CAN YOU FEEL IT?!!.....The FIFA World Cup fever is enough to give one goose bumps. But so is the sudden onset of Winter! This week we woke up to a healthy layer of snow on the mountains surrounding us: a very rare occurrence in this area.
But my best news of all is that I recently graduated to "Grandma" and I’m tickled pink! Thanks Liesl and Graeme for giving Dad and me the most gorgeous and perfect little granddaughter.
Meet Emily Jane Brown, born on 10 June 2010.
NUTS ARE NOT FATTENING
This may come as a surprise to you especially if you’ve been one for low-calorie diets. You will know that nuts are intensely calorific and are therefore generally believed to be a highly fattening food. This misinformation is unfortunate because nuts are a highly nutritious food, and their consumption has been consistently linked in the scientific literature with a reduced risk of heart disease and even death from heart disease and they are definitely not fattening.
Studies show that individuals eating the most nuts tend to have the lowest body weight and that including nuts in the diet generally leads to little or no weight gain and may even promote weight loss. All this strongly supports the notion that nuts, despite being one of the most calorific foods on the planet, are not fattening. The question is, why?
Nuts are satisfying:Nuts tend to be effective at satisfying the appetite, which can mean that individuals just end up eating less of other foods. Two factors which influence a food’s ability to sate the appetite are its glycaemic index (the lower, the better) and its protein content. Nuts have a low GI value and are also relatively rich in protein, thus fulfill both criteria.
Nuts tend not to promote fat storage: Theoretically, a food will tend to cause more fatty accumulation in the body if it releases sugar relatively quickly into the bloodstream, i.e has a high GI. Such foods tend to cause surges in the hormone insulin which is the chief fat storage hormone in the body. The low GI nature of nuts may account for why they are not fattening.
Nuts can stimulate the metabolism: Studies show that eating nuts in the long term has positive effects on the metabolism with some studies concluding that nuts can raise the metabolic rate by more than 10 per cent.
Not all of the fat in nuts is absorbed from the gut: Studies typically show that about 10-15 per cent of the calorific value of nuts is not absorbed by the gut, and passes straight out of the body in the stool. Nuts are a prime example of why basing a claim that weight control depends on “calories in and calories out’ is a gross oversimplification. Nuts are among the most energy-dense foods consumed, yet the literature consistently documents little impact of their ingestion on body weight.
Low calorie diets in general: I explained in my May newsletter why I am not keen on low-calorie diets. In a nutshell, these diets might not be particularly healthy due to the wrong choice of foods and secondly they don’t really satisfy the appetite very well, causing people to be hungry and therefore more likely to default back to their original diet.
So why am I nuts about nuts?To varying degrees nuts are powerhouses of essential nutrients such as amino acids (protein), calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium and essential fats. Walnuts are particularly high in omega-3, making them a brain food of note. (Is it just coincidental that the two halves of a walnut look just like the two lobes of the brain?) Seems contradictory that fat is good for the heart but when it comes to the fat in nuts, it’s absolutely true. Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats: the good kind that reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Macadamia nuts are the champions when considering monounsaturated fat content. Vitamin E in nuts protects your arteries from damaging LDL cholesterol. When it comes to an excellent source of calcium, almonds are a sliver above other nuts however all nuts contain a significant amount and are a good alternative to dairy calcium. Brazil nuts are the champs when it comes to selenium content, a powerful immune-boosting nutrient.
Fresh and local is best. Everyone should be incorporating a variety of tree nuts (e.g. cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, almonds) in their diet and since a variety of nuts are grown in most parts of South Africa there is no excuse for us not to be able to source a supply of locally grown nuts. Nuts must be eaten fresh, so keep them in the fridge or long term in the freezer. A rancid nut will taste bitter and is best avoided.
DIABETICS AND NUTS
How lovely to be able to tell people that they should eat MORE of something! Especially when working with diabetics who have been strenuously advised not to eat nuts on account of their calorific nature and have instead been encouraged to eat a low-fat, carbohydrate-rich diet. The irony is that the very type of foods that a diabetic has difficulty handling metabolically is of course ….carbohydrate. If high blood sugar is the hallmark of diabetes, why base the diet on foods that tend to raise blood sugar substantially? The idea that diabetics should eat plenty of starchy carbohydrate defies both science and common sense.
Nuts on the other hand are particularly beneficial for diabetics and help them to balance blood sugar levels. Eating nuts with a sugar-disruptive food tempers the sugar disruption caused by that food. Diabetics, and everyone else for that matter, should carry with them healthy snacks that can take the edge off the appetite and reduce their desire for unhealthy foods, and there can be no better snack than nuts. As explained above, they do the job of satisfying the appetite and their consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, risk of which is heightened in diabetes. Nut eating has also been shown to help reverse metabolic syndrome – considered to be a precursor of type 2 diabetes. Nuts are rich in magnesium and there are several studies that link higher magnesium to lower risk of metabolic syndrome and relative protection from type 2 diabetes.
Juicing is an excellent thing to do for the serious health seeker, and I just wish most people had enough time to do it more often. However I often come across people who are drinking straight carrot juice day after day and think they’re doing the right thing for their bodies. Actually carrot juice is extremely high on the glycemic index and thus dangerous for diabetics, candida sufferers, and those with hypo or hyperglycemia. Vegetable juices with no more than 1/4 carrot juice as the base and the rest composed of leafy greens, celery, zucchini, bok choy, etc, so that there is a balance of variously coloured vegetables in the juice, work best.
FOCUSSING ON QUERCETIN
QUERCETIN is widely distributed in the plant kingdom and is the most abundant of the flavonoids found in the human diet. It is found in many commonly eaten foods, including apple, onion, tea, berries such as blueberries and cranberries, red wine and brassica vegetables. The benefits of quercetin and other flavonoids are now often referred to as "biological response modification". Studies have shown that these plant compounds have the ability to modify the human body's reaction to allergens, viruses and carcinogens. After eating foods that are rich in flavonoids, antioxidant activity in the bloodstream increases, enzymes that help eliminate mutagens and carcinogens are released and mechanisms that help kill cancer cells are induced. Quercetin’s beneficial effects on human health include cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer activity, anti-ulcer effects, anti-allergy activity, cataract prevention, antiviral activity and anti-inflammatory effects.
In supplemental form, quercetin's primary use is for the relief of allergiesand inflammation. This bioflavonoid has been found to be an effective inhibitor of histamine release from mast cells - the cause of the characteristic allergic reaction. An apple a day keeps allergies away! Starting a quercetin supplement two to three weeks before allergy season and continuing during allergy season can help prevent and manage allergy symptoms.
Quercetin supplements appear to have some beneficial effects for peptic ulcers by inhibiting the growth of the Heliobacter pylori bacteria believed to cause ulcers.
Quercetin may be beneficial in the management of diabetes as it has been found to be an inhibitor of the enzyme aldose reductase, which plays a role in converting glucose (sugar) to sorbitol (a sugar alcohol) in the body. Sorbitol buildup in the body is one way people with diabetes develop secondary problems, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, diabetic cataracts, and nephropathy.
Quercetin's cardiovascular effects centre on its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, and its ability to inhibit platelet aggregation and also its ability to inhibit oxidation of LDL.
In cancer prevention therapy quercetin has been found to have antiproliferative effects. It may also increase the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents.
The average diet can supply 15 to 40mg of quercetin per day from fruit and vegetable consumption. Therapeutic dosages can range from 250 to 500mg three times per day. Quercitin is often used with other nutrient therapies such as the enzyme bromelain, from pineapples. One of our favourite and most effective supplements at the Orchards Nutrition Centre is one combining quercetin with curcumin. (see PNX20 on our order form)
Finally a victory against the FDA! The United States District Court of Columbia, has ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) violated the First Amendment rights of a nutritional supplement company when it censored truthful, scientifically-backed claims about how selenium can help reduce the risk of cancer.
Essentially, the FDA applied its doctrine of censorship to these selenium supplements in the same way it oppresses truthful and scientifically-supported health claims across all dietary supplements. Its purpose of course is to keep us nutritionally illiterateand protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.
Hopefully this court decision will finally turn the tide against the FDA's campaign and nutritional supplement companies will stop feeling intimidated and will stand behind their truthful, scientifically-supported claims in future.
Obviously one does not want a situation where any company can claim anything they want to, whether it's true or not, as this would only encourage the kind of marketing fraud we now see rampant in the pharmaceutical industry. However when I hear that the FDA is currently suppressing health claims about cherries and walnuts, I can only hope for many more FDA defeats in court battles to come.
Drugging Our Kids: Side Effects
As parents, we do our utmost to protect our children and ensure they grow up healthy and strong. The pharmaceutical industry seems to be hell-bent on making sure we don’t succeed. Please watch the YouTube Link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR4EWSbXLWA called “Drugging our kids: side effects” and pass it on to all your contacts.
We continue to have fantastic success with the anti-smoking remedy Vice-Breaker. So far every person that has completed a one month course of Vice-Breaker has quit smoking, so we’re confident our 100% success rate will continue. The feedback we are getting is always positive: smokers’ coughs have disappeared, skin colour and condition improved, breathing easier, bad breath gone, health and vitality and energy levels restored. This one really works, safely and effectively with no side effects or withdrawal symptoms and the lung cleansing aspect of this little capsule is huge. Tell any smoker you know to visit www.quitsmokingnaturally.co.za and I will gladly work with them to help them kick the habit.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE PECTIN AND SOME RECIPES
When it comes to creating new recipes I am not the best person to ask and that is why I am delighted to have Mirko Albrecht, Nutrition Consultant and Chef (what a fantastic combination!) from Germany to help me out here.
Apples need to be eaten for many reasons, one of them being their quercetin content as mentioned above, but Mirko reminds us of how apple pectin also benefits our health:
“The apple contains a natural soluble fibre called pectin. Pectin binds heavy metals and other environmental toxins in the body. It also lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of gallstones. Apple pectin is helpful in maintaining good digestive health. You can take a dietary supplement of apple pectin or you can eat apple meals. I have created several recipes with apple as a base together with other healthy ingredients. For all my recipes I prefer the natural sweetener Stevia, a white powdered extract of the sweet glycosides (natural sweetening plant molecules) in the Stevia leaf - approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.” Mirko - Albrecht71-Albrecht@web.de
Baked Apple Pan (breakfast or dessert)
2 apples – cut into small cubes
5 dried apricots finely chopped
Knob of butter
1 - 2 pinch cinnamon powder (according to taste)
3 or 4 tsp. nut slivers such as hazel, walnut, cashew, almond
Sweetener of choice
A few drops of lemon juice
Melt butter in a pan till hot, add apples, apricots and nuts and stir-fry gently for just a few minutes. Add lemon juice, sweetener and cinnamon powder to taste.
Baked Apple Dish
Healthy biscuits of choice
2 or 3 apples (cut in fine slices or cubes)
10 dried finely chopped apricots
½ to ¾ cup 100 % pure yoghurt
5 tsp. finely chopped almonds (or nuts of choice)
2 tsp. almond butter (100 % pure)
1 egg yolk
Natural sweetener of choice
A few drops lemon juice
2 pinch Cinnamon powder
Heat oven to 180 °C.
Mix apples, apricots and almonds altogether. Then add lemon juice, cinnamon & natural sweetener to taste.
In separate bowl, mix yoghurt, almond butter, natural sweetener and egg yolk together.
Grease a baking dish with some butter and line the bottom with a layer of biscuits. Cover with the fruit mixture and then the yoghurt mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
Instead of biscuits you can use slices of cooked potatoes or jerusalem artichokes.
And thanks to all my readers for your emails and kind words. I would like you to know that I’d be happy to hear the criticisms too so that I am better able to provide you with a newsletter that has meaning for you and satisfies your needs. Till we chat again, keep warm and stay healthy.