Eat artichokes to help protect your liver!

This delicious, fiber-rich vegetable contains silymarin, which has been studied and found to reduce inflammation and growth of tumor cells in the liver.  These studies showed benefits for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, liver toxicity due to drugs and chemicals, and increased survival time among patients with alcohol-induced liver cirrhosis.  Silymarin also helped improve insulin resistance.  (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21466434).

A widely used source of silymarin is from the seeds of the milk thistle plant, commonly taken as a supplement.  Milk thistle can also be brewed as a tea.

Artichokes also contain silymarin!  They aid the liver and gallbladder by helping to break down fatty foods, which can help with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, and help to lower cholesterol.

Artichokes are a good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and folate, all of which are important for heart health.

You can cook fresh artichokes, buy them frozen, or keep canned artichoke hearts on hand. Canned ones (I prefer those in glass jars) should be packed in water or extra-virgin olive oil.  Read the labels!

I often top my pizza with artichoke hearts to add fiber and help digest fat in the cheese.  Many pizza places offer artichokes as a topping.  Add them to a green salad, chicken or tuna salad, eggs, meat and pasta dishes, or eat them with cheese and crackers, etc.  Try the easy recipe below for a quick dip, spread, or pesto.

Amazing Artichoke Topping

Blend until smooth:

Approximately 10 jarred artichoke hearts (drained)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, etc.)

1/8 teaspoon mineral-rich salt

1 or 2 cloves of garlic (pressed)

Eat as is, or get creative and blend in some fresh spinach or parsley, pine nuts, or beans.  Adjust liquid (a little water or liquid from the jarred artichokes) and seasonings to taste.  Add a dash of cayenne for a spicy version.

Eat with 100% whole-grain crackers, cheese from grass-fed cows or sheep, and/or raw veggies.  Use as a sandwich spread.  Mix into pasta or rice, or use a topping for chicken, fish, or beef.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP

1 Corinthians 10:31–                                                                                                                      “Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com                                                                                                     (Download your free 10 Simple Steps to a Leaner, Healthier You!)

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www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com (Order mineral-rich sea salt and milk thistle here)

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

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Two Brazil nuts a day may help keep the doctor away!

Brazil nuts contain selenium, a trace mineral essential to health.  Some of selenium’s impressive benefits include:

*Acts as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage.

*Helps maintain elasticity of the skin and other tissues.

*Aids function of the pancreas.

*Helps prevent hardening of the arteries and has anti-clotting effects in the blood.

*Helps convert thyroid hormone T4 to T3 (important for energy and metabolism).

*Reduces heavy metal toxicity.

*Enhances the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells.

*Helps improve male fertility, and important for the normal development of a baby during pregnancy.

*Helps prevent cataracts.

*Helps with dandruff and seborrhea.

Consider the following research:

Studies have shown that low levels of selenium are associated with heart disease, skin problems, cataracts, muscular dystrophy, various infections, growth retardation, and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis.

There is a strong link between low levels of selenium and cancer, especially of the colon, prostate, ovary, breast, skin, bladder, and lungs, as well as leukemia.

Studies have shown reduced fertility due to selenium deficiency.

In Australia, studies show that there may be a relationship between crib death (SIDS) and selenium deficiency.

Research in the 1970s demonstrated the following benefits of selenium:

*Helps protect against radiation.

*Helps detoxify heavy metals such as mercury by preventing their absorption and aiding in excretion.

*In animal studies, selenium detoxified the cancer-fighting drug Adriamycin without interfering with its actions.

Selenium is best obtained from whole foods like Brazil nuts (by far, the top source), 100% whole grains, fish, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, sesame seeds, and butter and beef from grass-fed animals.  Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.  Eat them whole or add them to your salads or smoothies.

The amount of selenium found in foods depends upon several factors:

*The condition of the soil–higher levels of selenium are generally found in western parts of The United States.  In areas where selenium levels are high, males show significantly lower overall cancer death rates.

*Fertilizers that contain sulfur can prevent the absorption of selenium from the soil by the plant.

*The benefits of selenium are reduced by heat, processing, and cooking.  Refining grains (enriched wheat, white rice, quick oats, etc.) can reduce selenium content up to 75%.  Selenium is in the bran of wheat and the polishings of rice.  Steel-cut oats are more nutritious than quick oats.

Supplementing with selenium can be tricky.  The safest and best absorbed forms are selenium yeast and selenomethionine.  The inorganic forms that are not well absorbed are sodium selenite and sodium selenate.  Sodium selenite may also inhibit absorption of vitamin C.  If you are taking a multi-vitamin/mineral or another supplement that contains selenium, check the label to find out which form it is.  The inorganic forms of selenium are often added to processed foods.

Have a cup of hibiscus or milk thistle tea for some added selenium!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP

1 Corinthians 10:31–                                                                                                                      “Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

A sweet treat to help strengthen bones!

Research shows that the trace mineral boron can boost blood levels of estrogen, which helps prevent calcium loss and demineralization of bones.  Sufficient levels of boron also help prevent magnesium loss, which is needed for the metabolism of calcium.

Dr. Forest, at the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, discovered that post-menopausal women were more apt to lose calcium and magnesium when they were eating a low-boron diet.  When these women were given just 3 milligrams of boron a day, their calcium losses dropped by 40%, and their estrogen levels doubled to the amounts found in women on estrogen replacement therapy!  (Estradiol 17B, the active form of estrogen.)  This small amount of boron is easy to get from food.

Boron is especially abundant in foods like apples, pears, grapes, bananas, peaches, oranges, dates, raisins, prunes, almonds, walnuts, beans, avocados, onions, broccoli, and honey.  This might help explain why vegetarians have less osteoporosis.  You can also get boron by using unrefined mineral-rich salt on your food.

I use this salt:  http://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/sea-salt-two-75-oz-shakers/150/

Refined sugar can lead to more calcium and magnesium loss, as well as hormone imbalances.  So, when you have a sweet tooth, try the recipe below, containing boron-rich ingredients!

Date Walnut Fudge

Blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor or blender:

1 cup raw walnuts

1 1/3 cups pitted dates (I cut whole dates in half before adding them.  This makes them easier to process and to check for any pits that didn’t get removed.)

4 tablespoons unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder (also contains boron)

1 teaspoon pure, unsweetened vanilla extract

Optional:  dash of unrefined mineral-rich salt

Roll into balls or pat into a pan and cut into squares.  Refrigerate.  You can also leave the cacao/cocoa out, if you prefer.  I often make half without, and then add only 2 tablespoons to the other half.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP

1 Corinthians 10:31–                                                                                                 “Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com (Download your free 10 Simple Steps to a Leaner, Healthier You!)

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

 

This frozen treat is both delicious and nutritious!

Peel and slice a banana into pieces, then place in a glass container and freeze.

When you are ready for a cool treat, put the frozen pieces into a blender (I use a small 2-cup size), and process on high until smooth.

Place the ice cream into a serving bowl, top with chopped nuts, and sprinkle with cinnamon!

Creamy and delicious!

Bananaicecream

Bananas provide potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

The nuts contain protein, healthy fats, and fiber, which help to stabilize blood sugar and keep you full longer.

Cinnamon is a source of manganese (helps regulate blood sugar), calcium, iron, and vitamin K.

So, go cool off and satisfy your sweet tooth with some banana ice cream!

If you want to see a picture of my homemade banana ice cream, open the attached picture at the top of this email.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist, CNHP

1 Corinthians 10:31–                                                                                                                    “Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.facebook.com/healthywithlisa

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.