries and apples.

It’s also advised to try to minimize stress levels, reduce alcohol consumption and speak with a doctor about switching pain relievers, since they can aggravate the stomach lining. Activities such as yoga or meditation can help with relaxation, and enjoying healthier drinks such as water can help keep stomach problems at bay.

Other health benefits of eating strawberries
Strawberries are good for reducing inflammation of not only the stomach inflammation but other kinds as well, including in the joints. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study which showed that women who ate 16 or more strawberries weekly were less likely to have C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body, a telltale marker of inflammation.

Strawberries have also been shown to improve eye health, suppress cancer cell growth and regulate blood pressure. Of course, to help avoid health issues related to pesticide consumption, be sure to choose organic, and hopefully local, strawberries!

Originally posted 2014-03-31 14:10:23.

JuicingThose who find munching through heaped plates full of leafy greens, fruit, and veg to be quite the chore have embraced the recent craze for consuming their 5-a-day (and sometimes more) in just one juice.

Health conscious people everywhere are being spotted clutching thick, luminous green, frothy juices in their hands. As toxic as these juices may look on the outside they are actually jam packed full of healthy nutrients. Juicing may have once had a hippy stigma attached to it, but it’s now been made popular and accessible to anyone who fancies guzzling down the entire contents of their fridge’s veg draw in one go.

Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Miranda Kerr and Sarah Jessica Parker are rarely spotted without a green juice in their hands these days and all fully support the trend. But just how healthy is juicing? And is it actually healthier to cold-press your fruit and veg than it is to eat it whole?

The Pros

Juicing is a convenient way of ensuring that you get your 5-a-day. Wake up and throw a cucumber, 2 apples, 2 handfuls of spinach, a beetroot, a carrot and a stick of celery into your juicer and you’ve already had your 5-a-day before it’s even 9am! Juicing makes it easy to consume a couple of platefuls of fruit and veg through a straw in just one sitting and so is particularly useful for those who struggle to eat their 5-a-day because they would prefer to have a kitkat for elevensies than they would an apple. One juice first thing in the morning can provide you with a much needed hit of nutrients to get your day off to a great start.

Some juicing enthusiasts also claim that juice is better for you because your body can absorb the nutrients better when you consume them in a liquid form; however there is no solid proof that this is true.

The Cons

Reducing your fruit and veg to a pulp means that not quite all of it reaches your juice. The pulp that is left behind is mostly made up of the healthy fibre so you’re losing out on this when you juice.

Chopping up and juicing such a large amount of fruit and veg can be a bit of a palaver, especially if you’re doing it first thing in the morning. You can’t make a large batch to drink throughout the week either as freshly squeezed juice can develop harmful bacteria if left and loses its nutritious value the longer that you leave it so it’s important you drink it fresh out of the juicer.

Many people fail to eat their 5-a-day and so are lacking many of the vital nutrients that keep us healthy in their diet. Juicing provides people that may have otherwise missed out on their 5-a-day with an easy way of getting many important nutrients into their diets.

Originally posted 2013-11-21 12:51:22.

windowsill-apothecaryGrowing medicinal herbs is a fantastic idea but it’s not just about medicinal herbs, its about the food we eat too. As the great man Hippocrates once said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This is why i would encourage everybody to grow as much of your own as you can, become as self sufficient as possible. At the very least you know what your eating and how your food has been grown! Food we grow and eat (before genetically modified and the use of chemical fertilsers) promotes optimal health. This is the basis behind Hippocrates knowledge, food that we eat should be preventative of disease. However the likes of fast foods and processed crap is ever more popular and what trend has this set? Ever wonder why so many people in the western world are ill, have allergies and are suffering from more and more diseases, even with the latest technological advancements in modern medicine? We need to take control of our own health, our keepers have had forever to fulfill this role and clearly it is not working.

There are many herbs and plants that can be grown with minimum effort and space and best of all it’s easy, anybody can do it. Yes that means you! Growing medicinal herbs on your windowsill is a great way to save money and empower you to take responsibility and care for your own health. I would go as far to say that growing your own medicine is like medicine in its self! The beauty of growing your own herbs is that you can harvest it as you use it, or dry your own herbs for later.

Here are some easy plants to get started with:

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been well known for centuries for its healing properties, and both oral intake and topical dressings have been documented to facilitate healing of any kind of skin wound, burn, or scald – even speeding recovery time after surgery. Situations to try it on include blisters, insect bites, rashes, sores, herpes, urticaria, athlete’s foot, fungus, vaginal infections, conjunctivitis, styes, allergic reactions, and dry skin.

Borage
Borage is a great herb for calming the nerves due to stress or anxiety. It is especially useful for those who are recovering from illness or surgery as it boosts the adrenals. As well as its medicinal effects, the bright blue flowers of the Borage plant look beautiful and taste good in salads. Borage makes a perfect addition to herbal teas.

Calendula
Calendula, or as commonly known Marigold, was traditionally used internally as a gargle for reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, for soothing sore throats, laryngitis and tonsillitis, coughs, dryness of the lungs and digestive upsets.

Chamomile
Chamomile is a well known herb and has been used for thousands of years. It is useful for menstrual cramps, soothing and insomnia. Chamomile flowers are small and compact and are excellent for attracting bees. It is a very useful herb for children. It is a gentle herb for general use and an all round good tonic. It can help calm nerves, soothe headaches, stomach cramps, toothaches and teething pain.

Feverfew
Feverfew is good for calming coughs and reliving headache pains. The leaves of a Feverfew make a fine addition to a herbal tea.

Lavender
Lavender is believed to be of benefit for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite, and as a breath freshener and mouthwash. It is more tricky to grow in containers but the effort is well worth it! Adding fresh lavender to your herb tea blends is most rewarding and a sachet of home grown dried lavender under your pillow will ensure a good night sleep.

Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a great herb for the nerves. It is excellent for blending into your teas for the lemon flavour it adds. Lemon Balm is anti-viral, so the tea is great to drink if you’re feeling under the weather. The hot tea brings on a sweat that is good for relieving colds, flus and fevers and an anti-viral agent has been found that combats mumps, cold sores and other viruses. One of Lemon Balm’s key medicinal qualities is as a tranquilizer. It calms a nervous stomach, colic, or heart spasms. The leaves are reputed to also lower blood pressure. It is very gentle, although effective, so is often suggested for children and babies.

Mints
Mint (peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint). These are great for stomach ailments and aid with digestion. Mint also helps with irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, is helpful for soothing colds and sore throats and can give you a quick boost. A nice cup of mint tea is a perfect way to end any meal. Mint is very easy to grow, it multiplies very quickly.

Skullcap
Skullcap is a mild analgesic and is helpful in reducing pain. It helps promote menstruation and is useful for insomnia. It is also a mild antidepressant. It is easy to grow in containers, though it needs a bit more space.

Feeling overwhelmed? Two words for you – baby steps! Pick your favourite and start there, or for a head start go to your local nursery, try to get organic seeds or plants whenever you can.

Plant some seeds and watch your herb garden bloom before your eyes. It’s easier than you think, anybody can do it! Soon your friends and family will be amazed and begging you for tea and you just may inspire others to grow their own as well.

The great thing about growing herbs is you can put many in a small space. Container gardening is useful when growing herbs as herbs tend to spread like crazy and this keeps it much easier to contain, harvest and best of all, no weeding!

Don’t be afraid to experiment blending herbs. You can come up with some great tea blends. From Chamomile and Lavender for a soothing tea before bed, to Feverfew and Skullcap for those painful migraines.

When you start your collection, familiarise yourself with each herbs medicinal use and how each herb can complement another. Before long you will develop your knowledge and become a Windowsill Apothecarist and on a path to becoming a wizard or witch, with your very own herbal pharmacy!

Originally posted 2013-09-17 21:28:20.

would-you-like-horse-with-thatA growing scandal involving horse meat mis-labelled as beef is sweeping across Europe, sparking concerns about the accuracy of labelling and the complex path that food travels on the way to the continent’s consumers. The British government has ordered the country’s food industry to test all processed beef products. The move comes after one of the UK’s biggest food manufacturers found horse meat in some of its ready-to-eat meals and withdrew 180,000 of them from sale.

The Findus frozen food company discovered that some of its beef lasagnes were in fact 100% horse meat. The meals were manufactured by a supplier in France where there is no cultural taboo against eating horses and horse meat is widely consumed as a cheaper alternative to beef.

This is not the first time horse meat has hit the headlines in Britain. Last month frozen beefburgers were also removed from many British supermarket shelves after equine DNA was detected.

Alistair Driver, political editor of Farmers Guardian magazine, says the scandal has lifted the lid on the whole business of cheap food, where costs and corners have been cut: “It seems to be the trading of ingredients across the continent from one trader to another, from a manufacturer to a trader.that’s all about just cutting costs and trading these cheap products,” says Driver.

Ironically horse meat is considered healthier than beef as it is leaner. But some safety concerns are emerging. Samples of the lasagne are being tested for Bute, a painkiller given to horses which is harmful to humans. The UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has said there is a “limited public health risk” if the drug phenylbutazone, known as Bute, is found in beef products that contain horse meat.

In her first public statement on the horse meat scandal, Davies reiterated the message of ministers that there was no health risk and sought to allay concerns over any potential harm from Bute, an equine anti-inflammatory medicine that is banned in food. Not at all reassuring is it?

It was once so very different. In my youth I spent a lot of my time working on my uncle’s poultry farm, where he had three thousand hens – all totally free range and probably organic, the husbandry employed was natural in every way, though I don’t ever remember the term organic being bandied about that was just natural and the way things were done. They were vibrant with bright plumage, bright red erect cones and laid a large number of double yokers. They had large muscular gizzards and powerful hearts, due to their daily diet and being free to scratch about, finding grubs and such like as chickens love to do. I suppose in today’s day and age they would have to have a badge on any products from them saying “I was a happy chicken” as opposed to an unhappy one who has had a miserable life, they do not seem to put those labels on do they…..

My healthy tip tomorrow is a good supportive diet for chickens during the winter months, for those of you who prefer to stick with the organic and natural way of life! – See more at: http://localhost/vbh2/blog.php#sthash.Lqt61zrL.dpuf

Originally posted 2013-02-12 18:05:41.

cows-milk-allergy-joyI received this from my PA the other day, I thought I would share it with you.
Whilst waiting in the Fish and Chip shop yesterday eve I had the dubious pleasure of glancing through the only available newspaper, The Sun. This article caught my eye:-

Cows Milk Allergy Joy!

A genetically modified cow is producing milk without a protein that causes millions of people to have allergic reactions. Samples of the milk show it has no beta-lactoglobulin, the main cause of lactose intolerance. Human breast milk does not contain the protein. The young New Zealand cow’s DNA was genetically altered to block the production of beta-lactoglobulin. Milk from the cow, which was born without a tail, also has high levels of calcium – a quality prized by cheesemakers. Researchers say more tests are necessary to see if similar milk can be produced by adult cows. Article ends.

So there we go, pharmaceutical companies produce the allergies in humans in the first place with the drug chain, creating allergic reactions to a food which is not designed for human consumption but created by nature for baby cows, which causes untold anguish to dairy cows then scientists create a Frankenstein cow with no tail to cure the problem. Modern science and medicine? Hmmm……

Cup of tea anyone? Want milk with that?

Originally posted 2012-10-24 18:42:17.

It is no secret that the lower someone’s wages are, the harder it will be for them to secure a stable channel of healthy and organic food.

It is also not a secret that these healthy food options are highly unlikely to be available in the neighborhoods where these lower income residents live. The simple fact is that this systemic disequilibrium causes a feedback mechanism which disinhibits lower wage earners from achieving higher wages.

 

For example, a lower salary family consumes unhealthy food because it is the most immediate and affordable option available to them, members of that family develop health issues they otherwise would not have had they eaten healthy foods, already scarce money has to be put into remedying the ailing health of family members and time has to be taken out from work to look after them (this can both endanger job security and take away promotion opportunities), with less money the family can only get more immediate and affordable foods which perpetuate this vicious cycle.

Until there is a systemic remedy, there needs to be immediate relief. By following these general guidelines, anyone who finds themselves in a food desert or who earns a lower wage, can use these tips to ensure that they are picking the best among their available alternatives.

There are naturally things that are desirable to good health and things to avoid to maintain our health. Because the issue in lower wage households is often a selection of the lesser of two evils, it is important to  first deal with what to avoid.

Pesticides have been shown, time and again, to cause unspeakable harm to living organisms. It is a political sleight of hand that these objects can be described as inhibiting cell growth in flies and other pests (including mammals) and not humans.

Yet at the same time, scientists use these very creatures to trial the effect of drugs on humans. In one case a model organism’s biology is used to assist an understanding of the human physiology and in another the impacts of a substance seemingly are just relegated to the model organism. One of the biggest things we can do is avoid all pesticides because the research is inconsistent and law enforcement on this issue is spotty, but there have been sufficient incidents where these substances have caused great bodily harm in humans and those responsible have continued to be allowed to act with impunity.

Secondly, we must avoid neurotoxins. These are substances that have been found to cause damage to the nervous system which includes our brain, spinal cord, and all our nerves. The effects of damage to this precious system have far reaching effects from mobility to learning development.

These are often some of the most crippling health disasters to befall a lower wage household because it is chronic and therefore a continuous extra “taxation” of the family’s limited resources. Known neurotoxins include aspertame and MSG or monosodium glutamate. Always check your ingredients list to ensure that you are not buying something that contains these ingredients.

Because many of these neurotoxins continue to make it into our food supply, it is important to educate ourselves on the topic. I personally learned by giving ten minutes to a new neurotoxin each day for two weeks after I came home from work. It is so important that you also keep up to date on news of new neurotoxins because every year, new and untested chemicals are being made.

Avoid non-organic meat and dairy. Both of these product categories suffer from an unaccountability in the kinds of chemicals that are contained in the food themselves that do not legally have to make it on the ingredients list because they were consumed by the animal when it was alive.

Animals are known to  be over-vaccinate and the effects of these vaccines are not well known or studied. For similar reasons, the big grains like soy and corn should be avoided because they likely came from organisms that were genetically modified. Just like with all the vaccines pumped into livestock, the effects of genetically modified organisms are extremely shaky.

By following this guideline of things to aovid, you will find a world of cheap, but healthy foods slowly opening. It will also give you the awareness to demand a better selection of the things you know will not cause your family harm.

Originally posted 2016-04-09 11:49:46.

We’ve known for quite some time that there’s a huge difference between organic food and conventional products. Organic bashers like Jon Entine might tell you there’s nothing to worry about, yet research says otherwise. A recent study performed by England’s Newcastle University on ecological agriculture cuts straight to the chase, proving that organic products have healthier fats, more nutrients and fewer toxic chemicals than conventional food.

In the 1950s, the world population was estimated to be just under 3 billion. By the year 2000, that number easily doubled, reaching well over 6 billion individuals. Today, feeding the world is a problem on its own, but when you’re faced with corporate magnates that mass produce everything from seeds to vegetables, plants and even animals, are you sure you know what it is that you are eating?

The beef with non-organic meat and milk

In order to raise revenue and profit margins, food manufacturers have sought to optimize their production lines as much as possible – from developing their very own farms to cultivating the food that livestock need until they are slaughtered. But animals normally take years to raise. They can also get sick or develop medical conditions. Instead of allowing nature to take its course, the food industry thought that it could further improve the process. Consequently, animals’ genomes are now being modified to develop prematurely, as well as grow more meat and less fat, while their food is overfilled with antibiotics to keep them alive in squalid conditions.

The food that they eat is also genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides. Why? Manually protecting immense fields of crops from weeds and pests is time- and cost-intensive. Herbicide resistance allows the use of chemicals that kill weeds without endangering crop yield when harvest is due. However, when you modify a living structure to develop such a trait, you can effect an irreversible chain reaction in the environment. Living organisms are not Lego pieces that can be constantly built and re-built; they are part of a sequence that is completely interconnected.

What’s worse, these transgenic mutations are very likely to be passed on to the animals who eat them. Including human beings. You are basically eating pesticides when you choose non-organic. You are also eating herbicides like Roundup, which has been declared “probable carcinogen” by the UN’s cancer research agency. Combine these with the modifications that the animals are subjected to, put it on a shelf and you have a conventional food item – rich in chemicals and very dangerous for your health.

Why organic is better

The extensive research led by Carlo Leifert, a professor of ecological agriculture at England’s Newcastle University, demonstrated that organic meats have significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s not just beef or chicken, but also pork, lamb and goat. How much better is organic meat? Data indicates that it contains 47% more omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than conventional meat does. Judge for yourself.

Organic milk is also head and shoulders above non-organic, with 46% more omega-3s. It also boasts 13% more vitamin E and 20% more iron than conventional does. Obviously, the animals that are actually allowed to graze and eat natural plants yield superior food and milk. You might be able to produce more and faster in a CAFO, but at a significantly lower quality.

Overfeeding also goes hand-in-hand with growing animals as fast as possible. In turn, this affects the environment, because more resources are diverted towards the food industry and various ecosystems are contaminated by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Particularly when we’re as clueless as we are today in regard to genetic mutations, it’s best that we keep eating what’s natural and organic. By doing so, we protect our immunity and health, while minimizing the risk of developing GMO-related illnesses.

Originally posted 2016-04-02 11:43:44.

Home Cures Natural Remedies are hosting a series of free online interactive webinar events where we will be offering a variety of tips and advice on managing and overcoming various illnesses and ailments.

We are able to offer a completely holistic view point; using naturopathic principles and techniques we will show you ways to assist you on your journey to becoming as well and as free of illness as possible, back to your natural good health.

Each online event covers a specific area and is interactive enabling you to ask questions and lasts for approximately 1 hour. Entry to each event is free but there are limited spaces available.

For more details see: Home Cures Natural Health Webinars/.

Originally posted 2016-01-19 11:26:46.

McDonald’s is trying everything to keep customers flocking through their doors, but the brand, the product and the strategy continue to falter. Many McDonald’s franchisees say the brand is suffering from a “deep depression” leading to the “final days” of the once popular business model.

Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski sent out surveys to 29 McDonald’s franchisees in the United States, spanning 226 restaurants in total. Many of the owners’ responses clearly show that the McDonald’s fast food empire is entering its final days of dominance.

“We are in the throes of a deep depression, and nothing is changing,” said one franchisee. “Probably 30% of operators are insolvent.”

Franchisees speak out against McDonald’s core problems

Over a dozen franchisees lashed out at corporate management, calling CEO Steve Easterbrook’s new marketing initiatives a distraction from the core issues that plague the McDonald’s business model. New initiatives, like the all-day breakfast and the placement of new digital ordering kiosks, do not address the real problems at McDonald’s.

One franchisee wrote, “The lack of consistent leadership from Oak Brook is frightening, we continue to jump from one failed initiative to another.”

The franchisees admit what the core problems are; it’s the quality of the food and the customer service. The all-day breakfast plan has only made the menu and kitchen operations more complicated. Initiatives like these don’t address the food’s lack of quality or the type of ingredients customers are rejecting.

Consumers are growing wary of products like the 19-ingredient French fries and hamburger meat that likely come from cows raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Likewise, consumers are increasingly rejecting genetically modified ingredients and flocking to new business models as a result. After announcing that they will no longer be using genetically modified ingredients, up and coming fast food company Chipotle saw a meteoric rise in revenue, while expanding their business model in 2015. Chipotle, which has consistently been setting higher standards, has already opened 48 stores this year and plans to introduce at least 190 more, according to CEO Steve Ells.

McDonald’s business model dying out

One franchisee responded to the survey by detailing how the McDonald’s model is quickly becoming a thing of the past. “The CEO is sowing the seeds of our demise. We are a quick-serve fast-food restaurant, not a fast casual like Five Guys or Chipotle. The system may be facing its final days,” he wrote.

Another franchisee said that the corporate office is not listening to franchisees and is instead telling them to just “get out of the system” and quit.

McDonald’s boasts of over 14,000 restaurants in the US; however, the fast food juggernaut has seen seven straight quarters of same store sales declines. McDonald’s has been making changes to see what could work. Some of their recent changes are a step in the right direction, like their announcement to remove antibiotics from their chicken sources.

It it may be too little, too late, however, for a brand that is dying off in the hearts of consumers who now turn to other fast food chains for higher standards and better service.

Sources:

BusinessInsider.com

NaturalNews.com

HuffingtonPost.ca

Originally posted 2015-10-30 11:03:08.

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