Category Archives: Women’s Health

Soy and Cancer Risk

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 9.54.57 AMForm the AICR:

There are a lot of soy foods in the grocery store – not just tofu and soymilk, but edamame (green soybeans), soy nuts, soy nut butter, soy “meats”, and high protein bars. If you’re boosting plant foods on your plate, soy foods can give you plenty of protein, fiber and other nutrients.

But Americans are still confused about whether soy is risky when it comes to breast cancer. Now there is plenty of solid research, both globally and from the US, that for breast cancer patients and survivors, eating moderate amounts of soy doesn’t increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer.

If you’re wary of eating tofu and other soy foods because you’ve heard it may up your risk of breast cancer, or a recurrence, you are not alone. Here, our dietitian talks about the research in this short video.


Full article…

More articles on soy…

How Can We Keep Our Brain Healthy?

brian-health

Answer: Eat. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise.

About 20 percent of the calories we consume are utilized by the brain. Besides the constant need for energy, our complex neural systems require a vast amount of nutrients to keep them churning full speed ahead. This is especially true as we age and are more susceptible to cognitive decline.

Asides from vitamin B12 and iron, there is a plethora of antioxidants and other micronutrients that help the brain function at peak levels. These nutrients are sorely missing from processed foods. If you want to keep your brain healthy and happy, make sure to eat real foods.

Here are some tips to help your brain be at its best.

  • Get moving: physical exercise is not only important for your body’s health; it also helps your brain stay sharp.
  • Get enough sleep. This not only ensures you are thinking clearly, it lessens the chance of you eating junk food.
  • Drink enough water.Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, and depression.
  • Get your vitamin D, essential for proper brain functioning, either from the sun, mushrooms, fish oil, or supplements.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugars and refined carbs. Although the brain is partially responsible for the addiction we have to sugars, in this age of plenty, most people overdose and damage their brain’s health.
  • Avoid inflammatory fats and focus on good fats from avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Each color represents a different set of antioxidants. Berries, especially, are very high in antioxidants.
  • Eat an abundance of berries: the polyphenol compounds in the fruits activate the brain’s natural “housekeeping” mechanism, clearing out stored toxins.
  • Add spices to your life. Fresh or dried, many spices and herbs have very high antioxidant values.

More articles on brain health….


These recommendations are all inline with our #OneSimpleChange program:

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Eating for bone health

This is a guest post by by Ann Caldwell, nutritionist and registered dietitian at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Nutrition and bone, muscle and joint health are closely related. A healthy diet can help prevent and manage osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal disorders by assisting in the production and maintenance of bone. If you are not getting the right nutrients you are putting yourself at greater risk for bone, muscle and joint disease.

Osteoporosis is called the silent disease because many people do not know they have it until they suffer a fracture. Ninety percent of adult bone mass is in place by the end of adolescence. Studies show if you are over 50, one out of every two women and up to one in four men will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

The following nutrients, and the foods that contain them, hold particular promise in promoting optimal bone health:

Calcium is a mineral essential for both building bones and keeping them healthy. Unfortunately the majority of Americans are not getting enough. Ideal food sources include milk, and enriched milk alternatives, such as soy or almond milk, cheese and yogurt. Other sources include bok choy, kale, turnip greens, almonds, white beans, tofu and fortified orange juice. The recommended daily allowance for adults over 50 is 1200 mg per day.

Vitamin D also is important for bone health, as it promotes calcium absorption. There are a few sources of vitamin D in food, such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolk, fortified milk, milk products, orange juice and cereals. Vitamin D can also be obtained through sunlight, but with the use of sunscreen this is not adequate. The best advice is to always get as much vitamin D from the diet, but supplementation is often required. The current RDA is 400 IU’s, but if you are deficient the dose can be much higher.

Other nutrients have been linked with bone health, including vitamins C and K and magnesium. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may protect bones as these are rich in antioxidants—including watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, bell peppers and guava.

Eating habits with a moderate intake of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains leads to a healthier lifestyle.

High levels of protein, caffeine, sodas and sodium have been linked to calcium loss. Many Americans consume too much protein, which can increase the urinary excretion of calcium. Yet at older ages protein intake is often too low and this can lead to bone loss and fractures. It is important to have a balance. We should aim to have not too much but enough, which can be said for all nutrients.

Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity are key to prevent bone disease. Physical activity should combine weight-bearing activity, simply to carry the weight of your skeleton, such as walking. Strength training is helps improve the muscles that support your skeleton and exercise improves your balance to help prevent falls.

Taking charge of nutritional health and exercise will help promote healthy bones as you age.


Over the first 10 years of using Juice Plus+ products, Jenny had her bone density measured several times and was told she had the bones of a young woman, 20+ years younger. Now, after more than 22 years on Juice Plus+, she is even younger!

The results we have seen in Jenny and in many others (including some dramatic reversals of osteoporosis) come from the combination of powerful, plant-based macronutrients (carbs, protein and fiber) in our Juice Plus+ Complete powdered drink mix, and the micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and enzymes) in both the Complete and the Juice Plus+ capsules (fruits, veggies and berries).

Of course, a major contributor has also been the improved diets and lifestyles that result from, and are part of, the Juice Plus+ Experience.

Improve Your Health and Longevity with Epigenetics

Your Beliefs Are Stronger Than Your Genes – this is a very thought-provoking article by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Scientists have long been fascinated with our DNA. The 20th century brought huge advances in the study of human genetics; we finally witnessed the complete mapping of the Human Genome. And once it was complete, many experts realized what I have been saying all along: Your genes are not necessarily your destiny. In fact, your genes cause less than 10 percent of all diseases!

The science of genetics imparts that you are destined to get the diseases that run in your family. This is known as genetic determinism. If you go to your doctor for genetic tests, you will get information on the gene expressions you carry along with scary statistics stating that you have a certain percentage of a chance for developing any number of serious diseases. But, the same doctors who provide you with those statistics will be the first to admit, that even with this detailed genetic information, most of them don’t change their prevention or treatment plans. That’s because your genes don’t determine anything all by themselves.

If Your Genes Aren’t Driving Disease, What is?

I am here to tell you that Epigenetics – the study of how our environment affects our genes – is far more accurate when it comes to determining your health. For example, we know that eating nutritious foods, engaging in physical activity you love, and making other healthy lifestyle choices can actually improve your health. Well, guess what? Your beliefs are your environment. Your beliefs, along with your relationships, the food you eat, the air you breathe, the way you handle stress, and many other internal and external factors, are what trigger how your genes get expressed.

recent study conducted by Richard J. Davidson, Founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and The William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that changes in gene expression happen very quickly when intensive mindfulness is used. Specifically, the study found that, after eight hours of meditation, people had reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes and recovered more quickly from stressful situations.

Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., Best-selling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing The Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, says that our genes are just blueprints with no more power than a paper blueprint. We give them power to turn on and off with our beliefs. He also states that most health problems occur because of “misperceptions” we have learned or acquired. And, since perceptions can be changed, so can our health. So you see, changing your beliefs is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. If you truly believe in your unconscious mind that you are young and vibrant no matter your age, your belief triggers a switch to turn on your longevity genes.

Also, you may not be the only one who benefits. Just as you may have received your grandmother’s gene for some trait, there is always the potential for passing your created good health along to future generations. That means, if you are considering having children, changing your beliefs about your health destiny may be the best way to ensure your children’s health too.

Your Beliefs Are Stronger Than Your Genes

It’s not too late to change your beliefs and change your health for the better. Here are my tips for empowering yourself toward vibrant health despite your genes:

Tip 1. Take notice of how you talk about your health.

Your words become your destiny. The words you speak go into your own ears. They literally land in your body, and your cells respond. Instead of speaking about any dis-ease or dis-ability, speak positively about what you are capable of doing and how you are supporting yourself, and you will become as healthy as your words.

Tip 2. Acknowledge what diseases run in your family.

It’s important to be able to fill out your family history for your medical provider. But, don’t allow this information to take up too much space in your brain. And, don’t speak as though it is inevitable that you will end up like a family member who has a particular disease.

Tip 3. Use your inner wisdom to elevate your health legacy to a vibrant level.

As you know, my book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, is all about cultivating your inner wisdom to create health. There are many ways to access your inner wisdom. One way is to pay attention to your dreams. Other ways include tuning into your emotions, your menstrual cycle or even your energy levels at different times.

Tip 4. Listen to what your dis-ease is telling you.

Listening to your body is the easiest way to create health daily. Ideally you will listen to your body before dis-ease sets in. If you are already experiencing symptoms, pay attention to what they are telling you. Acknowledge that you may need to make some changes. Allow space for your emotions to surface and be released.

Read full article…. 

Obesity in America is on the rise; what can we do?

We’ve been talking about weight and gut health, so let’s stay on that theme for one more post, with excerpts from a recent article by Fooducate.

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association presents stark figures regarding America’s obesity challenges. Despite heightened awareness in the last few decades, overweight and obesity rates are still increasing.

Data for over 15,000 adults aged 25 was reviewed. Since the early nineties, the percentage of overweight and obese men rose from 63 to 75 percent. The percent of overweight and obese women grew from 55 to 67 percent.

This means that 7 out of 10 adults need to lose weight, right now. While more men need to lose weight, women need to lose more weight. There are currently 68 million men that are overweight and obese compared to “only” 64.8 million women. However, 35.9 million women are obese vs. 31.8 million men.

If you are part of those statistics, don’t get discouraged. You can change your immediate environment to decrease your chance of falling to temptation:

1. Always have a bottle of water at hand so that you won’t be tempted to gulp soft drinks

2. Go to the supermarket after you have eaten, and stick to your shopping list

3. Buy less snacks at the grocery store. This means less temptation at home

4. Have fruits and veggies pre-washed, ready to eat on the countertop and in the fridge

Read full article…     More posts on Weight Loss…  We have a 30 day Jump Start program to put you on the right track to a new, healthy lifestyle (NOT a diet!) It’s called Transform30 … here’s the creator of the program, biochemist Dr. Mitra Ray:

Energy Drinks Lead to Insomnia in Athletes

Sprint (photo credit: rscac.co.uk)

We are often ‘preaching’ about the potential dangers of energy drinks, especially as they relate to teens. Excessive amounts have led kids to suffer from caffeine poisoning. There have been several deaths in the US, and multiple emergency room admissions due to energy drink consumption.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the effect of energy drinks on athletes.

“The use of caffeine containing energy drinks has dramatically increased in the last few years, especially in the sport context because of its reported ergogenic effect.”

Ninety athletes were given energy drinks or placebos before a sporting event. Their performance during the event (speed, height of jump, etc…) was measured, as well as their subjective feeling about it.

While the athletes did perform slightly better, and felt it too, there was a problem. They suffered from insomnia, nervousness, and activeness in the hours following consumption. These are well documented side effects of caffeine over-consumption.

American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) website says: Poison centers are urging the public to use caution and common sense when using energy drink products.
Energy drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar, caffeine, and other ingredients. The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that “caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and adolescents.”


Healthy energy comes from great nutrition. That’s why our Juice Plus+ and Juice Plus+ Complete are so popular amongst those of all ages wanting peak performance and to live life to the plus+.

Prescriptions for fruits and vegetables instead of medication

In Louisville, KY Doctors are using prescription pads for more than just medication these days. The prescriptions have the same goal: to save lives, but instead of medication, it’s written for one share of produce.

“Just because you are small doesn’t mean that you are healthy,” said Meghan Callaway, who just signed up for the Veggie RX program.

Callaway says that’s the story of her life. “I used to say to people in high school…I’m the most out of shape skinny person that you’ll ever meet.”

But change is coming, Callaway and her two children just signed up for a pilot program called Veggie RX. It involves a 6 week healthy living class.

“We’ll be having some great hands on cooking classes, physical fitness training and also food justice classes,” said Karyn Moskowitz, executive director for New Roots.

Moskowitz says the program is administers through the non-profit organization.

“The best prescription for health is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”

Callaway’s family was the first to sign up, but more are needed. Moskowitz explained, “We have the opportunity for 40 more families to enter the veggie RX program.”

Moskowitz says just like a regular prescription, the Veggie RX should improve and even save lives. “The goal of the program is to prevent childhood obesity and to promote health and wellbeing.”

Families in the program will have access to fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, yellow squash and more.

“We go directly to the famers,” said Moskowitz. By going directly to local farmer they’re able to cut out the middle man.

Moskowitz said, “So we are able to get large quantities for a very, very affordable price, but for this intervention and this project, families will be able to access the produce for free for six weeks.”

That sounds good to Meghan Callway. Now she is hoping the classes will help her make positive changes and set good example for her children. “I want them to have healthy eating habits and just make healthy lifestyle choices.”

Watch the video at WDRB 41 Louisville News.

Love it!!

Researchers Unveil Six Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention

Six dietary guidelines – more aggressive than previous cancer prevention advice – was unveiled in the June 30 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

The cancer prevention guidelines, emphasizing a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as soy beans and cruciferous, allium, and carotenoid vegetables, are based on the principle that diet changes are justified, even when evidence on certain issues are up for debate. The recommendations urge the same kind of precautionary approach health experts took against tobacco decades earlier, before smoking bans were enforced, and warn about the association between cancer and alcohol, red and processed meats, dairy products, and carcinogens in well-cooked meats, including beef, poultry, and fish.

“The key recommendation is to build meals around fruits, vegetables, and legumes,” says study author Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Plant-based foods provide an antioxidant boost and help promote a healthy weight, reducing the risk for all types of cancer in the long run.”

The six dietary recommendations to reduce risk of several types of cancer are:

1. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Findings: Consuming thirty-five grams of dairy protein each day, the equivalent of one large cup of cottage cheese, increases risk of prostate cancer by 32 percent. Drinking two glasses of milk each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 60 percent.

Note: Calcium supplements appear to have the same effect as milk intake. Men who supplement with more than 400 milligrams of calcium per day increase risk for fatal prostate cancer by 51 percent.

2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast.

Findings: One drink per week increases risk of mouth, pharynx, and larynx cancers by 24 percent. Two to three drinks per day increase risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.

Note: The alcohol itself (rather than additives) appears to be the cause of cancer, and all types of alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, and spirits) are problematic.

3. Avoid red and processed meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.

Findings: Each 50-gram daily serving of processed meat, equivalent to two slices of bacon or one sausage link, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. Each 120-gram daily serving of red meat, equivalent to a small steak, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 28 percent.

Note: The heme iron, nitrites, heterocyclic amines, and overabundance of essential amino acids in red and processed meats are all believed to contribute to cancerous cell growth in the body.

4. Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.

Findings: Four types of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are associated with cancer of the colon and rectum. HCAs form from creatine and amino acids in cooked skeletal muscle, increasing with higher cooking times and higher temperatures. When ingested, HCAs can disrupt DNA synthesis.

Note: In addition to the cancers listed above, HCAs are also associated, to a weaker extent, with cancers of the breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.

5. Consume soy products to reduce risk of breast cancer and to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for women previously treated for breast cancer

Findings: Evidence from Asian and Western countries shows that soy products are associated with reduced cancer risk. Chinese women who consume more than 11.3 grams of soy protein, equivalent to half a cup of cooked soybeans, each day during adolescence have a 43 percent reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer, compared with women who consume 1.7 grams.

Research in Shanghai shows that women with breast cancer who consume 11 grams of soy protein each day can reduce mortality and risk of recurrence by about 30 percent.  U.S. populations show similar findings: the higher the isoflavone intake from soy products, the less risk of mortality and recurrence in women with breast cancer.

Note: When choosing soy products, opt for natural forms, such as edamame, tempeh, or organic tofu, as opposed to soy protein concentrates and isolates, common in powders and pills.

6. Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer.

Findings: Fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, help reduce overall cancer risk. A high intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, is associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer and reduced risk of lung and stomach cancers.

Women who consume the most carotenoid-rich vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, lower their risk of breast cancer by 19 percent. Overall, women who consume the highest quantities of any kind of fruit or vegetable reduce breast cancer risk by 11 percent.  A high intake of tomato products has been shown to reduce risk of gastric cancer by 27 percent. Garlic and other allium vegetables, such as onions, significantly reduce risk for gastric cancer, while a Western diet (high amounts of meat and fat with minimal amounts of fruits and vegetables) doubles the risk.

Note: Some components in soybeans, green tea, turmeric, grapes, tomatoes, and other plant foods have the ability to regulate apoptosis (a natural process for destroying unhealthy cells), an important pathway for cancer prevention.

six dietary guidelines for cancer prevention
Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention (PDF)

“There’s considerable benefit–and no harm—in loading up with plant-based foods,” notes study author Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “Large bodies of research show fruits, vegetables, and legumes offer a variety of protective properties, so why not move these foods to the center of our plates?”

The World Health Organization states that a significant percentage of cancers can be prevented by following a healthful diet, avoiding tobacco, leading an active lifestyle, and limiting alcohol intake.


It’s heartwarming to know that the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX has demonstrated that adding Juice Plus+ and the Juice Plus+ Complete whole-food based shake mix helped ovarian cancer patients achieve a 10-a-day regimen of fruit and vegetable consumption, with significant health benefits resulting.

Every Choice has Consequences

Rewind the Future

A public service video posted to YouTube by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is making people think twice.

The video points out that obesity doesn’t happen overnight.

You’ll get a shocking sneak peek into the future to see what life might be like for a child who carries unhealthy habits. But…

WARNING: This video may be upsetting for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

We take the health of our Children and grandchildren very seriously.

10 Things to Know About Vitamin D

vitamin DA recent study has found that insufficient levels of vitamin D in older adults doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. But it’s not just older folks, like me, who aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. Most kids don’t get enough either.

What is vitamin D? Why is it important? Why aren’t people getting enough? And what are its best food sources?

But first …

Vit­a­min D is not a vitamin

We’ve been taught that Vit­a­min D is the “bone vit­a­min”, but it is really more of a sun hor­mone. The word “vit­a­min” means “some­thing my body needs that I can’t make, so I must get it from the food”. D hor­mone is instead, a chem­i­cal that we make on our skin from sun expo­sure. It is a hor­mone like thy­roid, estro­gen or testos­terone. Using the proper word “hor­mone” reminds us that it affects mul­ti­ple parts of the body and that it is not “extra”. It is essen­tial to every cell in the body and it is not in the food. It is sup­ple­mented in milk but as a cup of milk has only 100 IU of vit­a­min D you would have to drink100 cups of milk a day to keep from being D deficient.

What else you need to know

1. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food but can also be manufactured by our body after exposure to sunshine’s UV rays. fat soluble means it needs a to be consumed together with a small amount of oil/butter/lard etc… to be effectively absorbed by your body.

2. Vitamin D’s job is to help the body absorb and regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in the body.

3. Without vitamin D, our bones don’t get enough calcium and bones become thin and brittle, or don’t develop properly if you’re still a growing child.

4. In the past most people got enough vitamin D just by being outdoors, but the industrial revolution and lifestyle changes it brought about have led to drastic reduction in this source for most people. Today, many people apply sunscreen for outings, thus reducing the vitamin D manufacturing capability of the body.

5. According to the National Institute of Health, anyone over the age of 1 needs 600 IU (International Units* ) of vitamin D. Seniors over the age of 70 need 800 IU.

Note:* 1 microgram of vitamin D = 40 IU.

6. In the past, vitamin D deficiencies led to skeletal diseases such as rickets. The US and other countries began fortifying milk with vitamin D as a public health measure, and pretty much eradicated these types of diseases.

7. Today virtually all milk sold in the US is fortified with 100 IU (International Units) of vitamin D per cup. Other products are also fortified with vitamin D. Examples include yogurts and breakfast cereals. Some sugary children’s cereals have jumped on the vitamin D fortification bandwagon, but they usually provide just 10% of the daily requirement while pumping your kids up with too much sugar.

8. The best food source of vitamin D is a teaspoon of cod liver oil (1,360 IU), but most people dread just the sound of that, not to mention the taste. Herring, sardines, salmon, and tuna are also good sources but usually do not supply enough of the vitamin.

9. Some nutrition experts therefore recommend vitamin D supplements, even if you are eating healthfully.

10. There are several forms of vitamin D:  D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5, but the most relevant to nutrition are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). When used in supplement pills, D2 is derived from yeast or fungus, while D3 is from animal sources.