Natural Ways To Prevent And Treat Gout

 

A few days ago I featured an article about how almonds can help with controlling uric acid and gout. At the time I knew there had to be other all-natural things that would help and made a mental note to do some research on the topic. Then voilà,  there was an article by Danette May in my inbox about which foods to eat and which to avoid when it comes to gout.

Years ago my father was put on a prescription drug for gout, without the doctor first verifying that he actually had gout. He also didn’t tell my father beforehand that once you get on the drug you need to stay on it for the rest of your life. What? No bueno, medical professional! Unfortunately this was back in the time when people didn’t think of questioning a doctor’s diagnosis or plan of treatment, so my father just went along with everything.

The particular drug he was put on comes with a number of potentially serious side effects, all of which he has ended up experiencing, so I’m hoping that by featuring information on natural ways of preventing and alleviating gout, others won’t end up in the same situation my father did.

 

Healthy Hack Lowers Your Risk of Gout by 40%

Most people have heard of gout, but few know what it is.

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid building up in the body.

Uric acid forms when the body breaks down purines found in some foods.

Most of the time, uric acid goes through the kidneys and is passed in our urine. When we have too much for the kidneys to handle, it can build up and travel to our joints.

This causes pain, stiffness and swelling.

There are many factors that can put you at risk for gout, including being overweight or taking diuretics.

Gout also runs in families.

Gout flare-ups are treated with medicine and rest, but there are many ways that you can reduce the chances of having an attack in the first place.

Many of the best gout preventions have to do with food.  If you have gout, there are foods you should stay away from and foods you should eat.

9 Food Fixes for Gout

1. Eat plenty of complex carbs.

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and help you keep your weight down. Here’s a good list of carbs you should be eating.

2. Drink lots of of water.

Studies show that when people with gout drink 8 to 16 glasses of water a day, they have fewer attacks.

3. Eat lean proteins or plant based proteins.

Look to foods like Greek yogurt (I like Fage 0%) or almond milk.  These increase the excretion or uric acid.

Protein can also come from lean meat, fish and poultry, but no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day. Stay away from high-fat red meats, fatty poultry and organ meats like liver.

4. Understand Purines. 

Some foods that contain purines are safe, especially beans or lentils which have lots of protein. High-purine vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower are good for you too.

HOME REMEDY FOR GOUT

drink-acv-600

Mix 1 Teaspoon of raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s Brand is best) in 1 cup of water.

Drink 3 times daily.

5. Avoid seafood  that has high levels of purines.

These include sardines, scallops, tuna, anchovies and herring.

6. Avoid beer and liquors like rum, whiskey and vodka.

These increase uric acid production. Wine does not.

Alcohol also can also lead to dehydration, so it is probably best to cut back or cut it out completely.

7. Get more Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has been shown to lower uric acid levels, so add foods like grapefruit, red peppers and oranges to your daily diet.

8. Snack on cherries.

Some studies have shown that eating cherries or cherry juice concentrate twice a day can cut the risk of having a flare-up of gout by 50%.

Scientists think that the cherries reduce uric acid levels

9. Pour Another Cup of Java.

Drinking 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated coffee has been shown to lower the risk of gout attacks by 40%. And drinking 6 or more cups lowered the risk by 59%.

I don’t recommend drinking that much coffee as it can disrupt your adrenals. I personally drink one cup of coffee per day. Also, make sure you only drink organic.

One of the biggest risk factors for gout is obesity. Weight loss improves insulin resistance and lowers uric acid levels in the blood.

Eating a *healthy diet and adding moderate exercise can go a long way towards improving your health and lowering your risk of gout attacks.

*Personal Note: Don’t forget almonds!

Source: http://danettemay.com/top-10-foods-to-relieve-gout/

Want to know more about gout and uric acid? Go here for an in-depth article by Dr. Mercola, where he questions drinking wine and mentions how staying away from sodas, fruit juice and things with high fructose corn syrup is so important. He also goes into more detail about using cherries and cherry juice…..

Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.43 Cherries, along with strawberries and other berries, are also a rich source of antioxidants. This means they help prevent or repair damage done to your body’s cells by free radicals. The antioxidants replace the free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage. Dr. Wei, a nationally known, board-certified rheumatologist, recalled this story about the powerful effect of cherries on gout:

“Dr. Ludwig W. Blau, relating how eating a bowl of cherries one day led to complete relief from pain, sparked off the interest in cherries in the treatment of gout. Dr. Blau’s gout had been so severe that he had been confined to a wheelchair. One day, quite by accident, he polished off a large bowl of cherries, and the following day the pain in his foot was gone. “(Dr. Blau) continued eating a minimum of six cherries every day, and he was free from pain and able to get out of his wheelchair. Dr. Blau’s research led to many other people suffering from gout who reported being helped by cherries.”

Dr. Wei said that good results have also been reported with strawberries, which may be due to the fact that this food helps your body eliminate uric acid.44 There are a number of ways you can enjoy your berries while they go to work benefiting your gout. If fresh cherries are out of season, or if you just want more variety, try concentrated cherry juice.45

Cherry juice concentrate can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries in every ounce. That’s a single recommended serving, so in other words, you’d have to eat 55 to 60 cherries to get the same health benefit (and I don’t recommend eating 55 to 60 cherries, as that is too much sugar… but with a concentrate, you can get the health benefit of the cherries without all the sugar).

And besides cherries, this post by Dr. Axe mentions using celery seed extract, nettles, fish oil, magnesium and proteolytic enzymes as natural remedies for gout. The Natural Society also mentions using bromelain, beet juice, and baking soda. There’s also a foot soak recipe using epsom salt that’s supposed to ease gout mentioned in this Self-help Health post.

FYI, you can find many of the items mentioned in this post, including raw apple cider vinegar, high quality Vitamin C, organic tart cherry juice at any health food store and even some regular supermarkets. However, I always buy mine on-line because it’s much less expensive that way. One of my favorite discount places to shop is iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus no sales tax, and free shipping, and there’s always extra savings by taking advantage of iHerb’s Trial Offers and Specials sections. 

Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and each week adds more new items to their inventory. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase through the link on my webpage, you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward (I got a $10 gift card) when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

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The Almond, Uric Acid, Gout And Stroke Connection + Free Event

 

I’ve always known almonds were good for us; that’s one reason why I featured a recipe a few days ago that had them as one of the main ingredients . But I had no idea of their connection with reducing uric acid and preventing gout. Now I will enjoy eating those almond-fueled sweet potato brownies more than ever! AND this article on uric acid, gout and stroke gives me even more ways to add almonds to my diet with some tasty sounding recipes at the end. Yea!

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Gout

The painful sign your stroke risk is growing

However, even where there is no history of any heart troubles, there is another factor that can greatly increase your risk…

Hyperuricemia.

That’s a condition related to high levels of uric acid in the body resulting from the natural breakdown of cells and as a byproduct of the foods you eat.

Hyperuricemia may be a condition that you’ve never come across before. But I bet you may know this one sign that you could be suffering from it…

And that’s gout — a type of recurrent arthritis commonly associated with high levels of uric acid.

In addition to causing a painful gouty joint (most often in your foot), uric acid is also an important biomarker of your vascular function.

On a more sinister level, high levels of uric acid can be a sign of coronary artery disease (CAD). And in fact, studies show that each 1 mg/dL increase in blood uric acid levels increases the risk of heart-associated death by 12 percent!

In recent years, the Western diet — full of sugar and refined carbohydrates — has been responsible for increasing levels of uric acid in many people.

But as luck would have it, there is a very simple way to reduce uric acid in your body…

Eat almonds every day

When researchers gave 150 CAD patients 10 grams of almonds each morning on an empty stomach for 12 weeks, they discovered their uric acid levels were 14 to 18 percent lower than those consuming no nuts.

So what is it about almonds that douse uric acid and protect you heart attack, stroke and gout?

Almonds provide a wide range of highly bioavailable nutrients that not only have a positive impact on uric acid levels but provide plenty of other health benefits, too.

A small handful of almonds provides:

  • Magnesium (96 mg) – for optimal heart and muscle function
  • Calcium (96 mg) – for maintaining strong bones
  • Potassium (262 mg) – for regulating blood pressure
  • Phosphorus (172 mg) – for energy production and bone mineralization
  • Vitamin E (9 mg) – a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation
  • Soluble fiber (4.5 g) – for optimal digestion, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation
  • Protein (6 g) – to support effective cell building and to stabilize blood sugar
  • Monounsaturated fat (7 g) – to correct cholesterol irregularities with proven ability to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
  • L-arginine (1 g) – a precursor to nitric oxide, a compound that promotes healthy circulation and blood pressure

Snacking on almonds directly is obviously one way to consume them. And all it takes to reduce uric acid levels is a measly 7 to 8 nuts per day.

But if you want to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by 28 percent, munch on a small handful each day, the equivalent of one ounce or around 23 nuts.

Of course, you don’t have to eat almonds plain because there are other interesting ways to include them in your menu:

  • Opt for almond flour when baking
  • Make your own trail mix using almonds
  • Use almond meal as a stuffing base instead of breadcrumbs
  • Add crushed almonds to your cereal or smoothie
  • Spread almond butter on toast, apple slices or celery
  • Add slivered almonds to salads
  • Make a jar of spiced toasted almonds

Source: https://easyhealthoptions.com/painful-sign-stroke-risk-growing/

Related Self-Help Health posts:

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/09/17/a-great-way-to-eat-more-sweet-potatoes/

https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2017/08/02/jp-sears-takes-on-the-american-heart-association-plus-the-health-benefits-of-almonds/


 

And here’s a way to help de-stress your life (amen to that!) and nourish you on a more spiritual level. It’s a free event  on Sept 20th featuring Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, two of my favorite representatives of wisdom and conscious living……

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, ocean and text

  • Strengthen Your Inner State of Peace and Security
  • Regain a Sense of Oneness and Connection with Yourself and Your Community
  • Feel more Calm, Present, and Joyful Every Day

You can sign up here: https://www.chopra.com/webinars/awakening-from-the-illusion-of-separateness-b#sm.000018z5yprdidtqu031b976bybqk

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

A Great Way To Eat More Sweet Potatoes! :-)

 

Okay, so I thought about featuring an article about the horrible conditions discovered at a pig farm, and if you eat pork it’s definitely something you should read so you’re more aware of the kind of place your food is likely coming from. I also considered re-posting Food Babe’s exposé  on “natural” flavors. Eye-opening and more of what we need to be aware of in regard to the perils and pitfalls of our food system.

But with all the intense situations going on in the world these past few weeks, weather-wise and otherwise, I thought it was a good time to focus on something light and fun (and yummy), so I decided to feature this recipe for sweet potato brownies that I tried yesterday and thought was a winner….

 

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The secret behind these moist, super-chocolatey brownies? A Paleo, powerhouse ingredient: sweet potatoes!

Sweet potatoes are not only sustaining as a complex carbohydrate—they are also an excellent source of vitamin A (thanks to their beta-carotene content) and dietary fiber. But this isn’t merely a case of trying to hide a healthy ingredient in something palatable like brownies. No, these sweet potatoes make for some of the moistest brownies you’ve ever laid hands on. These sweet potato brownies strike just the right balance between cakey and fudgy.

They are easiest to make when you have some leftover, cooked sweet potato in the fridge, although the natural (unsweetened and unprocessed) canned version works too. If you don’t have any pre-cooked sweet potato to start, simply bake them in the oven at 400°F for 45 minutes or until you can poke them easily with a fork.

Our recipe may have the occasional chunk of sweet potato throughout the brownie, which makes for a nice textural element. If you’d like to mask the sweet potato more, you can try puréeing the cooked sweet potato with a little water for a smoother texture before stirring it in.

With only a handful of simple ingredients, these sweet potato brownies are as easy to make as they are tasty. They’re even customizable: you can top with chocolate chips or add nuts to the batter. They’re the perfect chocolatey base for a host of Paleo-friendly treats, like coconut milk ice cream or chocolate frosting. If you prefer sweeter, not as dark chocolatey brownies, opt for more maple syrup. Honey works here, too. If you’re a chocolate fiend, pair these with a warm cup of Paleo hot chocolate.

time
Total time: 40 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Serves:10
Recipe by:  Courtney Hamilton

Ingredients:

  •  *3 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, or more to taste
  •  ½ cup melted coconut oil + extra for greasing
  •  ¾ cup almond meal
  •  1/3 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  •  1 cup cooked sweet potato
  •  Optional: chocolate chips for topping

Instructions:

  •  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease baking pan with coconut oil.
  •  Whisk together the eggs, syrup, and coconut oil until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  •  Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet. Whisk in the sweet potato.
  •  Pour brownie batter into baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If using chocolate chips, lightly press them on the brownie shortly after it comes out of the oven.

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/sweet-potato-brownies/?utm_source=mg&utm_medium=mgemail&utm_campaign=brownies

Personal Note: I knew I wanted to try this recipe this weekend, so I had saved a cup of mashed sweet potatoes from two days before. That made putting things together so much quicker. And I didn’t have “official” almond meal, so I took 3/4 cup of sprouted raw almonds I had and ran them through a small food processor. They ended up more like a fine grind, rather than meal, but I liked the texture that added to the final product. And instead of just whisking the wet ingredients, I actually put the eggs, maple syrup, oil and sweet potato in the processor until everything was nice and velvet-y before adding to the dry ingredients. Also, I added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and next time I think I’ll even use a full teaspoon.

Baking time depends partly on the size pan you use  and partly on how gooey you want the brownies to be. I used a 10″ round tart pan and cooked them for about 25 min so they wouldn’t be too firm. I didn’t feel they needed the optional chocolate chips, but I did have the thought that some french vanilla ice cream or raspberry sorbet might be nice, if you want to fancy the finished product up a bit. I may never get around to trying them like that since I ended up eating a 1/4 of the pan right out of the oven. The recipe says “Serves 10,” but that certainly wouldn’t be the case in my house. Oh well, got to splurge every once in awhile. 🙂

*If you are avoiding eggs, you can check out this sweet potato brownie recipe, although I haven’t tried it myself.

Related Self-help Health posts:

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Celery: Chomped or Juiced = Multiple Health Benefits

 

I’ve always thought celery was fairly tasteless and only good when a stalk is filled with something like peanut butter, herbed cream cheese or the like. But that’s really short-selling a first-rate vegetable that offers loads of health benefits all on its own. And it can be used in so many different types of recipes, whether part of a soup base, Waldorf salad, crudité platter, veggie juice, etc……

 

There are a wealth of health benefits of celery that many people are not aware of, including the fact that celery is rich in vitamin C, it lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer, manages pain from arthritis, helps weight loss attempts, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways.

Nutritional Value of Celery

Celery contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium.  It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, D, B6, B12 and vitamin K. It also contains thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and fiber.

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

Reduced blood pressure: Celery contains pthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. This allows your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system, and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis, or suffering from a heart attack or a stroke.

Reduced cholesterol: Eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or “bad” cholesterol). The pthalides in celery also stimulates the secretion of bile juices, which works to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in celery also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Antiseptic: Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. Therefore, celery is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. Celery seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

celeryHealthy joints: Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout.  It had anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort of frequent joint use. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints.

Prevents cancer: Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids, and polyacetylenes. These cancer-fighting components detoxify carcinogens. Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.  These antioxidant components seek out free radicals floating in the body and damaging organs and neutralize them before they can result in the development of serious conditions like cancer.

Improved immune system: Celery is rich in vitamin C, which greatly boosts the strength of the immune system. Stimulated by the activity of other antioxidants in celery, it becomes more active and efficient. Because of the high content of vitamin C in celery, eating it regularly can reduce your risk of catching the common cold, as well as protecting you against a variety of other diseases.

Reduces Asthma Symptoms: Vitamin-C prevents free radical damage and it also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Cardiovascular health: The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Diuretic activity: Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help to regulate the fluid balance in the body. Potassium also acts as a vasodilator, reducing blood pressure.

Relief from migraines: The presence of coumarins can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of Nitric Oxide release in the brain which can cause headaches and migraines.

Treats rheumatism: Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3nB, are effective for treating arthritis and muscular pains.

Diabetes Health: Celery leaves are also eaten for treating diabetic conditions, particularly because they are high in fiber, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Relief from ophthalmological diseases: Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions, and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protects you against macular degeneration.

Nerve calming properties: Celery contains high calcium and due to this it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Weight loss: Health benefits of celery include weight management. Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help you to reduce your weight. This is because celery is very low in calories, but it is very filling because of the fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Other benefits: Celery acts as an antioxidant as well, and in truth, all parts of celery including the seeds, roots and leaves can be used. Eating celery regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver and gallbladder; neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity and tuberculosis. It also helps in the overall health and strength of teeth.

Celery: How to select and store?

Celery is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the celery which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in refrigerator and use in 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

Word of caution: Celery seeds contain volatile oils, flavonoids, coumarins and linoleic acid and are therefore not good for pregnant women because they may cause contractions in the uterus. Other than that, eat as many of those crunchy, green, and healthy stalks as you can!

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

Some added info about celery from ph360…..

  • It contains certain plant sterols that can pass the blood-brain barrier, providing some benefits to brain cells.
  • It can help calm the body and reduce internal pressure, because increased blood pressure and anxiety can contribute to sleep disturbances.
  • It can help maintain the structure and elasticity of blood vessels, joints and tissues thanks to its copper content. Copper plays an important role in the activity of the enzyme lysyl oxidase needed for collagen and elastin.
  • Its manganese content is great for the brain and nervous system’s health and function.
  • It’s a natural source of phosphorus, which is good for healthy bone formation, improved digestion, and hormonal balance.
  • It is one of the best sources of natural nitrate, a natural vasodilator. To get the best nitrate benefit the best ways to have celery are: raw, cooked with mild heat (50 °C, 10–30 min), or include it in a juice you drink right away.
  • The quercetin content of celery (which provides the body protection from oxidative stress) is maintained when simmered or made in a soup because this flavonoid gets transferred into the water or broth.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its potent phenolic antioxidants which protect from oxidative damage to blood vessel walls.

More on the many benefits of celery, especially in connection to high blood pressure:

http://www.thealternativedaily.com/just-four-stalks-celery-day-can-reduce-high-blood-pressure

And even though my post on celery juice included a video about some of its benefits, I found the video below even more enlightening as to how and why celery juice is so good for our bodies…

Related Self-help Health post:

The Benefits of Celery Juice

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine

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If You Eat Ice Cream, Be Sure To Read This!

 

Okay, so I knew a lot of what they put in commercial ice cream these days wasn’t good for us, but it’s even worse than I thought, especially with “main stream” brands. And it turns out even many “healthy” varieties are usually anything but. When I’m not making my own version of ice cream using frozen banana chunks and full fat coconut milk (with some vanilla powder, a dash of cinnamon, and maybe some walnuts, Action Whey, cacao or fruit thrown in), I usually rely on Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss Ice Cream. Heavenly, healthy, and as satisfying as “the real thing,” AND it happens to be on Food Babe’s recommended list. Yea!

If you want to have your ice cream and be healthy, too, then you’ll want to read this in-depth exposé from Vani to make sure you’re making the right choices……

 

Is There Really A Healthy Ice Cream Brand?

I love ice cream! When I want a treat, ice cream is one of my favorites! But take a walk through the typical ice cream aisle and you’ll find a minefield of risky (and sometimes dangerous) additives mixed with factory farmed milk. I’m a firm believer that everyone should still enjoy treats from time to time, but don’t consider it a treat to poison myself with heart-wrecking trans fats, carcinogenic poisons like glyphosate, and additives linked to gut inflammation. I’ve learned that you can enjoy treats (even ice cream!) that won’t destroy your health and pack on the pounds, but you just need to know what to look for.

There are now some brands that seem healthier like Halo Top and Arctic Zero, and many people have been asking me if they are TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. I’ll get to them in a moment, but first let’s check out what you’ll find in the major ice cream brands.

If you see any of these additives in ice cream, do yourself a favor and put it back on the shelf…

Gut wrecking emulsifiers: Most ice creams are full of emulsifiers that have been shown to disrupt the good bacteria in your gut and can lead to disease and obesity. Companies use these because it’s cheaper than filling their product with 100% whole food ingredients. Of course the main ingredients in ice cream (cream and sugar) are also linked to obesity, but when you eat the real thing you feel more satisfied and are less likely to down an entire pint.

Some of the worst emulsifiers in ice cream…

Artificial Colors: Whenever you see a color like Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, or Blue 1, these are derived from petroleum and linked to several health issues including allergies, cancer, and hyperactivity in children.

Mono and Diglycerides (or Partially Hydrogenated Oils): These contain trans fat which is strongly correlated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The CDC has linked trans fat to at least 20,000 heart attacks per year and the Institute of Medicine says there is no safe level to eat. This additive is often found in low-fat ice creams where they are trying to make up for what they took out, but you’ll find it in many others too!

Sugar Alcohols and Zero-Calorie Sweeteners: “No Sugar Added” and “Carb Smart” ice creams are packed sugar alcohols like maltitol syrup and sorbitol. These are associated with destroying gut heath, and a healthy gut is the key to good health and a slim waistline. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium have been shown to contribute to weight gain by encouraging sugar cravings. When you eat something sweet – even when it has no calories – your brain is tricked into wanting more calories because your body is not getting enough energy (i.e. calories) to be satisfied. So you keep craving sweets, eating sweets, and gaining weight. They also come with serious health risks!

Artificial flavors: These synthetic flavors are made from proprietary chemicals to make fake food taste real. This is not a single ingredient – each flavor may contain of up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, solvents and preservatives such as BHA, propylene glycol, MSG, parabens, and more.

These ice cream brands look healthier… BUT…

Natural Flavors: The only difference between natural and artificial flavors mentioned above, is that natural flavors are derived from things found in nature (such as beaver glands). Just like artificial flavors, they are created in a lab by a team of scientists and can contain up to 100 hidden ingredients. The bottom line: You have no idea what you are eating – and it might be propylene glycol, BHA, and parabens.

Soybean Oil: This unhealthy oil increases the risk of obesity, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. When it comes to organic Soymilk ice creams, an abundance of soy itself is not healthy in the diet as it can disrupt hormones and lead to disease. Soy also has an abundance of phytic acid that leaches calcium and other vital minerals from your body.

Cottonseed Oil: I was shocked to find cottonseed oil in LaLoo’s Capraccino Almond Fudge Ice Cream. This oil generally comes from GMO cotton crops that require an intense application of agricultural chemicals and have been called the “World’s Dirtiest Crop”. Residues from these pesticides can remain in cottonseed oil and cottonseeds are subjected to intensive chemical refining with toxic hexane, bleach, and deodorizers. I consider it one of the worst ingredients in food.

“Sugar” Instead of “Cane Sugar”: The majority of sugar in this country comes from GMO sugar beets and not from cane. These sugar beets are Roundup-Ready, which means they are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) and don’t die. Whenever an ingredient list just says “sugar” instead of “cane sugar” that indicates it’s from GMO sugar beets. When my team contacted LaLoo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream they said their ingredients are “clean” and that they’re currently working on getting verified by the Non-GMO Project. But, unless you see that label on there, consider it unverified!

Conventional (not organic) Dairy: Some brands like Breyer’s, Tillamook and Häagen-Dazs have some flavors with cleaner ingredient lists with fewer additives, but they don’t use organic cream or milk. I outline all of the reasons to only choose organic dairy products in this post.

Häagen-Dazs has a non-GMO claim on their ice cream, but that doesn’t apply to the cream, milk, or eggs, in that the animals were likely raised on GMO feed. Their non-GMO claim is 3rd party verified by SGS and their standards don’t apply to animal feed – and a rep from Häagen-Dazs confirmed this with us. Ben and Jerry’s is another brand that uses non-GMO ingredients, but admits the cows are still fed GMO grains (but are trying to transition and hopefully will).

Why to avoid dairy from GMO-fed cows:

  • Almost all non-organic dairy cows in this country are fed a diet of GMO grains on a factory farm. I call this “Monsanto Milk” because it is produced with a lot of GMOs which put more money in Monsanto’s pocket (and I don’t want to donate any money to them!).
  • Testing has found other pesticides, antibiotics and drugs (sources: 1, 2) in conventional milk (including ones that are banned), and this is what you could be eating when you eat non-organic ice cream.

Organically raised cows are only permitted to eat organic non-GMO food and organic grass. Ultimately, you want to look for certified organic ice cream to avoid dairy raised with herbicide-laden GMOs, hormones, antibiotics and all the drugs that are prohibited on organic farms.

Let’s discuss HALO TOP Ice Cream…

I’ve gotten a lot of emails about Halo Top because they market themselves as a healthier alternative to regular ice cream that’s low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar… and they are REALLY POPULAR right now. This brand has a real “Health Halo” around it (haha), but I’m not buying it. They’ve done such a great job marketing it as healthy ice cream that some people are even treating it like a diet food and the founder says he eats it every morning… which sounds just crazy, but who wouldn’t like to have ice cream for breakfast, LOL. Here’s why that really isn’t a good idea (sorry guys!)…

  1. Halo Top does not use organic cream or milk, which means it is likely made with Monsanto Milk (from cows fed GMOs). Their ice creams also contain non-organic eggs, which likewise, probably comes from chickens fed a diet filled with GMOs and possibly other drugs.

Email from Halo Top (May 2017): “We do use only non-GMO ingredients in Halo Top, and the cows from which we get our dairy ingredients are never treated with growth hormones (like rBST). We’re not yet at a point, though, where we can guarantee the makeup of the grain for the cows’ feed across the supply chain. Working on it though!”

  1. Halo Top uses natural flavors and won’t tell you what’s in them. While this is true for pretty much everyone who uses natural flavors because they are considered proprietary, a member of the Food Babe Army sent me the response they got from Halo Top:

“Hey Vani I felt like this was something that needed to be shared. Halo ice cream that I feel like has been pitching themselves as a healthier ice cream won’t disclose what their “natural flavoring” is. Thought you’d like to know their cop out response: Hi Alyssa! I inquired into the flavorings for you, and it turns out that apparently the flavorings industry is highly competitive, and the flavoring makers we work with keep their exact formula proprietary to themselves for competitive reasons. Even so, we of course require confirmation that the flavors are indeed all-natural, gluten-free, kosher, etc. I know it’s not exactly the answer you were looking for but I hope it helps a little!”

  1. Halo Top uses the sugar alcohol erythritol as its primary sweetener. As more people are recognizing and avoiding artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, food companies are replacing it with erythritol… but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. This additive can wreak havoc on healthy gut bacteria. This can lead to a whole host of diseases and if you’re trying to lose weight or stay slim, keeping your gut healthy is vital! Erythritol is also a powerful insecticide known to cause diarrhea, stomach upset, headache when consumed in “normal amounts”.
  1. Why add fiber to ice cream? This just makes it all too easy to think of Halo Top as some sort of health supplement, when in reality, ice cream shouldn’t be eaten every day (or for breakfast!) and we should be getting our fiber naturally from fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, and not from processed fiber additives that were manufactured in a lab. The industry calls these “functional fibers” but they do not function in your body the same as fiber in real food.

Is Arctic Zero Healthier?

Arctic Zero is another “healthy” ice cream that really isn’t. They claim their whey comes from a “GMO-free region” but that doesn’t guarantee how the cows are fed:

Email from Arctic Zero (May 2017):We have no control over what the cows are fed, but please know we get all our whey protein from a GMO-free region. Our whey protein is GMO-free certified before added to our product and our final product is tested for GMO and it is GMO-free. Please know that our whey protein is not produced from genetically modified organisms, and does not consists of, or contain genetically modified organisms. Therefore, our whey protein is certified GMO-free”.

Arctic Zero is not 100% organic, the whey isn’t from organic cows, and it also contains processed “functional fiber” additives and not-so-natural flavors, so I don’t consider this a good choice.

When shopping for ice cream, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is it certified organic?
  2. Is it flavored naturally with vanilla bean, lemon, cinnamon, cocoa, etc.? Or, did they take a shortcut with “natural flavors”?
  3. Is it made entirely with whole food ingredients? Or, does it contain additives you don’t have in your kitchen like carrageenan, yellow #5, erythritol, and mono and diglycerides?

If a product doesn’t meet that test, seek out a better brand (there are several!) Here are some of my favorites…

NOTE: Not every flavor by these brands is perfect and you still need to read the ingredient list to make sure you know what you are eating.

  • Three Twins Organic Ice Cream – This is my favorite store-bought organic ice cream and they have a lot of flavors to choose from. A few of them contain natural flavors, but most are flavored naturally with real ingredients like banana, vanilla extract, cinnamon, peppermint extract, etc. – Just check the ingredient list!
  • Alden’s Organic Ice Cream – Know that they do use guar gum, locust bean gum and xantham gum, so not exactly the best choice but they are widely available to most people.
  • Local Organic and Grass Fed Ice Cream – Your local farmers market or natural food stores may carry ice cream made from grass-fed cows on small family farms in your area. Seek these out.
  • Homemade Banana Ice Cream – Just add frozen bite-sized pieces of a very ripe banana to a powerful blender or food processor and puree until it comes to a creamy consistency. This may take a few minutes. It’s that easy and really satisfies an ice cream craving! You can try adding coconut milk, nut butter, cinnamon, cocoa, or vanilla to change it up. Just blend these in after you puree the bananas well.

Source: http://foodbabe.com/2017/05/22/really-healthy-ice-cream-brand/

Tell me what your favorite ice cream brand is in the comment section below, and check out this previous Self-help Health post for 3 variations on coconut milk ice cream from Food Babe.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Let’s Hear It For Red Onions!!

 

I knew red onions were good for us, partly because they are in the same family as that health-promoting powerhouse garlic, but I didn’t know they had as many health benefits as they do. And I’m so glad to find that out, because awhile back I found a simple recipe for pickled red onions that I just love and eat almost daily. 

 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF RED ONION: 4 WAYS RED ONIONS REDUCE YOUR CANCER RISK

Today researchers believe that up to 40% of cancers are preventable with a change in dietary habits alone. The compounds and dietary nutrients found in red onion are associated with a decrease risk in developing prostate, colorectal, stomach, and numerous other cancers.

Read on to learn what makes red onions so effective at improving health and how they can help reduce your cancer risks.

What are Red Onions?

Thoughts of their distinctive odor and teary eyes probably comes to mind when you think of slicing into an onion, but how about red onions? Red onions are different than other varieties of onion such as the sweet Vidalia onion and the milder flavor white onion.

Aside from their flavor and color, red onions won’t make you cry and they also contain different compounds that can inhibit cancer growth. They are part of the collective family of flowering plants belonging to the allium family, known for their rich content in sulfur containing amino acids. This vegetable family has been extensively studied for its protection against degenerative diseases like cancer.

Read on for 4 key health benefits of red onions…

Health Benefit #1: Enhances Detoxification Pathways

The total antioxidant profile of red onions is suggested to increase the activity of powerhouses like glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase). These defense systems protect against cancer by inhibiting inflammation, repairing DNA and tissue damage, neutralizing free radicals, eliminating carcinogens from the liver, and supporting a variety of detoxification pathways that remove toxins from the body.

The high sulfur content of red onions alone supports the body’s natural ability to detox. Sulfur stimulates several anti-inflammatory processes which promote healing by enforcing antioxidant defenses. Sulfur is one of the best chelating agents that binds with heavy metals in the blood and flushes these toxins from the body. Sulfur is essential to the health and activity of hormones, enzymes, nerves, and red blood cells.

Any interference with these biological processes can lead to the accumulation of carcinogens and the increased inflammation and tissue damage that consequentially increase cancer risks.

Onions are also rich in quercetin, a powerful bioflavonoid. Quercetin aids in the removal of excessive estrogen levels from the body. This antioxidant also stimulates liver function to detoxify estrogen and other carcinogenic agents. Cancer cells of the uterus, breast, ovaries, and prostate are associated with having receptors for estrogen to bind.

Quercetin also exhibits structural similarities to estrogen making them a possible anti-cancer therapy treatment to target breast cancer cells.

Health Benefit #2: Increases Overall Immunity

Red onions contain health-promoting compounds that improve your overall immune response. Both nutritive and non-nutritive compounds found in red onions act on the body using antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral effects to reduce the burden on the immune system. The flavonoid content that contributes to these chemo-preventive properties is higher in red onions than in their white or yellow family members.

Allicin is an antioxidant compound abundantly concentrated in red onions. Allicin is effective at destroying pathogens that weaken the immune response and support cancer development. It combats fungus, bacteria, and viruses. For these reasons red onions are a useful carminative herb that enhances digestive function and improves imbalances in gut microflora.

Along with improving natural abilities to detox, quercetin also has a major impact on reducing inflammation. Quercetin is such a strong anti-inflammatory agent that supplements of this compound are marketed to improve the inflammatory immune cell response associated with histamine release.

Health Benefit #3: Regulates Sugar Levels

One of the benefits of consuming red onions instead of yellow or white is attributed to their low glycemic index. Red onions have a glycemic index (GI) of 10 on a scale of 0 to 100. This means that red onions are slower to release energy which increases blood glucose levels. Eating foods which don’t raise blood glucose if beneficial in preventing the development of type-2 diabetes.

Impaired glucose metabolism is one known contributor of cancer development. Maintaining stable insulin levels is critical to preventing physiological processes that can contribute to cancer. The low GI of red onions is associated with lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow, inhibiting atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries), and also assists in regulating fat cell formation.

These vascular health benefits significantly reduce cancer risk because they are linked with an improvement in metabolism. This impacts hormone function and the health of reproductive organs.

All of this combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin allow red onions to help to neutralize free radicals that contribute to DNA damage, abnormal cell activity, and cancer growth.

Health Benefit #4: Suppresses Cancer Cell Growth and Development

The high levels of quercetin in red onion was given the credit in certain studies for protecting against laryngeal and gastric cancer, as well as reproductive-related cancers.

Protects against Mutant p53 Activity

Anthocyanins are a naturally occurring compound that give red onions their red hued purple color. Anthocyanins act as a powerful antioxidant weapon in the fight against a mutant gene called p53 that causes oxidative stress and is associated with tumor growth. Anthocyanins in red onion naturally inhibit the destruction that the abnormal functioning p53 gene can cause on cells and tissue.

red-onion-health-benefits-3

 

INHIBITS TUMOR GROWTH & METASTASIS

The pigmenting compounds in anthocyanins are also partly responsible for the protective effects red onions exert against tumor growth. Anthocyanins suppress a cancer cell’s ability to migrate and form tumors by inhibiting angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels that cancer cell’s use as an energy source to grow. By inhibiting angiogenesis, cancer cells cannot form tumors or spread to new areas of the body.The super nutrient quercetin again reveals its powerful antioxidant potential.

Quercetin is so effective at scavenging free radicals that it possesses the ability to prevent tumor cell growth. These influences have been reported in breast cancer cells to induce apoptosis (“cellular suicide”) and activate a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (p21) that shuts down many of the influences that enables cancer cells to proliferate.

The loss of expression or abnormal activity from p21 is implicated at increasing the risk of invasive cancer growth and is associated with the following cancer types:

  • Colorectal
  • Tonsil
  • Gastric
  • Breast
  • Ovarian
  • Esophageal
  • Oral
  • Lung
  • Pancreatic
  • Laryngeal
  • Bladder
  • Gliomas (tumor formation in the brain and spinal cord)
  • Cervical
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer)

 3 Recommendations to Reap the Most Benefits of Red Onions:

As with many foods, there are tricks to cooking red onions to receive the greatest health benefits. Here are a few tips you can utilize to ensure that you are receiving the highest amount of nutrients from red onions in the kitchen:

  1. The majority of the anthocyanin content is in the red skin of the onion. Avoid over peeling the onion and throwing these cancer-fighting compounds in the compost.
  2. The allicin compound in onions is released only when the onion is chopped or crushed. Like garlic, it is beneficial to activate the allicin compound by slicing into an onion a few minutes before adding it to recipes.
  3. Heat degrades many of the antioxidants in red onions. Eating them uncooked as often as possible optimizes the nutrients you are consuming. Consider cooking red onions at a low heat and avoiding high temperatures to limit nutrient loss.

Getting More Health Benefits From Red Onions

How will you include red onions into your diet to reduce your cancer risks? Here is a list of ways that you can add red onions to your diet every day:

  • Add to chili recipes or use as a topping
  • Finely slice into salads
  • Combine into homemade slaws or pickled vegetables
  • Add red onions to the last 2 hours that your bone broth is simmering
  • Mix red onions with the traditional yellow onions into a French onion soup
  • Prepare cold soups such as gazpacho as a hidden way to serve up raw red onion
  • Lightly sauté or roast and use in mixed veggie sides, atop burgers, or in quinoa dishes
  • Dice into chicken and tuna salads or prepare a homemade salsa
  • Blend raw red onion into a creamy guacamole or give other dips and sauces a new take on flavor by pureeing into hummus, tahini, or a Mediterranean baba ghanoush

Source: https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/health-benefits-red-onion/

Here’s a yummy sounding recipe I plan to try that uses a whole red onion. And to see the recipe for pickled onions that I mentioned in my intro, check out Tip #7 in this Self-help Health post.

This Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry is the BEST curry I've ever had! It's loaded with homemade grinded spices and incredibly flavorful!

COCONUT CHICKPEA CURRY (VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE)

Preparation 15 min Cook Time 30 min
Serves 4-5     ADJUST SERVINGS
All this Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry takes is one pot, it’s loaded with homemade ground spices’ and incredibly flavorful!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons oil to sauté
  • 2 mediums onions/1 large red onion, sliced
  • 14 ounces/400g fresh tomatoes, diced (if using canned, drain the tomatoes)
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces/454g can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 13.5 ounces/383g can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 1 small lime

Check out the link below for a cooking video and more on the recipe. Apparently the squeeze of lime at the end is very important. 🙂 

Source: http://jessicainthekitchen.com/coconut-chickpea-curry-recipe/

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Free HealthType Test™ And Report, Natural Appetite Suppressants, Plus 15 Healthy Dessert Recipes

 

Here’s what I think is a great free health resource from the folks at ph360. It’s an easy, 3 minute quiz you take to determine your health type, which then generates a 15 page report with information, insights and tips about how to work with your particular type to be happier, healthier and more self-aware. I found it fascinating that, based on my answers to the short quiz, the report was “right on” in so many ways. AND it provided me with a number of “a-ha moments” and tips about when to eat, sleep, exercise and more. It also validated certain things I’ve been drawn to do, even though they may not match what most healthcare practitioners advocate. Just proves that everybody and every body is different, and doing what’s right for YOU isn’t necessarily what’s good/right for others …..

 

image

The HealthType Test™ is a 3 minute online quiz that calculates your Health Type and then gives you a 15 page report on how you can eat, socialize, be active and live your life in a way that comes naturally to you!

 

Watch the HealthType webinar replay in the private ph360 FB group. Not a member yet? No worries, request to join for free here.

Go here to take the test: https://healthtype.ph360.me/test


 

A great little (well, actually rather large :-)) infographic by PlantBasedVillage.com I got from a newsletter from Underground Health Reporter…. 


 

And here’s what looks to be a good resource if you’re a dessert lover like me, but also want to be as healthy as possible. I checked out a number of the recipes from this post and they look and sound good, plus reasonably healthy. Anyone for salted caramel tahini cups? Yes, please! :-)…….

clean dessert tahinicups

Go here for 15 recipes: http://www.purewow.com/food/clean-eating-dessert-recipes

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

 Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.