Monthly Archives: August 2012

Green Tea Benefits

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(OrganicJar) Green tea has been consumed for more than four thousand years and is possibly the closest thing to a miracle drink. It has numerous properties that render it extremely beneficial for the human body and many research studies have shown drinking green tea lowers cholesterol, decreases and inhibits cancer cells, reduces appetite and strengthens the immune system.

Here are just some of the many amazing benefits of drinking green tea.

 

Reduces and Prevents Cancer
EGCG, a compound in green tea, inhibits an enzyme required for cancer cell growth and can kill cultured cancer cells with no ill effect on healthy cells. Green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer.

Reduces Cholesterol
Its high concentration of antioxidants help lower LDL cholesterol (bad), raise HDL cholesterol (good) and improve the overall cholesterol ratio.

Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Properties in green tea are very effective in breaking down plaque on artery walls and preventing the formation of blood clots. This helps prevent atherosclerosis, particularly coronary artery disease.

Helps Treat and Prevent Diabetes
Polyphenols and polysaccharides found in green tea assist in lowering blood sugar and help prevent the development of type 1 diabetes and slow the progression once it has developed.

Weight Loss
Regular consumption of green tea helps in boosting fat oxidation and metabolism, by speeding up your body’s calorie burning process.

Protects Your Skin and Teeth
Its antibacterial and antiviral properties help fight skin problems, including acne. Applied directly to the skin (or consumed) it helps block sun triggered skin cancer. It improves your teeth by reducing and preventing decay. It is also a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling.

Protects Your Memory
Its large amount of antioxidants fight the free radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Don’t forget that green tea must be consumed only when it is freshly brewed, otherwise most of its therapeutic properties and nutritional values will be lost. That’s why bottled green tea is considered to have very little amount of therapeutic resources. Generally, green tea must be steeped for about 3-4 minutes and adding a squeeze of lemon helps keep the nutritional properties from breaking down too fast.

Try some green tea for your health!

Source: greenteahealthbenefit.info umm.edu revolutiontea.com

http://organicjar.com/2009/1028/

Raw Almonds is banned? What?!

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(OrganicJar) I’m still surprised at the number of people who buy raw almonds thinking that they’re raw. The truth is they’re not. In the fall of 2007 a bill was passed requiring all raw almonds in North America to undergo a mandatory pasteurization making it illegal to purchase raw almonds.

Last week a federal judge rejected challenges to the law, which was introduced in response to two isolated outbreaks of salmonella, in conjunction with conventional almond farms, one in Canada in 2001, and a second in Oregon in 2004. While contamination in almonds is not common, the industry determined that aggressive measures were necessary to prevent any other occurrences.

Raw almonds, the heartbeat of all nuts, literally, have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, a rich source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, protein, fiber and antioxidants to name a few. Now, these once amazing and life enhancing health benefits have become devastatingly reduced if not completely eliminated in the pasteurization process.

Luckily, there are a few loop holes that still allow you to purchase raw almonds. You can purchase them online, and at farmers markets. Just make sure to buy from a reputable source.

My Thoughts:

Laws like this are a blatant attack on our food freedom. I remember emailing Nancy Pelosi back in 2007, only to get an email response cloaked in “we must do this for the health of the nation”. My only response was to ask, how many people die every day from prescription medication that the pharmaceutical cartel and corrupt FDA label as safe? I’m still waiting for a response to that email.

Would love to hear your thoughts and any recommendations on where you buy your raw almonds.

 Source: http://organicjar.com/2009/1105/

Protein

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What is protein? How much protein do we need? Is it possible to eat too much protein? These are important questions for people following a low carb way of eating, who usually are replacing part of their carbohydrate intake with protein.

What is protein?

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, making up about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. However, protein plays a major role in all of the cells and most of the fluids in our bodies. In addition, many of our bodies’ important chemicals — enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and even our DNA — are at least partially made up of protein. Although our bodies are good at “recycling” protein, we use up protein constantly, so it is important to continually replace it.

Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Our bodies cannot manufacture nine of the amino acids, so it is important to include all these amino acids in our diets. Animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy products have all the amino acids, and many plants have some of them. Learn more about amino acids in our diet.

How much protein do we need?

Our protein needs depend on our age, size, and activity level. The standard method used by nutritionists to estimate our minimum daily protein requirement is to multiply the body weight in kilograms by .8, or weight in pounds by .37. This is the number of grams of protein that should be the daily minimum. According to this method, a person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person should eat 92 grams.

Another way to compute protein needs has to do with lean body mass. This method is discussed in the Zone Diet and Protein Power books.

Do people who exercise need more protein?

Although it is controversial, there is evidence that people engaging in endurance exercise (such as long distance running) or heavy resistive exercise (such as body building) can benefit from additional protein in their diets. One prominent researcher in the field recommends 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for endurance exercisers and 1.7 to 1.8 grams per kg per day for heavy strength training.

But shouldn’t protein intake be a percentage of total calories?

Quite a few programs and nutritionists quote percentage of calories, usually in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent, as a way to figure out how much protein a person needs to consume daily. This is a rough estimate of a person’s minimum protein needs. It works because typically, larger and more active people need more calories, so the more calories they need, the more protein they will get.

Where this falls down is when people are eating diets that are lower in calories for any reason, conscious or not. People who are ill or losing weight, for example, do not need less protein just because they are eating fewer calories — so anyone on a weight loss diet should not go by the percent of calories method of calculating protein needs.

What happens if we don’t eat enough protein?

Unlike fat and glucose, our body has little capacity to store protein. If we were to stop eating protein, our body would start to break down muscle for its needs within a day or so.

Is it OK to eat a lot more protein than the minimum recommendations?

This is the crucial question for people on diets that are higher in protein than usual, as low-carb diets tend to be. In a review of the research, the National Academy of Sciences reported that the only known danger from high-protein diets is for individuals with kidney disease. After careful study, they recommend that 10 percent to 35 percent of daily calories come from protein. They point out that increased protein could be helpful in treating obesity. There is also accumulating evidence thatextra protein may help prevent osteoporosis.

Extra protein can be broken down into glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis. On low carb diets, this happens continually. One benefit of obtaining glucose from protein is that it is absorbed into the bloodstream very slowly, so it doesn’t cause a rapid blood sugar increase.

What foods have the most protein?

Meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts all have substantial amounts of protein. These articles can help:

Sources:

Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) (2005), Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences.

Lemon, PWR. (1996). “Is increased dietary protein necessary or beneficial for individuals with a physically active lifestyle?” Nutrition Review 54:S169-S175.

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nutrition/a/protein.htm

 

The Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds

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By: Delicia Beaty and Sharon Foutch

Soaking nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes 
Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains and seeds.

Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts grains and seed can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

What are Enzyme inhibitors?
There are digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down food. Metabolic enzymes help every biological process the body does. Enzyme inhibitors will clog, warp or denature an active site of an enzyme. They may also bind to the enzyme, which will prevent the intended molecule from binding. “Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.”

What are Phytates?
“All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.”

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What can be used to soak nuts, grains and seeds?
I have found many references to soaking nuts, grains, and seeds in water, salt water, or a warm water mixture with something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice. It seems within 7 to 24 hours the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the anti-nutrients are broken down regardless of the method you choose. There is evidence that the process works when you see sprouting begin.

How long does the soaking process take?
“As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.” “Flour products should be soaked at room temperature for at least twelve hours but better results may be obtained with a twenty-four hour soaking.”

Are the nuts, grains and seeds used wet?
 
I have enjoyed almonds wet. If you choose to try consuming anything in the soaked state, make little batches and store them in the refrigerator. Usually everything that is soaked is dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting for 24 – 48 hours to remove all moisture.

Wheat berries can be soaked whole for 8 to 22 hours, then drained and rinsed. Some recipes use the whole berries while they are wet, such as cracker dough ground right in the food processor. You can also dry sprouted wheat berries in a low-temperature oven or dehydrator, and then grind them in your grain mill and use the flour in a variety of recipes. Nuts, grains, seeds and legumes can be ground up to use as flour in many recipes after they have been dried.

Any advice on what to do with legumes?
 
Maureen Diaz recommends soaking any beans or legumes in water and vinegar for at least twelve hours before cooking. Soaked and dried beans may be ground up and used as flour for thickening and baking. This is helpful for those on a gluten free diet.

One recommendation includes placing soaked kombu or kelp seaweed in the bottom of the pot when soaking legumes. Add one part seaweed to six or more parts legumes. This is for improved flavor and digestion, more nutrients, and faster cooking. “Soak legumes for twelve hours or overnight in four parts water to one part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improved digestibility, because the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water. After bringing legumes to a boil, scoop off and discard foam. Continue to boil for twenty minutes without lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up and disperses indigestible enzymes).”

 
Source: http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-benefits-of-soaking-nuts-and-seeds

Hot summer? No worries! You’ve got strawberry smoothie!!

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Recipe from Lana Tran

This is not a raw recipe, but eh, what the heck, for a beginner like me, “cheating” once is a while is inevitable. Let’s start with a semi-raw vegan first, shall we! 

Ingredients: 

_ Silken tofu (just about 1/3 cup, to thicken, and give it a smoother texture. Plus, you’ll be amazed of how creamy it is ! Creamy without guilt is the best!!!) 

_ Soy milk ( 1 1/2 cup or Almond Milk would be awesome too!) 

_ Greek yogurt ( 1/2 cup) 

_ Strawberry (about 1 cup, yeee Natural goodness! ) 

_ Raw honey ( I used buckwheat honey- It’s loaded with anti-oxidant and is well-known for its healing power. Eating 2-5 teaspoons each day should provide you a good amount of proteins and vitamins that are essential for preventing the onset of having heart diseases, good deal, right!!) 

—> Final Step! To the blender they go!! 

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Chia Seeds-why they are good for us!

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(OrganicJar) Chia seeds are an ancient superfood that’s making a big comeback and for good reasons. These little black and white seeds are one of the most powerful, functional and nutritious superfoods in the world! Chia seed are an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins, minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3.

Why You Should Eat Chia Seeds

– more Omega-3 than salmon
– more protein, fiber and calcium than flax seeds
– contains all essential amino acids
– twice the amount of potassium in a banana
– twice the protein of any other seed or grain
– three times the antioxidants of organic blueberries
– three times more iron than spinach
– five times the calcium of milk
– fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli

Chia seeds absorb more than nine times their weight in water and form a gel that causes a slow release of carbohydrates and an equally slow conversion of carbohydrates into glucose for energy. Research shows that chia improves diabetes, lowers cholesterol, induces weight loss and increases your strength, endurance and energy levels.

How To Eat Chia Seeds

There are unlimited ways to incorporate Chia Seeds into your diet. Just remember you can substitute chia seeds in any recipe that calls for flax seeds. I’ve been eating chia seeds for a while now and love them. They’re very easy to incorporate into your diet. The fastest and easiest way to eat chia seeds is to add it to the water you drink everyday. I add one tablespoon of chia seeds into an eight-ounce glass of water or juice, make sure to stir and break up any lumps, let it sit for about five minutes and drink.

You can also make a ‘Chia Gel’ by adding 1/3 cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water. Make sure to stir the mixture to avoid clumps and in about 10 minutes it’s done. There are tons of ways to use chia seeds. You can add them to cereal, yogurt, salads, soups, granola, oatmeal, smoothies…the list goes on forever.

Would love to hear recipes anyone has and where online you buy your Chia Seeds.

 Source : http://organicjar.com/2008/729/