Monthly Archives: December 2014

5 Superfoods that Jesus Regularly Ate

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and enjoy our Christmas feast, it’s worth remembering that the foods Jesus ate were especially healthy, in a timeless way. So this article at Fooducate was one I had to share today.

Merry Christmas!

2000 years ago, in Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, people lived an agrarian life. During the time of Jesus, food was not easy to come by. Malnutrition was a real and recurring threat. A dry winter meant less food for an entire year. Several years of drought would lead to mass migrations. Despite this, civilizations grew and prospered. Plants, animals, and people adapted. Some of the most exciting chapters in the annals of humanity were written in those days.

So what did Jesus and his peers live off in the ancient land of Israel?

1. Olive oil – Olive trees are very resilient and can survive years of poor water supply while reliably providing a harvest every fall. Some trees live to be hundreds of years old. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good fats). It is also anti-inflammatory and tastes great on a salad. Back then, all olive oil was extra virgin and cold pressed.

2. Wine – Grapes grew in abundance in the foothills of Jerusalem. Fresh grapes have a very short season, which is why wine was invented! When consumed in moderation, red wine may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol and protecting against damage to blood vessels. This is due to antioxidants called resveratrols, present in every sip.

3. Fish – Jesus may have walked on the water, but underneath him the Sea of Galilee (actually, it’s a lake) was teeming with freshwater fish. Fishermen could rely on a relatively stable supply of fish, which are a great source of lean protein, and beneficial omega-3 fats.

4. Pomegranate – Pomegranate trees grow well in Mediterranean climates and produce what is arguably one of the sweetest fresh superfoods of the ancient world. They did not have blueberries or strawberries.

5. Figs – Fig trees tend to grow near water sources, and are hardy enough to withstand blazing summer heat and cold winter nights. The fruit can be eaten fresh or preserved by drying. Dried figs were traveler’s food. In either configuration, figs are rich in virtually every nutrient in the book, including fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and B vitamins. They can also with constipation.

Wishing you a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Healthy 2015, from our family to yours.

Veggie-Heavy Stress Reduction Regimen Reverses Aging

itci9vM5M42YThe fountain of youth may simply be a healthy diet and reduced stress after all, not a magic pill or expensive cosmetics.

Comprehensive lifestyle changes, including more fruit and vegetables as well as meditation and yoga, were shown to reverse signs of aging at the cellular level for the first time in a study published today.

Adopting a diet rich in unprocessed foods combined with moderate exercise and stress management over five years increased the length of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes linked to aging, according to a study of 35 men published in the Lancet medical journal. No previous study has shown the effect of lifestyle changes on telomere length, the authors said.

The research, led by Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, adds to evidence of the benefits of healthy habits. Ornish’s Lifestyle Heart Trial, published in 1998, showed a reversal of coronary heart disease over five years. Patients who receive 72 hours of training from medical professionals on Ornish’s program for reversing heart disease have been reimbursed by Medicare since January 2011.

“So often, people think it has to be a new drug or laser, something really high-tech and expensive, to be powerful,” Ornish said in a telephone interview. “Our studies are showing that simple changes in our lifestyle have powerful impacts in ways that we can measure.”

Ornish collaborated on the study with Elizabeth Blackburn, who shared the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2009 with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for research on the telomerase “immortality enzyme,” which prevents telomeres from being shaved off.

He was inspired by Blackburn’s research showing that the shortening of telomeres, and therefore aging, is accelerated by emotional stress such as that experienced by women who have parents with Alzheimer’s disease or children with autism.

“My general experience is that things in biology go both ways,” said Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “If bad things make them shorter, maybe good things make them longer. So we had lunch together and I said, ’Why don’t we find out?’”

The study included 35 men with low-risk prostate cancer enrolled between 2003 and 2007. Ten men adopted the lifestyle changes, while 25 underwent active surveillance as a control group.

The diet encouraged in the lifestyle change group was largely a whole foods, plant-based regimen of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, with few refined carbohydrates, Ornish said. It wasn’t strictly vegetarian or vegan.

Read the complete article.

Juice Plus+ products are the foundation of our personal anti-aging regimen, providing exactly those components of the diet that Ornish recommends.

Food Antioxidants and Cancer

Antioxidant intake from foods (not supplements) is associated with lower cancer risk. This is an excellent, informative video:

 

Pk_JuicePlus_Capsule_Garden_USLabelD1

I am so glad that Juice Plus+ has a Nutrition label, not a Supplement label, because it is whole food based. As you can see above (Garden Blend capsules), Juice Plus+ is non-GMO and gluten-free, with nothing artificial or synthetic. It is also NSF certified and Kosher. You can see the rest of our product labels here.

Many of the 30+ published studies of Juice Plus+ have shown significant increases in antioxidant levels in the blood – coming from the fruits, vegetables and berries that are used to make Juice Plus+.

Black tea, citrus consumption lowers ovarian cancer risk

teaAs typical “Brits” we love our tea – black with a spot of milk. So this good news article from Medical News Today grabbed my attention.

Good news for women who like to drink their daily cup of black tea or orange juice: a new study suggests that consuming foods containing flavonols and flavanones – subclasses of dietary flavonoids found in tea and citrus fruits and juices – is linked to a decreased risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, the fifth cause of cancer death among women.

The researchers, from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK (where else?!) published their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

According to the team, ovarian cancer affects over 6,500 women in the UK and 20,000 women in the US each year. Epithelial ovarian cancer – the most common form of the disease – is where the cancer begins in the surface layer covering the ovary.

This type of cancer “remains a highly lethal malignancy,” note the researchers, adding that few modifiable risk factors have been established.

However, some previous studies have suggested that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk, but subsequent studies have produced inconsistent findings.

Plants contain flavonoids that adjust key cellular signaling pathways and regulate cancer-inflammation pathways, note the team, which suggests flavonoids might be the compounds in plants that could reduce ovarian cancer risk.

Flavonoids include flavonols – found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes – and flavanones – found in citrus fruit and juices.

‘Just a couple cups of black tea daily linked with a 31% reduction in risk’

To further investigate the link between flavonoid intake and ovarian cancer risk, the researchers studied dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25-55 as part of the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II over the course of 3 decades.

“This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer,” says lead author Prof. Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

Citrus_fruitsTo calculate the participants’ dietary intake, the researchers analyzed validated food-frequency questionnaires that were collected every 4 years and found that main dietary sources of flavonols were black tea (31%), onions (20%) and apples, while the main sources for flavanones were citrus fruit (36%; 27% from orange intake) and juices (63%; 54% from orange juice).

During the 16-22 years of follow-up, the researchers found that there were a total of 723 cases of medically confirmed ovarian cancer.

Results show that participants who had the highest intakes of flavonol and flavanone had a lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer than those who had the lowest intakes.

Theirs is the first study to assess the six major flavonoid subclasses in a normal diet and look at it in terms of ovarian cancer risk, and it was also the first study to look into the impact of polymers and anthocyanins, they note.

The team concludes that “higher intakes of flavonols and flavanones as well as black tea consumption may be associated with lower risk of ovarian cancer,” but they add that additional prospective studies are needed to confirm their results.


Of course, there are ‘tons’ of flavonols and flavanones in Juice Plus+, so we are getting lots of the good guys!

America’s Food Supply; is it ruining our health?

Food-supply-and-consumer-choices

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it is! Farmers and food companies are churning out too much protein and sugar, and not enough vegetables and healthy whole grains.

In 1989, the US Department of Agriculture created the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) to measure the alignment of the food supply with federal dietary guidance. Over the last 40 years, the HEI has been very low – between 48 to 55 points out of a possible 100. This means that we have a serious problem.

The food industry – agriculture, food processing, grocery, and restaurants – comprises vast economic enterprises governed by financial considerations. Their decisions affect more than their bottom-line; they also directly impact the health of individuals and the environment as well as the economy. Think of the obesity epidemic in the US, for example. Responsibility for contributing to the cost of obesity-related diseases is denied by the food industry, and those diseases create a huge financial burden on individuals and our nation.

Government food subsidies provide incentives for crops such as corn and soy, which make them an ideal and cheap starting point for many of the unhealthy processed foods that lower the HEI.

What can be done? On an individual basis, each of us should strive to make healthier food choices. On a national level, public health policy, free of agriculture and food industry lobbying, could also help.

Read the full Fooducate article here.

Learn more about the Healthy Eating Index in this video:

How to Prevent Asthma

Acnording to Nutritionfacts.org a study involving more than a million kids suggests the striking worldwide variation in childhood rates of allergies, asthma, and eczema is related to diet.

This got my attention because 20 years ago (yes, that long ago!) I read an article along similar lines after I discovered that my own life-long asthma (after 45 years living with asthma like it was an extra, unwanted, limb) was virtually gone.

That article was in the UK Journal Thorax. I can no longer find the article, but this is a followup study published there.

In that original article the authors described their attempts to identify the cause(s) of the dramatic increase in childhood asthma in Britain since the 1960s. They eliminated all the most logical causes, including air pollution (which had improved during those 30 years) and concluded that the only thing that made sense was the dramatic increase in fast food consumption and corresponding decrease in fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.

If you have children with asthma (or related immune system challenges) or are an adult with the same, please watch this video.

Now THAT makes perfect sense! So what happened to me 20 years ago?

I had started taking Juice Plus+ in March 1993. I expected nothing; I only hoped that it would help my marathon running and soccer (I was nutty about both back then!)

Over the next 16 months my diet changed because my cravings changed.  Those little capsules were a ‘trojan horse’ for the green veggies I had never eaten in my entire life. As a result of me eating spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc. – both in capsules and off my plate – my immune system dramatically improved and my asthma went away.

Once an asthmatic, always an asthmatic (potentially) but my almost 100% remission continues – I am so thankful!