Smoothies, Antioxidants and Healthy Eating

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends, Weight Weight Weight | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Smoothies can be a convenient way to take your nutrients on the run. The versatility of ingredients means smoothies can be infinitely tailored to your taste and preferences.  Retail available smoothies, and smoothie products, usually contain pasteurized ingredients which means the fruits and/or superfoods predictably have a loss in some vital nutrients.  The best choice is to make your own smoothie with fresh, organic ingredients.

                                           

An early-in-the-day smoothie takes little time to prepare, and can keep you feeling satisfied and energized through lunch. You can customize your own super foods and add-ins as there are no rules, just endless combinations.  Here’s a healthy smoothie idea that’s full of nutrients and is delicious.

* 2 Tbsps.each of linseeds and hempseeds that have been soaked overnight. This releases their goodness and makes them easier to absorb. (They’re packed with essential fats for physical and mental health.)

* One scoop of our Greens First morning antioxidant blend, or one scoop of our Red Alert afternoon antioxidant blend.

* Frozen Acai berries (high in antioxidants and other powerful nutrients… the current darling in the antioxidant world), or frozen raspberries

* 25 Fresh Blueberries (the age-defying fruit)

* 4 Frozen strawberries (loaded with zinc and other nutrients to help you feel great)

* 1 banana (packed with potassium and one of the best ingredients to thicken and bulk out a great smoothie recipe)

* 1 small packet of Stevia (the sweetener that’s good for you and is highly alkalizing. It’s better to sweeten a smoothie naturally with fruit or sweeteners)

* A pinch of bee pollen (a great longevity foods and also helpful in keeping you from getting colds and flu)

* Enough water to make it a nice consistency (essential to our lives)

There are many other smoothies you can make but the best smoothie is one that offers you healthful benefits and tastes great!

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10 Easy and Great Health Foods From Your Pantry

Posted on July 18, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

These 10 great health foods meet at least three of the following criteria: (1) Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients; (2) Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene; (3) May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions;  (4) Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories; and/or (5) Are readily available.

     Almonds – Packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron, calcium (more calcium than any other nut w/ 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving or about 23 almonds), and vitamin E.  Also a great plant source of protein and most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat – a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Apples – An excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels, and fresh apples are a good source of vitamin C – an antioxidant that protects your body’s cells from damage, helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.

Blueberries – They’re are a rich source of phytonutrients (plant compounds) which may help prevent urinary tract infections, improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging.  One cup of blueberries is also a low-calorie source of approximately 3.6 grams of fiber and 14mg of vitamin C in only 84 calories.    

Broccoli – Broccoli is a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, and broccoli contains phytonutrients – a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C – antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from damage.

Red Beans – Small red beans and dark red kidney beans are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They’re  low-fat and low-calorie sources of protein and dietary fiber, and contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Salmon – Salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and is a good source of protein.  It’s also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which is a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3s may also protect against irregular heartbeats that may cause sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.

Spinach – Popeye had it right.  Eat your spinach!   The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system, and may help keep your skin and hair healthy.  Spinach is a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, iron and magnesium, and is high in vitamins A and C and folate.

     Sweet Potatoes – You can tell sweet potatoes are high in the antioxidant beta carotene by their deep orange-yellow color. Foods rich in beta carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also fat-free, low in calories, and are a good source of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium.

 

Vegetable Juice – Vegetable juice is an easy way to include veggies in your diet and includes most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in the original vegetables.  Vegetable juices that include tomato juice, and tomato juice, are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer.  (Be sure to choose low-sodium vegetable juices.)

     Wheat Germ – The wheat germ – the part of the seed that’s responsible for the growth and development of the new plant sprout – is a highly concentrated source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.  It also contains protein, fiber and some fat.    

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S.A.D., or the Standard American Diet

Posted on July 12, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

S.A.D., or the Standard American Diet*, rarely includes the minimum 5-to-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables recommended by the National Cancer Institute and the United States Department of Agriculture.  Their concern is primarily about the epidemic rise of cardio-vascular disease, obesity, cancer and premature aging in the populace.  People will only eat what they like and, quite often, what is convenient.  Our goal is to provide good-tasting, instant and healthy super foods that can help bridge the gap between a S.A.D. and an optimal diet.

 

Greens First is our morning antioxidant blend containing 49 super foods, extracts and concentrates, including super greens, vegetables, fruits, probiotics, soluble and insoluble fibers, herbs, spices, natural flavonoids, enzymes and lecithin.  Each 9.4 gram scoop is easily mixed in 6-8 oz. of water, contains only 30 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving, and is proven to have the antioxidant power of 10 plus servings of fruits and vegetables (see our Greens First Scientific White Paper link below).  Greens First contains Certified Organic fruits and vegetables.  Adding Greens First to your diet may help to boost energy, promote a healthy heart, improve digestion, fight aging, promote normal cholesterol, assist weight management, and more.

Greens First Scientific White Paper:  http://www.greensfirst.com/gestion/GreensFirstWhitePaper.pdf

(* The Standard American Diet, aka S.A.D., tends to be high in animal fats, unhealthy saturated and hydrogenated fats, and processed foods, while being low in fiber, complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods.)

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Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, & Goji “Superfruit” Juices Compared

Posted on July 9, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 The Total Antioxidant Capacity, or TAC, of nine various “superfruit” juices were tested by CHOICE (www.choice.com.au) , a fiercely independent consumer organization and the largest one in Australia.  CHOICE receives no government, organization or commercial funds to conduct their independent tests, and their stated goal is to arm consumers with information that will allow them to make confident choices.

CHOICE tested the Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) of nine different superfruit products:  1) four goji juices; 2) two noni juices; 3) two mangosteen juices; and 4) one açai juice.

CHOICE gave the TAC (measured in μmol of trolox equivalents) of a single serve of each product, and showed it as a percentage of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple (5900*) for comparison. CHOICE examined the different brands’ websites as well as their  marketing literature on display where they were sold. CHOICE also reviewed the evidence for health benefits of each product.

* Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2004, 52, 4026-4037.

Açai
Brand tested:  Nu Açai and Guarana, from RioLife (contains 14% açai pulp).
TAC: 1800 per 30 mL
31% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple                               Price Paid:  $12 for 500 ml. (Cost in 2004. Some vendors selling at $41.99/bottle)
The lowdown Amazonian açai, the cherry-sized purple berry fruit of the açai palm, deteriorates rapidly after harvest. This “amazing energy berry” is usually only available outside the Amazon as juice or pulp that’s been frozen, dried or freeze-dried. Pulp can be added to juices or smoothies. The Boost juice bar chain sells an açai and guarana combo juice as the ‘açai NRG shooter’.Açai is reported to contain high levels of anthocyanins, compounds with antioxidant activity that are also responsible for its deep purple colour. According to RioLife’s marketing literature, açai was rated by a doctor on the TV show Oprah as “the #1 food for anti-aging benefits”. Nu Fruits’ website says açai berries have “six times the antioxidant level of blueberries” and touts them as a great source of essential fatty acids and energy, but holds back from making specific health claims.

Research confirms açai’s high antioxidant levels, and lab studies suggest it may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as a possible use in treating heart disease. But human studies on its health effects are yet to be published.

 

 

 

 

 

Goji

Brands tested:

Absolute Red NingXia Wolfberry Purée (100% puréed goji berries).
TAC: 2025 per 25 mL —
34% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Himalayan Goji Juice from FreeLife (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 570 per 30 mL
10% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Medicines From Nature Goji Juice (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 690 per 30 mL —
12% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Tree of Health Goji Juice Blend (90% goji juice from concentrate).
TAC: 1440 per 30 mL —
24% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: From $45 to around $85 for  1Liter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                            

 

 

The lowdown  The goji berry, or wolfberry, has been cultivated and eaten in Himalayan regions for centuries. According to Absolute Red, goji is “the greatest natural source of antioxidants on the planet”. Dr Earl Mindell, the ‘face’ of FreeLife and reported to be “the world’s foremost authority on the goji berry”, is quoted as saying, “I believe goji juice will have a more powerful benefit on health, well-being and anti-aging than any other product I have seen in the last 40 years.”

Cellular and animal studies have investigated the impact of goji on the growth of human leukemia cells, aging, vision, insulin resistance and infertility, among other things. Results from many show a positive effect, and it’s suggested that polysaccharides unique to goji may play a key role. But good-quality clinical studies providing evidence for reported benefits in humans are lacking. If you take warfarin, see your doctor before drinking goji, as they may interact.

 

Mangosteen

Brands tested:

Xango Whole Fruit Beverage (an undisclosed % of mangosteen, from concentrate).
TAC: 1020 per 30 mL
17% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Xanberry (an undisclosed % of puréed mangosteen).
TAC: 1710 per 30 mL —
29% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: Approx. $50 for 750 mL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

           

The lowdown Mangosteen, Asia’s so-called ‘queen of fruits’, is a tropical fruit with a thick purplish rind and segmented white flesh. It’s purported to contain more xanthones — a compound that may have antioxidant properties — than any other fruit.Literature given to us by a Xango distributor makes strong claims about the fruit, including, “Lab studies show that mangosteen xanthones outperform current chemotherapy drugs in killing liver, lung and stomach cancer cells.” Xanberry marketing talks more generally about the antioxidant power of mangosteen fruit and the benefits of xanthones and antioxidants, but it claims that one bottle of Xanberry has over double the antioxidant levels of goji juice.

Scientific research confirms that a variety of xanthones can be isolated from mangosteen plants and fruits. There are also a number of lab studies that suggest mangosteen extracts may have a use in the treatment of some cancers. But clinical trials on real people are lacking.

 

Noni

Brands tested:

Tahitian Noni Juice (89% noni fruit juice purée).
TAC: 540 per 30 mL
9% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Tree of Health Noni Juice (100% noni fruit juice).
TAC: 525 per 25 mL —
9% of the TAC of a Red Delicious apple .

Price paid: Approx. $40 to $60 for 1 L.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            

The lowdown Noni, a lime-green Polynesian tropical fruit, has a long history of medicinal use. Typically it’s the roots, bark and leaves that are used for different remedies, usually by applying them externally to the skin or to wounds.The website of market leader Tahitian Noni Juice refrains from making extravagant claims about its product. It says the fruit “provides powerful antioxidants, boosts the immune system and increases energy”, the inference being that the juice will too.Tree of Health, however, doesn’t hold back. It quotes a contemporary Hawaiian healer as saying, “I have used noni to help people with cancer, kidney problems, diabetes and tumors.” It also lists dozens of testimonials from people who found that drinking noni juice resulted in lower blood pressure, stronger nails and even improvements to their golf game. Noni fruit and juice derivatives have shown anti-tumour activity in rats and mice, but clinical data is scant. Of most interest is a trial in which cancer patients were given daily capsules (not juice) containing noni fruit extract. No tumour regressions were observed, but quality of life (as measured by a decrease in pain interference with activities) improved.

http://www.choice.com.au/                                      This article last reviewed August 2007

 

 

                             
 

 

 

  

 

 

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Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC)

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The method for measuring the antioxidant capacity of various foods is called ORAC which is the acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.  ORAC was developed by scientists in the NIH, specifically in the National Institute on Aging division (but the method is not approved by the NIH).

A wide variety of foods had been test for their ORAC values in the past, but the following chart is more current and reflects the 2007 results.  The importance of a food’s high ORAC value is that it indicates a food’s antioxidant value, and a high value is believed to be correlated in the Free-radical theory of aging. 

This more current list from 2007 was compiled by scientists within the United States Dept. of Agriculture and includes ORAC values for 277 foods commonly consumed in the USA (grains, seeds, nuts, spices, vegetables, fruits, etc.).  It’s also considered to be more accurate than the previously published ORAC numbers because it shows that all plants have variable amounts of both hydrophilic (water-loving) phytochemicals and lipophilic (fat-loving) phytochemicals that contribute to total ORAC. 

USDA data on foods with high levels of antioxidant phytochemicals

Food

Serving size

Antioxidant capacity per serving size[6]

Cinnamon, ground

100 grams

267,536

Aronia black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

100 grams

16062

Small Red Bean

½ cup dried beans

13727

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13427

Red kidney bean

½ cup dried beans

13259

Pinto bean

½ cup

11864

Blueberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

9019

Cranberry

1 cup (whole berries)

8983

Artichoke hearts

1 cup, cooked

7904

Blackberry

1 cup (cultivated berries)

7701

Prune

½ cup

7291

Raspberry

1 cup

6058

Strawberry

1 cup

5938

Red Delicious apple

1 apple

5900

Granny Smith apple

1 apple

5381

Pecan

oz

5095

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4873

Black plum

1 plum

4844

Russet potato

1, cooked

4649

Black bean

½ cup dried beans

4181

Plum

1 plum

4118

Gala apple

1 apple

3903

 

 

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Antioxidant [super] Blend…Not A One-Note Samba

Posted on July 1, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Eating or drinking one or two ingredient antioxidant supplements is like having an orchestra with one or two instruments.  It’s not a full complement. 

 Dr. Passwater says the following about antioxidants in his book, “The Antioxidants”:

 “Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient… In general, the different reducing agents in the body “talk to one another” freely, and thus, it is probably important that all of our pools of reducing agents be maintained. For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.”

Dr. Passwater concludes: “The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.”

Our morning blend of antioxidants – GREENS FIRST – is a full complement of start-the-day-right vegetables and fruits in a pleasant tasting blend.  Our afternoon blend of antioxidants – RED ALERT – is a fruit and vegetable mix to give you that bit of a boost in the afternoon you need.  Both blends are a synergistic, phytonutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich complement of certified and organic vegetables and fruit.

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Aging, Antioxidants and Free Radicals

Posted on June 28, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends, Just FYI | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

  * (See photo comments below)

The free radical theory of aging is generally accepted with more and more health science researchers concluding that free radicals cause oxidation.  It is commonly understood that oxidation is a process akin to the rusting of metal, and causes age-related deteriortation of the heart as well as being a central process of aging.  Human metabolism and energy productions create free radicals.  They are also at times the key feature of pollutants, poisons and drugs.

Our natural antioxidant processes compensate for one another, covering up momentary deficiencies by their overlap. Perhaps our very best result comes from maintaining all of our antioxidation resources to work towards our good health.

Dr. Passwater goes on to say the following about antioxidants in his book The Antioxidants :

“Combinations of antioxidants are like a balanced symphony working together. A symphony orchestra produces sounds so much more harmonious than merely having 20 drums playing. It is not the quantity, but the blend. The same is true with antioxidant nutrients: you get better results with moderate amounts of a full complement than you get with using very large amounts of just one nutrient… In general, the different reducing agents in the body “talk to one another” freely, and thus, it is probably important that all of our pools of reducing agents be maintained. For this reason, most of us in the field recommend that a person take a variety of antioxidants (a “cocktail”), not just a single substance.”

Dr. Passwater concludes:

“The importance of synergism is that the antioxidant nutrients each contribute to the total protection. They work together in the antioxidant cycle and reach all body compartments–fat and water-based, blood and internal cell. They protect against all types of free radicals and reactive oxygen species. No one antioxidant can do all of this.”

 (* Photo comments – 88 year old Grandfather to 11, John Lowe, of Witchford, Cambs, UK, took up dancing having watched his daughter Alison become a professional dancer.  The retired teacher said: “It’s a wonderful thing to do and I can’t understand why more men don’t do it.”  

Mr Lowe appeared with the Lantern Dance Theatre Company, in Ely, UK, on Sunday evening, January 13, 2008.  Mr. Lowe perfected his pirouettes at home in daily practice in preparation for his premier performance in Prokofiev’s “The Stone Flower at The Maltings.”

Mr. Lowe states, “I went to a dance school in the high street in Ely and asked if I could do tap and ballet and they said ‘well of course you can’ and I’ve been doing it ever since.  I’ve got a rope at home that I use to pull my leg up higher. I’m lucky that I don’t have any problem with the routines but that’s because I exercise. There’s nothing effeminate about it – you have to be incredibly fit to dance.”

Now that’s enjoying your golden years, and we applaud John Lowe and aging gracefully!!)

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Acai is the New Darling of the Antioxidant World

Posted on June 11, 2008. Filed under: Antioxidant Blends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

       

                               A grove of Acai Palms in Brazil

Acai is the new darling in the antioxidant world.  Acai is a dark purple fruit smaller than the size of a grape and consists of a seed mostly covered in a small amount of pulp.  This fruit grows on the Acai Palm tree and is found in the Amazon Rain Forest of Brazil.  Acai has a berry taste with a touch of chocolate flavor so is tasty and inviting to eat.

 

Acai has been found to have about 10 times the antioxidant level of grapes and twice that of blueberries, plus it has about 10-30 times the anthocyanins of red wine (anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants).  The Acai berry is rich in healthy Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 unsaturated fats, and has as much Vitamin C as blueberries.  Other vitamins identified in the Acai berry include Vitamins A, B1, B3 and E in addition to potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc. 

 

B-sitosterol, campesterol and sigmasterol, three plant or photosterols, have been identified in the Acai berry which have been shown to have health benefits in maintaining healthy heart and digestive function.  It’s also a good source of fiber.

 

Acai’s nutrient mix may assist is:

*  Maintaining healthy function of bodily systems and organs

*  Promoting healthy sleep

*  Supporting the immune system

*  Act as an effective anti-inflammatory

 

The University of Florida has some promising new studies using the Acai berry in cancer research.  Stay tuned for more good news from that sector.

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