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Is Your Coffee Contaminated With Mold and Mycotoxins?

Ever wondered if your morning cup of coffee is contaminated with mold and mycotoxins? Read on to learn why you should care about drinking the highest quality coffee.

Was your coffee made with moldy coffee beans? You may not have considered this question before, but research suggests you should think about it the next time you purchase coffee.

The answer depends on whether or not the coffee beans have been properly sourced, processed, and tested for mycotoxins—the toxic substances produced by some types of mold. Coffee is one of the foods that is most susceptible to contamination by mycotoxins, and coffee producers do not routinely test for these contaminants.

A study published in the journal Food Control indicates that mycotoxin contamination could be widespread in commercially available coffee.

Mycotoxins are compounds produced by filamentous fungi, commonly referred to as mold, which pose health risks when exposure levels are high. Mycotoxin-producing molds are abundant in the environment and are common in many agricultural food products including grains, dried fruit, and peanuts.

Improper handling and storage of these foods can promote the growth of molds and the production of mycotoxins.

Aflatoxin is one type of mycotoxin that can be produced when foods are stored under conditions of high humidity and temperature and has also been associated with liver disease. A second type of mycotoxin, ochratoxin, is toxic to the kidneys at high exposure levels.

The molds that produce ochratoxin grow in a variety of conditions, but are more commonly found in low-quality coffee that is harvested, processed, or stored using inferior methods, such as leaving harvested coffee to dry on the ground in contact with soil.

Because roasting contaminated coffee beans does not destroy mycotoxins, once contamination occurs, mycotoxins remain in the finished product.

Scientists at the University of Valencia in Spain identified the presence of mycotoxins in nearly 100 samples of commercial brands of coffee that were purchased from local supermarkets.

Among the samples that the researchers tested, five contained levels of mycotoxins that were higher than the maximum allowable limit set by government regulations. The results indicated that mycotoxin contamination is widespread in commercial coffees.

In their study, the researchers purchased a variety of coffee from local supermarkets including regular, decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee products. Only four out of the 103 samples the researchers analyzed were mycotoxin-free.

Among the samples that tested positive for mycotoxins, some contained only small amounts while others contained much higher levels. There was no difference in mycotoxin contamination between the different types of coffee tested. Five of the samples had high levels of mycotoxin contamination exceeding the maximum limit set by the European Union.

The Impact on Coffee Safety

Previous research has found that low-quality coffee is at a higher risk for mycotoxin contamination. Poor practices during harvesting, drying, processing, and storage can promote the growth of mold and increase the presence of mycotoxins.

The levels of mycotoxins that researchers detected in the Spanish study are low relative to the levels of mycotoxin exposure associated with serious health effects. For example, in the World Health Organization’s report on the toxic effects of mycotoxins, a serious illness was identified in two individuals who inhaled large amounts of contaminated dust while cleaning a moldy grain silo.

The University of Valencia researchers note that further research is necessary to evaluate the health risks from exposure to mycotoxin contamination in coffee.

The Isagenix Difference: “No-Compromise” Quality

As part of Isagenix no-compromise quality, Isagenix Coffee is tested for mycotoxins, including testing for both aflatoxin and ochratoxin. Isagenix Coffee is also tested for other potential toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals.

For more information or to order Click Here

 

What is Intermittent Fasting

More Than a Diet: How Intermittent Fasting Could Be the Key

It’s easy to dismiss new diet trends that come and go. Intermittent fasting, though, is not your typical fad diet – it’s far from it.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is simply the practice of alternating between periods of eating and fasting. What’s more, this dietary practice has been the subject of scientific investigation for close to a century. Researchers recently evaluated the scientific evidence and determined that short-term periods of intermittent fasting done on a weekly basis is just as effective as standard diets. Intermittent fasting has been shown to be more effective than standard calorie restriction due to its flexibility. This makes intermittent fasting a sustainable lifestyle choice to support long-term health.

Intermittent Fasting With Isagenix

The science behind intermittent fasting was incorporated into the development of many Isagenix Systems as well as specific products. Isagenix makes intermittent fasting easier and more accessible through nutritional tools designed to support the fasting process. Cleanse for Life® provides the body with nutritional support while also supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes,† whereas products like Isagenix Snacks™, Whey Thins™, and IsaDelight® chocolates provide additional nutritional support to satisfy cravings and boost energy.

Here are three tips for success when intermittent fasting with Isagenix:

1. Use the Tools

You don’t have to be hangry. Take advantage of approved nutritional support like Whey Thins, IsaDelight chocolates, e+™, Isagenix Coffee, Ionix® Supreme, and Isagenix Snacks. However, it is always important to be conscious of calorie intake and only use what’s necessary for you personally – the goal is to consume as few calories as you possibly can. By having your regularly spaced servings of Cleanse for Life and other nutritional support, you are providing your body with a steady source of nutrition while also keeping calories at a healthy level.

2. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

Abstaining from normal meals and foods can be tough if you haven’t prepared for it mentally and physically. Isagenix recommends completing at least two Shake Days prior to a Cleanse Day, but for some, up to two weeks of Shake Days may be necessary to prepare for a successful Cleanse Day experience. Use these days to incorporate the nutrient-dense shakes and other nutritious foods – this will help prepare you to start reducing your calorie intake. Better yet, gradually cutting back on excess calories ahead of time will make it easier to complete both successful Shake Days and Cleanse Days in the future.

3. Hydrate

Hydration is extremely important on Cleanse Days. Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water throughout the day. You may also support hydration on Cleanse Days with other calorie-free beverages like plain, unsweetened coffee, and herbal teas or beverages like Cleanse for Life, Ionix Supreme, or AMPED™ Hydrate if needed.

Not drinking enough water, especially on a Cleanse Day, can be a concern for many people. However, as with anything, it’s also possible to get too much of a good thing. By paying attention to your body’s cues, you can be confident that you’re making the best choice for your health. Some general guidelines you can follow from the Institute of Medicine is to consume between 2.7 liters (11 cups) and 3.7 liters (16 cups) of total water to meet the hydration needs of most healthy adults.

Down to a Science

Dr. Paul Arciero, Ph.D., is an accomplished exercise scientist who has researched intermittent fasting in partnership with Isagenix. He found that combining a balanced diet that incorporates Isagenix products, keeping consistent protein intake throughout the day, and intermittent fasting can help achieve long-term health loss goals, in addition to supporting markers of heart health and reducing oxidative stress.

Dr. Arciero performed a study consisting of two phases. The first was a 12-week weight loss phase and the second was a 52-week weight maintenance phase. For the first phase, all the study subjects followed the Isagenix regimen, and during the second phase, the group was split with one group continuing to use Isagenix while the other switched to a heart-healthy diet.

Dr. Arciero acknowledges that heart-healthy diets have proven benefits, but he has found that dietary strategies including intermittent fasting and consistent protein intake throughout the day are particularly effective.

During the second phase of the study looking at weight maintenance, all the participants consumed about 1,900 calories, but the Isagenix group consumed approximately 20-25 grams of protein at each meal and followed the Isagenix protocol for intermittent fasting once every two weeks or once a month.

At the end of the 12-month period, the results for the two groups was somewhat surprising and vastly different. The participants who continued to follow the Isagenix System outperformed the heart-healthy group in markers such as reduced body weight, oxidative stress, and arterial stiffness. Participants following the heart-healthy diet regained much of the weight they lost during the first phase of the study, along with seeing a decline in other markers that were improved in phase one.

More Than Weight Loss

While weight loss may be the most compelling argument for intermittent fasting, an increasing number of studies have also highlighted its benefits for better overall health and well-being.

So, are you ready to better your health? Let Isagenix help you incorporate intermittent fasting into your routine.

​​†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Essential Vitamins and Vitamer Diversity

Vitamins take on many forms in natural, whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Different forms of a vitamin, known as vitamers (pronounced vīt-ə-mərs), deliver greater nutrient diversity. Check this out to learn more about the benefits of vitamers!

What Are Vitamers?

July 9th, 2020|

While you might think of a vitamin like vitamin C as a single molecule, every vitamin is actually a family of related molecules that share a common function in the body. The members of a vitamin family are called vitamers (pronounced vīt-ə-mərs).

Vitamins and Vitamers

There are 14 essential vitamins that your body needs to function as it should — vitamins A, C, D, E, and K; the B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12); and choline (1). Each vitamin consists of several related forms known as vitamers. Some vitamins have only a few vitamers, while other vitamins have many. Every vitamer in a vitamin family has the same core functions but also has its own unique features and benefits.

Vitamers within a vitamin family can differ from each other in a variety of ways. Some forms of a vitamin might be more bioavailable than others or might follow slightly different pathways during metabolism, leading to subtly different health benefits.

For example, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are two vitamers of vitamin B3. Both forms of vitamin B3 have the same essential functions in the body: helping to release energy from food, acting as a coenzyme in cellular metabolism, serving as an antioxidant, and contributing to the normal process of copying and maintaining DNA in cells (2).

Although they both share the same core functions of vitamin B3, these two vitamers also have subtly different properties. Nicotinic acid offers unique benefits for heart health but also has the potential to cause an uncomfortable niacin flush reaction in sensitive people. Nicotinamide, on the other hand, doesn’t cause a niacin flush reaction (2).

Vitamers in Natural Foods

Natural foods provide vitamins as a diverse array of vitamers. A varied diet that includes many different fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins delivers nutrients in their naturally occurring forms, including the full spectrum of vitamers. Getting a greater diversity of vitamers helps ensure you receive the benefits of the different forms of each vitamin.

When vitamins are added to foods, they are generally added as only a single, purified vitamer. While this approach has its own benefits, it can substantially reduce the diversity of nutrients in a typical diet.

For instance, vitamin E is commonly added to foods as vitamin E acetate (alpha-tocopherol acetate). This vitamer of vitamin E is very stable and effective at protecting foods from rancidity. While most fortified foods supply only one form of vitamin E, there are at least eight naturally occurring vitamers of vitamin E divided into two main groups — tocopherols and tocotrienols (3).

These naturally occurring vitamers offer a variety of benefits. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E in the body, while the tocotrienols offer the most potent antioxidant benefits. All eight naturally occurring vitamers of vitamin E can be found in various plant-based foods (3).

In nature, vitamins exist as families of related vitamers. Each vitamer in a vitamin family shares the same essential functions in the body but also has unique properties of its own. The variety of vitamers that occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods provide a diverse array of nutritional benefits.

References

  1. Institute of Medicine. 2006. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/11537.
  2. Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1998.
  3. Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000.

What’s the Freedom we are all Really Striving for?

What is the freedom we are all seeking right now on this day where we should be celebrating our freedom??

Freedom from sin….now that is the freedom we all should be fighting for because ultimately it is the only freedom that matters, for it is eternal!

… But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive
God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. … Galatians 3:22

“For sin pays its wage — death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭

Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. Romans 10:9

I can and do honestly say that Jesus is my Lord. Because he lives!. He is the one and only living God! That’s what I am celebrating! I am free from the penalty of my past sins and my future sins! (Though I desired to sun no more of course)!

And he walks with me and he talks with me each and every day! I just remembered this childhood song…. In The Garden. How sweet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwXd3WzjKy8

Reversing premature aging? Really?

No, I’m not reverse aging, but I do believe that I am reversing the ravages of premature aging with Isagenix’s all-natural dietary supplement based on Nobel Prize winning science.

Why would you not try it? It’s not a magic bullet, its’ not a quick fix but just like your body slowly got to where it is today, with IsaGenesis, over time, you can have a positive impact of your life. I have no plans to stop!

Check out below 10 plant-based ingredients to help maintain your youth*, and then consider purchasing IsaGenesis®, or better yet, get your daily vitamins along with it in Complete Essentials Daily Packs with IsaGenesis®.

*Isagenix products have not been evaluated by the FDA. Isagenix products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

IsaGenesis®: 10 Plant-Based Ingredients to Help Maintain Your Youth

For those wishing to maintain their youthful energy and vitality, IsaGenesis® represents a cocktail of selected botanicals and nutrients that reinforce the body’s own defenses against oxidative stress and underlying free radicals that can accelerate the process of aging.

Telomeres, the protective DNA sequences at the end of each chromosome, are essential to maintain genome stability within cells. Telomere length is considered a hallmark of biological aging. Normal cell division leads to gradual shortening of protective telomeres over time and is a process associated with normal aging. Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins are also linked to premature telomere shortening as well as other negative consequences for health (1-5).

Years of scientific study have identified nutritional strategies that are associated with benefits for healthy aging. Consistent with this research, a growing body of scientific literature suggests that antioxidant-rich plant foods and botanical ingredients can help to support telomeres and defend against the harmful effects of oxidative stress known to accelerate the cellular aging process (6).

  1. Milk Thistle – Milk thistle contains compounds including silymarin with demonstrated liver-protective and antioxidant effects (6-8). 1. Ashwagandha – This popular herb has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine known for its antioxidant and neuroprotective effects (9, 10).
  2. Horny Goat Weed – There’s evidence indicating that horny goat weed has antioxidant properties. It also supports healthy aging through different mechanisms, including support for immune and endocrine systems and benefits for metabolism and organ function (11-16).
  3. Grape Seed Extract – Grape seed extract has a high concentration of polyphenolic flavonoids which have been shown to improve parameters related to heart health and platelet reactivity (17-21).
  4. Turmeric – The curry spice contains curcumin and other curcuminoids which have demonstrated neuroprotective and immunoenhancing effects. It has also been shown to stimulate antioxidant defenses in the body (22, 23).
  5. Giant knotweed (a source of resveratrol) – Giant knotweed, as a natural source of resveratrol (also found in red wine), provides potent antioxidant and immune system support and has been linked with benefits for healthy aging (24-26).
  6. Pomegranate – This fruit has significant antioxidant activity due to its high polyphenol content. It has been demonstrated to support heart, metabolism, and detoxification systems (27-29).
  7. White, Green, and Black Tea – Various types of tea leaves contain biologically active compounds associated with many health benefits, including support for cognitive function and blood flow (30-33).
  8. Asian Ginseng – Shown to help improve glucose metabolism and circulation as well as moderate the immune response through its antioxidant properties (34, 35).
  9. Bilberry – Shown to support cognitive function and memory and protect the brain from oxidative stress (36-41).

Additionally, the inclusion of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and B12 (a mix of methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin) helps combat oxidative stress. Vitamin C plays a role in developing and maintaining a healthy antioxidant status (42, 43). Adequate vitamin B12 status is essential to maintain normal blood homocysteine levels. Elevated blood homocysteine is a known risk factor for oxidative stress (44, 45).

IsaGenesis Clinical Trial

Catalase is a protective enzyme naturally produced by cells that is key to defending against cellular damage caused by harmful, free-radical generating peroxides. Catalase neutralizes these harmful compounds to prevent damage within cells. Supporting the body’s defense against oxidative stress helps maintain normal telomere function and mitigates many of the factors that contribute to premature telomere shortening (1-5).

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, IsaGenesis significantly increased levels of catalase in healthy adults after 12 weeks of daily use (6). Forty-three healthy, nonsmoking men and women ages 25-45 participated in a clinical trial which was conducted at a major university. The participants were randomly assigned to receive four capsules per day of either IsaGenesis or a placebo.

The participants provided blood samples before starting the trial, at four weeks, and after 12 weeks. Overall, the researchers observed a 15 percent increase in catalase levels in those participants who supplemented with IsaGenesis, compared to participants who received a placebo.

The clinical trial demonstrates that IsaGenesis not only includes botanicals and antioxidant nutrients to support the body’s defense against oxidative stress, but their combination is also shown to stimulate the body’s own powerful antioxidant defenses.

References

  1. Bull CF et al. Telomere length in lymphocytes of older South Australian men may be inversely associated with plasma homocysteine. Rejuvenation Res 2009;12:341-9.
  2. Freitas-Simoes TM, Ros E, Sala-Vila A. Nutrients, foods, dietary patterns and telomere length: Update of epidemiological studies and randomized trials. Metabolism. 2016 Apr;65(4):406-15.
  3. Wolkowitz OM et al. Leukocyte Telomere Length in Major Depression: Correlations with Chronicity, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress-Preliminary Findings. PLoS One 2011; 6(3):e17837.
  4. Cassidy A et al. Associations between diet, lifestyle factors, and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2010;91:1273-80.
  5. Demissie S et al. Insulin resistance, oxidative stress, hypertension, and leukocyte telomere length in men from the Framingham Heart Study. Aging Cell 2006; 5: 325-30.
  6. Sweazea KL, Johnston CS, Knurick J, Bliss CD. Plant-Based Nutraceutical Increases Plasma Catalase Activity in Healthy Participants: A Small Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Proof of Concept Trial. J Diet Suppl 2016;0,0:1-14.
  7. Velussi M et al. Long-term (12 months) treatment with an anti-oxidant drug (silymarin) is effective on hyperinsulinemia, exogenous insulin need and malondialdehyde levels in cirrhotic diabetic patients. J Hepatol 1997;26:871-9.
  8. Soto C et al. Silymarin increases antioxidant enzymes in alloxan-induced diabetes in rat pancreas. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C Toxicol. Pharmacol 2003;136:205–212.
  9. Nelson SK et al. The induction of human superoxide dismutase and catalase in vivo: a fundamentally new approach to antioxidant therapy. Free Radic Biol Med 2006;40:341-7.
  10. Ahmad MK et al. Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertil Steril 2010;94:989-96.
  11. Cooley K et al. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One 2009;4:e6628.
  12. Wu et al. Effect of wolfberry fruit and Epimedium on DNA synthesis of the aging-youth 2BS fusion cells. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Hie He Za Zhi 2003:23;926-928.
  13. Liu et al. Study on the changes of protein phosphorylation of p65 in lymphocytes of rats in progress of aging and interventional effect of Epimedium flavonoids. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 2008;33:73-76.
  14. Meng et al. Studies on the effect of active constituents of Herba Epimedii on hypothalamic monoamines neurotransmitter and other brain functions in aging rats. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 1996;21:683-685.
  15. Wang et al. Effect of Herba Epimedii and Fructus Lyciion mitochondrial DNA deletion, activity of respiratory chain enzyme complexes and ATP synthesis in aged rats. Journal of Peking University (Health Sci) 1996;21:683-685.
  16. Zeng et al. Studies on the antioxidant effect of constituents of Herba Epimedii. China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica 1997;22:46-47.
  17. Niu et al. Study on the savaging activity of Epimedii on hydroxyl radical. Chinese Journal of Sports Medicine;19:434-435.
  18. Vigna GB et al. Effect of a standardized grape seed extract on low-density lipoprotein susceptibility to oxidation in heavy smokers. Metabolism 2003; 52:1250-7.
  19. Kar P et al. Effects of grape seed extract in Type 2 diabetic subjects at high cardiovascular risk: a double-blind randomized placebo controlled trial examining metabolic markers, vascular tone, inflammation, oxidative stress and insulin sensitivity. Diabet Med 2009;26:526-31.
  20. Barona J et al. Grape polyphenols reduce blood pressure and increase flow-mediated vasodilation in men with metabolic syndrome. J Nutr 2012;142:1626-32.
  21. Tome-Carneiro J et al. Consumption of a grape extract supplement containing resveratrol decreases oxidized LDL and ApoB in patients undergoing primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a triple-blind, 6-month follow-up, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Mol Nutr Food Res 2012;56:810-21.
  22. Weseler AR et al. Pleiotropic benefit of monomeric and oligomeric flavanols on vascular health–a randomized controlled clinical pilot study. PLos One 2011;6:328460.
  23. Nelson SK et al. The induction of human superoxide dismutase and catalase in vivo: a fundamentally new approach to antioxidant therapy. Free Radic Biol Med 2006;40:341-7.
  24. Pungcharoenkul K and Thongnopnua P. Effect of different curcuminoid supplement dosages on total in vivo antioxidant capacity and cholesterol levels of healthy human subjects. Phytother Res 2011;25:1721-6.
  25. Xia L et al. Resveratrol reduces endothelial progenitor cells senescence through augmentation of telomerase activity by Akt-dependent mechanisms. Br J Pharmacol 2008;155:387-94.
  26. Timmers S et al. Calorie restriction-like effects of 30 days of resveratrol supplementation on energy metabolism and metabolic profile in obese humans. Cell Metab 2011;14:612-22.
  27. Brasnyo P et al. Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients. Br J Nutr 2011;106:383-9.
  28. Rosenblat M et al. Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice (PJ) consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages. Atherosclerosis 2006;187:363-71.
  29. Heber D et al. Safety and antioxidant activity of a pomegranate ellagitannin-enriched polyphenol dietary supplement in overweight individuals with increased waist size. J Agr Food Chem 2007;55:10050-4.
  30. Guo C et al. Pomegranate juice is potentially better than apple juice in improving antioxidant function in elderly subjects. Nutr Res 2008;28:72-7.
  31. Scholey A et al. Acute neurocognitive effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Appetite 2012;58:767-70.
  32. Wightman EL et al. Epigallocatechin gallate, cerebral blood flow parameters, cognitive performance and mood in healthy humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover investigation. Hum Psychopharmacol 2012;27:177-86
  33. Kuriyama S et al. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project 1. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:355-61.
  34. Mandel SA et al. Molecular mechanisms of the neuroprotective/neurorescue action of multi-target green tea polyphenols. Front Biosci 2012;4:581-98.
  35. Ramesh T, Kim SW, Hwang SY, Sohn SH, Yoo SK, Kim SK. Panax ginseng reduces oxidative stress and restores antioxidant capacity in aged rats. Nutr Res 2012;32:718-26.
  36. Shergis JL, Zhang AL, Zhou W, Xue CC. Panax ginseng in Randomised Controlled Trials: A Systematic Review. Phytother Res 2012.
  37. Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem 2010;58:3996-4000.
  38. Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Willis LM. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr 2009;139:1813S-7S.
  39. Williams CM, El Mohsen MA, Vauzour D et al. Blueberry-induced changes in spatial working memory correlate with changes in hippocampal CREB phosphorylation and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels. Free Radic Biol Med 2008;45:295-305.
  40. Legault J, Girard-Lalancette K, Grenon C, Dussault C, Pichette A. Antioxidant activity, inhibition of nitric oxide overproduction, and in vitro antiproliferative effect of maple sap and syrup from Acer saccharum. J Med Food 2010;13:460-8.
  41. Brewer GJ, Torricelli JR, Lindsey AL et al. Age-related toxicity of amyloid-beta associated with increased pERK and pCREB in primary hippocampal neurons: reversal by blueberry extract. J Nutr Biochem 2009.
  42. Dulebohn RV, Yi W, Srivastava A, Akoh CC, Krewer G, Fischer JG. Effects of blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) on DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, and phase II enzyme activities in rats. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56:11700-6.
  43. Groff and Gropper. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 5th Ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Learning. 2000.
  44. Shils et al. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th Ed. 2009.
  45. Fenech M et al. Folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine status and DNA damage in young Australian adults. Carcinogenesis 1998;19:1163-71.

Almond-Pesto Crusted Salmon

Delectable!’ This just might be my favorite way to enjoy salmon, with pesto and almonds. It was quick and simple to prepare.img_6492

This is like nearly 4 months into the stay at home and we’ve only went to dinner out once during that time. You must understand, we like dining out. We like the experience, the break from the kitchen, yet we are always looking for flavorful and healthy dishes.

Let me tell you, this doesn’t just qualify for a #stayathome meal, this is more like a #finediningmealathome !

It was a blessing to use our own fresh basil pesto from our garden on the salmon and also from the garden was the cilantro on the green rice, fresh lemon juice, and fresh green beans which was our first tender harvest! Always the best!      

We have created this recipe for two!

Ingredients

2 4-6 oz. salmon fillets

1/4 cup sliced almonds, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tbsp crispy panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup basil pesto

img_6489

Instructions

Turn oven to LO broiler.

Combine the chopped, sliced almonds with the panko crumbs.

Lightly spray foil lined baking sheet with olive oil and place each salmon fillet on baking sheet, leaving space between the 2 pieces.  If your salmon has skin, remove it or place salmon skin side down on baking sheet.

Spread the top of the salmon with basil pesto, evenly distributing the pesto to each piece of salmon.

Sprinkle almond/crumb mixture on fix and press it onto each salmon fillet using all the mixture.

Lightly spray the tops of the almond crusted salmon with olive oil spray.

First broil on middle rack of oven for about 7-8 minutes and then move oven rack to top and broil an additional 2-3 minutes to create crust.  (Salmon should flake with a fork)

Never Buy Pesto Again!!!

I found myself initially concerned about the availability of food and coupled with my lack of desire to frequent the grocery store during the pandemic, I decided to quickly plant a few herbs in my little garden space.

We were still enjoying some basil pesto and also some fennel pesto that we made last year from a friends abundant garden harvest. And as I looked at my few small basil plants I feared that they wouldn’t produce enough for me to make pesto and freeze for later use. That’s when I decided to propagate more plants from the plants I had. I remembered that when I had brought a few stems in from my garden and put it in water, they had formed roots! So that’s just what I did! It was simple!

I cut off the growth, put it in a little glass on the counter for roughly a week until I could see roots developing, then I planted the new plants. I’m also rooting some right now to give to a couple of my friends who typically don’t garden. Basil plants are so easy. And the smell of fresh basil is simply delicious! They can find a window or a small place outside, then just keep it watered. It’s not difficult at all!

I have now made several small “cubes” of pesto I decided to make it without the cheese so I can just add it in during dinner preparation perhaps months from now! This way it also is more condensed and takes less room in the freezer.

Here is the recipe I followed:

Ready for the freezer. Once frozen, I will take them out of the ice cube tray and place then into a freezer bag. This allows me to determine exactly how many cubes I want to use based on my recipe. I’ll heat it up and add the grated cheese! It’s amazingly delicious over pasta and only takes a few moments to prepare!

Here is the recipe I used for the Fennel Frond Pesto too!

Are Vitamins Really Worth the Investment?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  I certainly have!  I’ll tell you that there were many years that I didn’t take any vitamins or supplements.  My mother always told me to take calcium in my early 40’s as she was suffering from osteoarthritis.  Wow, have we learned so much about bone health since then!   I tried to incorporate the calcium into my life but it was a struggle.  Then, over time I started to learn that I could not depend on my whole food nutrition to meet my nutritional needs and that it was up to me to determine how and what to incorporate into my daily regimen.  Now that was difficult!

I read up a lot about the daily recommendations and came to realize there were flaws and that they are intended to be minimal requirements not optimal recommendations!    I then slowly incorporated several components from a daily women’s vitamin, Vitamin D, Fish Oil, B-Complex, and Vitamin C, and E.  The one thing that really bothered me was that I didn’t really know if the brands I was selecting were providing the best quality or what I really needed and in the form that my body could actually absorb and utilize.  I also did not like the effort to keep them all in supply.  When ordering on-line there were always sales, and deals, and options, and incentives to buy more.  I would get sidetracked and waste time too!

It wasn’t until I found this health and wellness company and experienced the result of consuming some of their products, that I found the right vitamin solution.  A solution that I know is definitely worth the investment.  

As a matter of fact, I don’t spend nearly the time or the money on my vitamins and supplements anymore.  I love the convenience as they come in a daily AM/PM pack and the fact that I can take them all on an empty stomach because they are pure, clean, of top quality, continuously tested for quality and content so they deliver exactly what they promise.  And unlike most other brands, there are no fillers.

So here are the details!!!!!

When taken daily, Complete Essentials™ Daily Pack gives you the equivalent amount of vitamin C found in eight oranges, the chromium found 10 cups of broccoli, the magnesium in four dark chocolate squares and the biotin in a half cup of almonds.

Each time you take both an AM and PM packet, you will also get:

  • Calcium at the equivalent bone-building daily dose found in three cups of milk and the vitamin D found in eight hard-boiled eggs.
  • Vitamin E — including in its new 21st-century form as tocotrienols, for brain and heart health—at a dosage you’d normally only achieve from eating more than a cup of peanut butter daily.
  • CoQ10 at the equivalent dose of what’s found in 115 ounces of beef.
  • Resveratrol at the equivalent dose of what’s found in more than 100 glasses of red wine (without the extra calories or damage to your liver).
  • Plus, long-chain DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids at the equivalent dose that’s achieved by consuming 6 ounces of wild-caught salmon to meet American Heart Association’s recommendations.

But even solid nutritional supplements come with myths, and we are here to break them down.

Myth: It’s not necessary to supplement for optimal health.

Fact: While a nutrient-dense diet is a key aspect to living a healthy lifestyle, even experts agree that it’s difficult to achieve the recommendations for all vitamins, minerals and bioactive ingredients from food alone. Here are the statistics:

  • Only one in four adults in the U.S. eats five or more fruits and vegetable servings daily (1).
  • Only one in five adults eats the recommended two servings of fish per week (2).
  • The majority of Americans are deficient in vitamins and minerals including vitamin D, calcium and magnesium (3).

Taking Complete Essentials™ Daily Pack removes the guesswork out of making sure you’re covering your necessary nutritional gaps, helping you lead a healthier lifestyle without the overload of calories from trying to get everything from food.

Myth: Complete Essentials™ Daily Pack is just like any everyday multivitamin.

Fact: Most multivitamins give you 100 percent of the recommended daily value established by the Institute of Medicine. But Isagenix focuses on providing you with dosages, delivery formats and forms that are in line with the latest, most advanced nutritional science for leading an active, age-defying lifestyle.

The AM and AM packets are comprised of up to five different products with dosages spread over the course of the day:

  • Essentials for Women™ and Essentials for Men™ – Targeted nutritional support by gender
  • CytoActives™ – Special bioactives (coQ10, vitamin D3, resveratrol and tocotrienols) to support optimal cellular health
  • IsaOmega™ – Maximum-concentration supplement of fish-derived EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids for heart and brain health
  • C-Lyte® – A high-dose vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoid for flexible arteries and blood vessels
  • IsaGenesis® (optional) – To support integrity of telomere length, which is a biomarker for healthy aging.  These are supported by Nobel Prize winning science too!

Myth: Complete Essentials™ Daily Pack is too expensive.

Fact: When you consider how much it would cost to purchase the foods and supplements you need to meet your nutritional goals for the week, Complete Essentials™ Daily Pack starts looking like a deal. Not only are our products affordable, we also source all of our ingredients with high-quality purity standards.

Myth: You get all the nutrition you need from IsaLean® Shake.

Fact: IsaLean Shake is a nutrient-dense meal replacement that’s clinically supported to help with weight loss and muscle maintenance. However, it alone cannot provide all the nutrients and bioactives that your body needs daily for an active, healthy lifestyle.

One of the major reasons the shake isn’t able to supply all your daily recommendations for nutrients and bioactives is because those nutrients can give off a bitter, unappealing flavor.

For a full perspective of all of the nutrition that’s provided by CEDP on a daily basis, refer to the table below:

Nutrient Amount in CEDP for Women and Men Food Equivalent
Vitamin A (beta carotene) 11,666 IU 11,666 IU 5 ¼ whole mangos (2,240 IU/mango)
Vitamin C 666 mg 666 mg 13 oranges (51 mg/small orange)
Calcium 900 mg 800 mg 3 cups milk (305 mg/ glass 1%)
Vitamin D3 5,000 IU 5,000 IU 11 hard boiled eggs (441 IU/ 50 g egg)
Vitamin E (+ tocotrienols) 84 IU 54 IU 1.2 cups peanut butter (4.35 IU/ 2 tbsp)
Vitamin K2 80 mcg 80 mcg 6 chicken breasts (13 mcg/ 3 oz serving)
Thiamin (vitamin B1) 7.5 mg 7.5 mg 9 ½ cups cooked black beans (.4 mg/ ½ cup)
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 8.5 mg 8.5 mg 7.7 cups cooked oats (1.1 mg/ 1 cup)
Niacin (vitamin B3) 20 mg 20 mg 6 ¼ cups cooked green peas (3.2 mg/ cup)
Vitamin B6 10 mg 10 mg 25 bananas (.4 mg/ medium banana)
Folic Acid 600 mcg 600 mcg 12 cups raw spinach (58 mcg/ cup)
Vitamin B12 54 mcg 39 mcg 60 oz Swiss cheese (.9 mcg/ 1 oz serving)
Biotin 500 mcg 300 mcg 8 ½ cups almonds (29.4 mcg/ ½ cup)
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 45 mg 10 mg 21 avocados (2.1 mg/ medium avocado)
Iodine 200 mcg 200 mcg 35 oz tuna (17 mcg/ 3 oz serving)
Magnesium 200 mg 200 mg 4 squares dark chocolate (48 mg/ 15 g square)
Zinc 15mg 15 mg 6 cups cooked chickpeas (2.5 mg/ cup)
Selenium 100 mcg 100 mcg 8 ounces shrimp (56 mcg/ 4 oz serving)
Copper 2 mg 2 mg 10 cups kale (.2 mg/ cup)
Manganese 2 mg 2 mg 3.6 cups strawberries (.56 mg/ cup)
Chromium 200 mcg 200 mcg 10 cups broccoli (18.5 mcg/ cup)
Molybdenum 75 mcg 75 mcg ½ cup lentils (148.5 mcg/cup)
Potassium 50 mg 50 mg *Best from foods like banana, potato or avocado
Boron 500 mcg 1 mg *Best from foods like chickpeas, almonds or beans
Vanadium 5 mcg 5 mcg *Best from sunflower seed, peanut or olive oil
CoQ10 100 mg 100 mg 115 ounces beef (2.6 mg/ 3 oz. serving)
Resveratrol 50 mg 50 mg 125 glasses of wine (.03-1.1 mg/ 5 oz. glass)
Omega-3 fatty acids 1200 mg 1200 mg 6 oz of wild salmon (500-1000 mg/ 3 oz. serving)

*Source: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list

References

  1. Krebs-Smith et al. Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. J Nutr 2010; 140: 1832-8.
  2. Attitudes and Beliefs About Eating Fish: A National Opinion Survey Conducted for The Center for Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Policy.
  3. Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2879-82.

Cilantro-Lime Quinoa Bowl with Chicken

This recipe features a refreshing combination of flavors from the salad ingredients and the vinaigrette that will surprise you.  Enjoy!

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 8-10 oz. chicken breast, seasoned with black pepper

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup fresh, grilled, or frozen organic sweet corn
  • ½ cup cooked low black beans (rinsed and drained)
    – (seasoned with 1/8 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp chili powder, 1/8 tsp garlic powder)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced small
  • ½ large ripe avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ tsp maple syrup, or raw honey
  • 1 tsp harissa sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ tbsp fresh minced cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions: (Serves 2-3)

  • Grill chicken on medium-high for 15 minutes.
  • In medium sauce pan over low heat, gently warm the black beans stirring in the seasonings.
  • Add corn, stir to warm, remove from heat.
  • Prepare vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients until well combined.
  • Gently toss all salad ingredients together in large glass bowl.
  • Toss with vinaigrette immediately before serving.
  • Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

A Wild Supergreen Growing Voluntarily in my Garden?

I was so happy to find more purslane growing in my garden! This is a key ingredient for making one of my favorite soups!

Right now is a great time to look for this growing like a “weed” in your garden. I cut it or pinch it from the plant while ensuring to leave some behind so it will keep growing. From my experience you will want to keep harvesting because at some point it will dry up and disappear fairly quickly! Then I wash it and cut it into pieces (keeping both leaf and tender stem), and then toss it in the freezer for later use in my soup and stews). Here is a link to my soup recipe too!

Chicken Tomatillo Soup With Purslane

Here are some details I found about why it is so good for us!!

What is Purslane? (Also called Verdolagas)

Purslane is an herbaceous plant from purslane family. The body is flat on soil, leaves are oval, smooth and fleshy. Stems are yellow and reddish.

They usually have yellow flowers. Purslane growing in summer months can easily be encountered in fields and gardens and mountain in slope.

Usually grow in thin and bare areas between cultivated areas. Maximum benefit is obtained from wild and freshness.

Small green leaves and straw stems are eaten. Consuming as raw, allows us to benefit more from nutritional value. There are many uses from salad to food in the dinner.

Vitamins, Nutritional Value and Calorie Value of Purslane

• Purslane omega-3 is rich in single green leaf vegetables. Vegetarians and those who do not consume fish can provide their omega-3 needs.

• Contains zinc, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium minerals

• It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. B-rich in complex vitamins

• Contains powerful antioxidant compounds.

• Calories are one of the lowest vegetables (only 16 kcal/100g).

• Contains high fiber.

What are Benefits of Purslane?

1. Protects Cardiovascular Health

Plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in content of purslane helps to reduce amount of bad cholesterol in body and can prevent risk of heart attack. In content of potassium blood pressure, ie, blood vessels can reduce tension on heart.

2. Accelerates Blood Circulation

Iron and copper minerals in contents of purslane help in production of red blood cells.

Both of these minerals are needed to accelerate circulation by giving more oxygen to important parts of body and increasing healing rate of cells and organs. Also, iron and copper helps to grow hair.

3. Helps in Treatment of Some Digestive System Diseases

It can prevent constipation by relaxing digestive system. It is especially recommended for people with stomach upset because of is good for ulcers.

It is also useful against hemorrhoids. Vitamin A helps protect healthy mucous membranes. It is especially used to treat many intestinal problems in Chinese medicine.

4. Prevents Cancer

High amounts of vitamin A and C found in purslane can act as antioxidant and help prevent lung and oral cancer in particular.

In addition, specific color of betalin pigment group of vegetables, free radicals in healthy cells to cause mutations and thus prevent development of cancer.

5. Strengthens Bones

It is a healthy option for those who want to prevent bone loss. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese, all of the minerals needed to improve bone tissue and speed up healing process of bones in our bodies. This rich mineral variety protects bones against osteoporosis.

Tuscan Peasant Soup

I was so hungry for some Tuscan soup as we had to cancel our trip to Italy due to the current travel restrictions.  I reveiwed lots of recipes, evaluated what I had in the pantry, and created this amazing soup!  It was so good.  Before the first bowl was consumed my husband requested that I not freeze it all!  He was already anticipating eating it again the next day!  Now that’s a great dish!!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pound Cannellini Beans (Or Combination of Beans),
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 4 Medium Garlic Cloves, Unpeeled
  • 2 Bay Leafsimg_5898
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Carrots, Peeled And Finely Chopped
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 12 cups water or stock of choice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, And Cracked Black Pepper To Serve
  • Finely Chopped Fresh Herbs (Parsley)
  • 4 Ounces Pancetta  Cooked and Crumbled (You Can Use Bacon if desired)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oil in the stock pot, and add the img_5901onions, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the beans (drained), bay leafs, thyme sprigs, and 12 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about an hour and a half, or until the beans are almost tender.  (I choose to use 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water with some bone broth with collagen for my optimal health)! Collagen Bone Broth
  3. Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves,  and thyme sprigs.
  4. Return the pureed beans to the pot, and mix bringing back up to desired level of heat.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls, with a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkling of cracked black pepper on each.
  6. Sprinkle a little fresh herbs just before serving.
  7. Top with Pancetta/Bacan crumbles if desired.