Why an apple a day might help keep the doctor away!ūüćé

In the early 20th century, an article in American Medicine magazine praised the apple as ¬† “. . . therapeutically effective in all conditions of acidosis, gout, rheumatism, jaundice, all liver and gallbladder troubles, nervous and skin diseases caused by sluggish liver, hyperacidity, and states of autointoxication.”

Apples contain a soluble fiber called pectin, shown to have the following properties:

Pectin helps remove lead and other toxic metals from the digestive tract.  This is especially beneficial for those who live in high-traffic urban areas.

Pectin stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine, which can improve digestion and support the immune system.

Pectin helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL), making it useful against heart disease.

Pectin can help balance blood sugar.

Pectin can help manage both constipation and diarrhea.

In addition to pectin:

The peel of an apple contains quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Apples contain the mineral boron, which helps increase blood levels of estrogen, acting as a mild “estrogen replacement therapy.” ¬†Estrogen helps prevent calcium and magnesium loss from bones. ¬†Studies showed that just 3 mg of boron a day decreased calcium loss by 40%! ¬†An average apple contains about .5 mg of boron.

According to Psychologist James Penland, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, a lack of boron can affect mental alertness and test performance by slowing the brain’s electrical activity. ¬†Dr. Penland found that just 3 mg of boron a day increased brain activity.

Fruits, nuts, and beans are some of the best sources of boron, as well as honey.

Bonus benefits:

Apples have compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral.

When eaten before meals, apples can help suppress the appetite.

Boron may hinder the excretion of magnesium associated with taking diuretics or digitalis.

Recommendation:

Buy organic apples.  According to ewg.org, non-organic apples come in second on the list of produce that contains high amounts of toxic residues.

Try this boron-rich Stovetop Apple Dessert recipe!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

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

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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.

 

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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!”

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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.

Blueberries–also known as “brain berries” and “youth berries”

It’s blueberry season, so stock up! ¬†One study in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate 1 cup of blueberries a day had increased blood levels of antioxidants that may play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, senility, cancer, cataracts, and macular degeneration. ¬†Other studies have shown that high blood levels of antioxidants have played a role in the prevention of breast cancer. ¬†(Check out 7 Proven Reasons to Eat more Blueberries.)

Historically, blueberries were pounded into dried meat to reduce its rate of spoilage.  The berries and leaves were also used to make tea as a remedy for diarrhea.

Blueberries are rich in tannins that can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, and they also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to relieve both constipation and diarrhea.

Like cranberries, blueberries are beneficial for the urinary tract by reducing the ability of E. coli bacteria to adhere to the lining of the urethra and bladder.

Anthocyanins give blueberries their deep blue color and contain powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage that can lead to degenerative diseases.  They also contain the flavonoid quercetin, which has significant anti-inflammatory abilities.

Research done on rats by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University, directed by Dr. James Joseph, showed better brain performance and improvement in coordination and balance in the rats that were fed the human equivalent of 1 cup of blueberries a day.  The study also showed that their brains seemed to communicate better, had less damage, and they even developed new brain cells!

Blueberries seem to have a positive effect on the areas of the brain that control movement and have shown positive effects on those with multiple sclerosis.  Some early studies on people who consumed a cup of blueberries a day showed improved performance on tests of motor skills.

Blueberries contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that has been shown in studies to reduce cancer rates in people who consumed the most dietary ellagic acid.  They were 3 times less likely to develop cancer.

Other fruits with similar health properties:  raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, purple grapes, cranberries, and boysenberries.

Eat a variety for all of their various health benefits.  Keep fresh, frozen, and dried fruits on hand.  Buy them unsweetened and without added preservatives or flavorings.  Remove any moldy berries before storing in the refrigerator.

Check the EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to see which ones are on the Clean 15 and Dirty 12 Lists. ¬†The good news is that blueberries are not on the Dirty 12, but strawberries are number 1 this year for being highly contaminated with pesticides. ¬†Grapes come in at number 6 and cherries at number 7. ¬†I recommend that you buy these two fruits organic.

Red and blue berries are perfect for adding a patriotic touch to your fourth of July celebration!

Happy Independence Day!

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/learningtobehealthy

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.

Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Health

Once our food has made its way to the 20-foot long small intestine, enzymes are secreted by the pancreas to further digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  The pancreas also makes insulin, which helps to control blood sugar.  Too many processed foods can weaken the pancreas over time, and digestion, as well as insulin production, can be adversely affected.  You may need to support your pancreas when you eat processed foods by taking digestive enzymes.

About 90% or more of the nutrients from what we eat is absorbed in the small intestine, which is lined with finger-like villi. ¬†These villi contain digestive enzymes that finish preparing the food for absorption. ¬†Villi also help prevent “leaky gut” by letting in the good and keeping out the bad, similar to using a strainer. ¬†When villi become damaged due to inflammation, they can no longer do there job efficiently.

Damage resulting from inflammation can come from many sources, including the malfunction of other organs, like the stomach not producing enough stomach acid or removal of the gall bladder.  Other pro-inflammatory conditions include a poor diet (including food sensitivities), fungal and parasitic infections, medications, and toxins.

When the villi can no longer properly absorb nutrients and keep out what doesn’t belong in the bloodstream, inflammation can affect the entire body. ¬†This can trigger an immune system response, and, when chronic, can turn into an autoimmune condition.

Some ways to stop inflammation and improve a “leaky gut” condition:

Remove food sensitivities (you may need to get an IgG Antibody Test).  You can also use a food journal to write down what you eat and drink, how you feel, and poop observations.  Eliminate any suspect foods for two weeks, and then reintroduce them, one at a time, over a three-day period, to see if you have any negative reactions.

Eat fresh produce, organic meats, fermented foods, and bone broth.

Stop eating hydrogenated oils (soy, canola, corn, vegetable, cottonseed, etc.).

Stop eating refined sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup).

Stop eating fast foods and packaged foods.

After nutrient absorption, what remains enters the large intestine, or colon. ¬†Some additional nutrients are absorbed there, especially fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). ¬†This is where beneficial bacteria (probiotics) assist in digestion–about 90% are located in the colon.

The final step in digestion is the timely elimination of waste.  The average time for stool to pass through the colon is about 36 hours.  If constipation is a problem, probiotics may help, as well as flax or extra-virgin olive oil, which help to lubricate the colon for easier passage.  Fiber, found in whole plant foods, is important for moving waste along, as well as for feeding the good intestinal bacteria.  Water is another crucial element for helping to prevent chronic constipation.

Some ways to help remedy constipation:

Include healthy fats in your daily diet, eat a minimum of 25 grams of fiber, drink approximately half your body weight in ounces of pure water, and take probiotics as needed.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant

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

www.learningtobehealthy.com

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.

Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Health!

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start! ¬†It begins with digestion, not just what you eat, but what you absorb–and that’s affected by the health of your gut!

Often, the first signs of health imbalances will show up in the form of digestive issues. This might be constipation (less than one bowel movement a day), diarrhea, gas, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, etc. When these conditions become chronic, the digestive tract can become compromised. This interferes with assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins. Lack of nutrients and accumulation of toxins leads to more health problems.

Taking an occasional antacid or laxative to relieve symptoms may help in the short-term, but they do little for your long-term health.  Instead, get to the root of your digestive issues by paying attention to the warning signs and learning to have healthy digestion.

Step one:  Chew!  Digestions begins in the mouth!

You might be thinking, “I do that, check!” ¬†But, do you really?

You could count to 30, but I don’t like to count when I eat, so I chew until my food is mushy.

Why is this important?  Digestive enzymes in saliva mix with your food to help break it down into an absorbable form.  Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that digests carbohydrates.  When you skip this step by not chewing adequately, the stomach has to work harder.

Chewing food well has a lot to do with mindful eating.  This happens when we take time to eat in a relaxed environment, paying attention to what and how we eat.  Eating on the go or while talking in a hurried manner often keeps us from paying attention to how we chew our food. This makes it easy to take big bites, give them a chew or two, and wash them down the hatch with some liquid.  Not good!

This week’s recommended action steps:

Pat attention to chewing your food thoroughly before you swallow.  Even semi-solid foods, like smoothies or applesauce, need to be given time to mix with saliva instead of gulping them down.

That’s all! ¬†See you next week for step two!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant

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/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.