Monthly Archives: January 2015

Synthetic vs Natural Supplements: what you need to know

This is a guest post by Lee Holmes, Holistic Health Coach and author of best-selling books Supercharged FoodEat Yourself Beautiful and Supercharged for Kids. natural-vs-synthetic

research study conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that only 5.5% of Australian adults had an adequate daily intake of fruit and vegetables. This is a problem especially for young adults as only 3.4% of persons aged 25-34 years were meeting the government’s dietary guidelines.

These figures are worrying when we know that people who do not follow a balanced diet, including eating sufficient fruit and vegetables, are at greater risk of developing long-term health conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

We all know what’s good for us: more exercise, less stress and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plenty of water.  Our bodies thrive when given proper nutrition, especially one that focuses on vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins and minerals play a vital role in the human body and are required for virtually every bodily function that occurs. The problem, however, is that most vitamin supplements are made from synthetic isolates created in a laboratory and often contain additives, fillers and artificial colors.

That’s why it’s important for us to know the difference between natural supplements made from whole foods and synthetic supplements.

Synthetic vitamins are manufactured to mimic the way natural vitamins act in our bodies whereas natural vitamins are derived directly from plant material containing the vitamin source, offering the full nutritional benefit of natural whole foods.

As humans we need to include a range of macro and micro nutrients in our diet and the most natural way to achieve this is by consuming whole foods with their vitamins and minerals intact.  Vitamins and minerals act as cofactors in our bodies, they’re like a missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that is essential for our enzymes to work. Enzymes coordinate the thousands of chemical reactions that happen in our cells every day, and having the right type and amount of vitamins and minerals help to make the process of in our cells to function optimally.

Vitamin C is vital for functioning of your immune system, growth and repair of tissues and healthy bones.  It is not uncommon to use it as a quick immune boosting injection leading into winter, but as a Holistic Nutritionist I recommend that my clients consume Vitamin C daily through fruit intake or supplementation as it is a very good detoxifying agent in the body.

Many of the vitamin C capsules available in market nowadays are made from synthetic ascorbic acid which is created in a lab but one the best ways to increase your vitamin C quota naturally is to look for a whole food vitamin created from fruits that are super high in Vitamin C such as camu and acerola cherry.

Vitamin D is another vitamin which acts as the keeper of calcium levels in our blood and our bones.   Calcium helps the nervous system to function properly, and to ensure healthy strong bones.  Vitamin D enters the nucleus of a cell, binding and switching our cells on to produce proteins that increase calcium in our blood, and we achieve this via our Vitamin D rich natural whole foods sources.  If you’re not getting enough Vitamin D through whole foods sources, your body will source it from your bones.

whole-foods-vitamins

When sourcing the most natural vitamins as supplements it’s imperative to choose 100% vegan supplements, from natural vegetable extracts and containing no animal products, gluten or lactose.  Unlike synthetic vitamins, natural vitamins not only offer health benefits but also the full nutritional benefit from consuming natural whole foods.

As the awareness around the importance of eating real whole foods is rising in Australia and other parts of the world, it’s important to not only focus on the food we eat but also everything else we ingest: water, personal care products and supplements.

Together with a healthy diet, pure, filtered water, chemical-free beauty products and natural supplements made from real foods are the key to reach optimal health, naturally.


Great article, but … even the most natural, plant-sourced supplements cannot compete with whole-food based nutraceuticals like Juice Plus+.

They have “supplement facts” labels, Juice Plus+ has a “nutrition facts” label, because it is food. None of them – to my knowledge – have any research, whereas Juice Plus+ has been clinically studied with research published in more than 30 reputable journals!

12 Complete Proteins Vegetarians Need to Know About

12CompleteVegetarianProteins

There are plenty of reasons to eat more meat-free meals: They’re nearly always cheaper, lower in calories, and better for the environment. It’s easy to get enough protein without eating animals, but the doubters often have another concern: Are these meat-free protein sources complete?

The term “complete protein” refers to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. There are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and nine that the body can’t produce on its own. These are called essential amino acids—we need to eat them because we can’t make them ourselves. In order to be considered “complete,” a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in roughly equal amounts.

Yes, meat and eggs are complete proteins, and beans and nuts aren’t. But humans don’t need every essential amino acid in every bite of food in every meal they eat; we only need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day . Most dieticians believe that plant-based diets contain such a wide variety of amino acid profiles that vegans are virtually guaranteed to get all of their amino acids with very little effort .

Still, some people want complete proteins in all of their meals. No problem—meat’s not the only contender. Eggs and dairy also fit the bill, which is an easy get for the vegetarians, but there are plenty of other ways to get complete proteins on your next meatless Monday.

Here are some of the easiest…

There are also terrific plant protein sources in our Juice Plus+ Complete drink mix.

Never Leave the Playground

As we age, many of us have a fatal flaw that can lead to a fatal fall — we lose our balance, stability and coordination.

What if you could prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s without a pill, without major surgery and in just a few minutes a day? Stephen Jepson — artist, athlete, inventor and entrepreneur — says he has a simple prescription that could change the lives of millions. And all it takes is an open mind and a willingness to play.

Stephen Jepson says he can change that for everyone. And as a bonus, he believes it can help you build brain cells, develop neural pathways and prevent or delay Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What is his prescription? Play!

Stephen believes the key to never losing your balance — or your mind — is in the games and activities of our youth.

Jepson has built a backyard playground where he tests out his theories, walking on tightropes, balancing on boards while barefoot, throwing knives and juggling. In his 70s, Jepson says that since he started training, he has never fallen, his memory has gotten much sharper and he’s a happier, healthier man.

Falls can be deadly as we get older, and are one of the main reasons that people lose their independence. When we lose our balance and coordination, it can be nearly impossible to get them back. So Jepson says that his program is the key — especially because it’s never too late to start.

“It makes your memory better, it makes you feel just absolutely juiced and jazzed and revitalized,” Jepson tells Growing Bolder. “You can do it at any moment in time.”

Jepson is one of the world’s most renowned potters, and his work has been featured in the Smithsonian Museum. He’s also the founder of the World Pottery Institute. In addition to his art, Jepson is a prolific inventor.

Watch the video that is capturing the imaginations of people across the world. Wait until you see his incredible playground!

A former college arts professor, whose work is in the Smithsonian, is the unlikely ringleader behind a brain health philosophy that is gaining support from big brains across the country.

He may have discovered the closest thing to the fountain of youth … and it involves playing.

Stephen Jepson says the secrets to staying vibrant and strong are hidden in the activities that we used to do as children. The 72-year-old’s program, Never Leave the Playground, is showing people it’s never too late to improve their balance, energy and health. He believes his activities just may ward off brain diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, and can prevent one of the most serious threats to older people — falls.

Stephen explains the kinds of exercises in his program and how the beginning activities are so simple but fun. He says you’ll never grimace doing his activities.

Plus, find out why he doesn’t use the word exercise and why he believes you don’t need to spend any money on expensive gym memberships or supplements to get healthy.

To find out more, visit Stephen’s website neverleavetheplayground.com.

Original article…

The Truth About Nutrient Dense Foods

Peppers-2Today, most grocery store produce departments are overflowing with displays of plump, colorful fruits and veggies. From bins of red peppers to cartons of sweet blueberries, many of us are fortunate to have a rainbow of produce at our fingertips year-round. However, a recent string of studies has brought the quality of our plant foods into serious question. Crops have shown a shocking decline in nutritional value over past years, leaving nutritionists, food policy advocates and environmentalists scrambling for answers. The old recommendation of “five servings of fruits and veggies a day,” is no longer enough.

Where have the nutrients gone?

As early as the 1940’s, scientists began making foreboding observations about a rapid mineral dilution in the environment. Accumulating evidence from the last 70 years has strengthened these understandings, pointing to a rapid and irreparable decrease in the nutrient content of our soils. 1 In recent years, the widespread application of chemical fertilizers and over-farming techniques have worked to accelerate these change
s at an alarming rate.

The use of cheaper, higher yield crop varieties has not helped the situation. Rather than planting region-specific heirloom crops, most large-scale commercial farmers have turned to more profitable hybrid varieties that have been intentionally bred for production convenience. These “monster” crops have been selected for their impressive size, sweetness and picture-perfect appearances. However, these changes have come at the expense of nutrient density. “When you select for yield, crops grow bigger and faster,” explains University of Texas biochemist, Dr. Donald Davis, “but they don’t necessarily have the ability to make or uptake nutrients at the same, faster rate.”

EggplantsAdd to this equation the time and distance that most produce items travel to get to store shelves, and things start to get even scarier. Long-haul trans-continental and international imports bring some fruits and vegetables to the shelves a full seven weeks after they have been picked. During this time the plants continue to respire, burning up beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols. By the time items make it to the shelves, they have almost completely lost the very disease-fighting compounds that we consume them for.

Consider the following studies
  • A 2004 article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, compared nutritional differences in 43 garden crops between the years 1950 and 1999. Information from both dates was collected from U.S. Department of Agriculture archives, and carefully analyzed. Modern numbers slumped a shocking 6 to 38% behind historic averages. Of the 13 nutrients considered, six showed the most significant declines. These included: protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and vitamin C. The authors predicted that many other nutrients had likely been effected, but magnesium, zinc, vitamins B6, E and others were not sufficiently studied in 1950 to make official claims.
  • One study conducted in England, uncovered a drop off of anywhere between 2 to 84% in the mineral content of foods between the years 1940-2002. This analysis went beyond crops to include animal foods with equally staggering results. Conventionally raised beef for example experienced a 38% drop in iron, an 84% decrease in copper and a 4% dip in magnesium content.
  • A similar study published in the British Food Journal demonstrated significant differences in vegetables grown in the 1930s and 1980s. For the 20 vegetables studied, the average calcium content had plummeted 19%; iron 22 %; and potassium 14%.
  • According to expert Jo Robinson, wild plants contain many times more phytonutrients than modern varieties. Wild dandelions for example have seven times more nutrients than spinach. Purple potatoes from Peru have 28 times more beneficial anthocyanins than Russet Potatoes. Select native apples, which are no bigger than the size of a cherry, have 100-fold more phytonutrients than the common Golden Delicious.
  • In 2006 the United Nations admitted to a new type of malnutrition, suggesting the the issue is not always food availability, but rather food quality. This new paradigm has been called  “type B malnutrition” and looks at farming practices and issues with multiple micronutient depletion in communities around the globe.
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study warning that people can’t get enough vitamins from diet alone, and that supplementation in all adults is recommended, if not necessary.
What can we do about it?

LeeksCurrently, experts estimate that over three billion people are malnourished in micronutrients, including many living in developed nations. Nutrient deficient crops are expected to contribute significantly to this statistic. As consumers, we can no longer wait to have our food supplies fixed for us. It is important that we take action to protect our own health, and that of our families, friends and the future generations.

While the above studies have uncovered some serious issues with crop production, this doesn’t mean we should give up eating plant foods altogether. After all, fruits and vegetables continue to be our only source of these unique phytonutrients. That’s why it is so important for us to protect them. Here are some steps that will make a big difference:

Support Local Farms*

I can’t say enough about getting to know your local farmers. Your foods will be fresh and seasonally appropriate to fit your body’s needs throughout the year. And, if you ever have any questions about production and harvesting methods, this is your opportunity to just ask! Check out the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund for the latest policy, news and updates on all-things local farms. 

Buy Heirloom Produce*

They may be bumpy, wrinkled, and strangely-colored, but heirloom produce is usually higher in beneficial compounds than conventional counterparts. If you have a garden, planting heirloom seeds can also be a great way to have fresh produce right in your backyard. Generally these plants are better adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, making them heartier and more likely to produce over a longer period of time.

Opt for Organic Whenever Possible*

There has been some controversy in recent months over whether or not organic is better. In my opinion this isn’t even a debate worth having. Save yourself from toxic chemical residue and save the environment from mineral-leaching fertilizers, and we will all win out. 

Eat Plenty of Healthy Fats

That’s right – fats like grass-fed buttergheecoconut oil and palm oil contain the co-factors and activators that prime our digestive systems for absorbing the most vitamins and minerals from foods. Be sure to add a dollop each time you prepare cooked veggies. If enjoying a fresh salad, dress with plenty of unrefined olive oilargan oil and/or flax oil.

Supplement with Superfoods As Needed**

It’s not always what we want to do, but sometimes supplementing is necessary. Be sure to use only supplements that are derived from concentrated whole foods, and avoid those that contain synthetic additives. Carefully sourced superfood supplements can go a long way in correcting dietary deficiencies and supporting health over the long term. Buy from companies you trust, who are doing their share to protect the environment and our food supply too!

Original article…

*Grow Your Own

The sure way to have densely nutritious vegetables on your table is to grow them yourself. Our Tower Garden is a plug and play, state-of-the-art, vertical, aeroponic growing system. It is easy to assemble and fun for the whole family to watch your food grow from seed to an abundant harvest in just a few weeks, ready to eat. Tower Garden fits easily on sunny patios, decks or rooftop gardens.

**Nutrition Made Simple

We trust Juice Plus+! Since we started as Juice Plus+ers almost 22 years ago, we have personally seen true transformation in our health and in the health of thousands of others.

We take great comfort in knowing that we get the nutritional essence of  30 “real” plant foods every day in Juice Plus+, and that these plants are cultivated at the highest standards possible to produce nutritionally dense crops, unlike those common in our world today. The results speak for themselves.

Top Reasons Why Soy is so Good for You

In my last post I quoted Dr. Bill Sears’ list of the top phyto-rich foods. At the top of the list was soy. Now, I know: soy is controversial, but it needn’t be. His article below explains pretty well why that is so.

Here I want to give Dr. Bill a little more space to explain why soy is top of his list (from AskDrSears.com). I will give  you more on how to choose the best soy after Dr. Bill has his say.

“The seven secrets of soy are just a few of the reasons more Americans are trading their sirloin for soy foods.

  1. A nutrient-dense food. Few foods contain as much nutritional bang for the buck as this bountiful bean. Ounce for ounce, calorie for calorie, the soybean gets top-billing as a rich source of protein, unsaturated fats, fiber, B-vitamins, folic acid, potassium, calcium, zinc, and iron – and it’s cholesterol-free. There is no other single food that supplies so much nutrition in such a tiny package. While TV and print ads tout milk as the perfect food, the soybean actually deserves this title.
  2. Soy contains powerful proteins, healthier fats. Soy ranks right up there with the American staples — dairy, eggs, and meat – as a rich source of protein, but without the fat drawbacks of these high-protein animal foods. Eggs, dairy, meat, and poultry contain mostly saturated fats, and they are high in cholesterol. Soy fat is mostly unsaturated and cholesterol- free. Soy is the only plant food that is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body can’t produce. (However, soy does not contain enough of the amino acid methionine for infants and children, so this amino acid is added to soy formulas).
  3. Soy has intestines-friendly carbs. Since soy is a plant food, it contains no lactose, which makes soy milk, soy cheese, and soy “yogurt” ideal alternatives to dairy products for persons who are sensitive to dairy. Soy contains nutritionally valuable carbs called “fructooligosaccharides” (FOS), which nourish the helpful intestinal bacteria.
  4. Soy contains mood-friendly carbs. Soybeans have the lowest glycemic index of any food, so they are slow to trigger an insulin response, providing a more stable blood sugar with fewer mood swings from high and low blood sugars. This makes soy an ideal before-school breakfast food for preventing the mid-morning low blood sugar crash in sugar-sensitive children.
  5. Soy is a terrific source of bone- and blood-building calcium and iron. Soy gets the “Top Bean” award for the two vital minerals calcium and iron, nutritional features that make it a valuable alternative to dairy products and meat. Like other legumes, soy is a rich source of iron, in fact the richest of all the vegetables and legumes.
  6. Soy is the original health food. Soy is a heart-healthy, cancer-fighting, and immune- boosting food. Comparing the overall health of high soy-consuming cultures, such as the Japanese, and low soy-eating folk, like Americans, provides the first clue that soy has health- building properties. The average Japanese person eats 2 to 3 ounces (50 to 80 grams) of soy food daily in various forms, such as miso, tempeh, and soy milk. The average American eats a scant 5 grams of soy, and that mostly in the form of oils (often hydrogenated) hidden in high-fat foods. Comparing Japanese and American health: the Japanese enjoy a longer lifespan and lower rates of cancer (especially colon, lung, breast, and prostate) and have a much lower incidence of heart disease. It will be interesting to see if a reversal in these diseases occur as we export to the Japanese our beef and they sell us their soy. Heart and cancer doctors believe that adding as little as two ounces of soy to the daily American diet could lower the risk of these deadly diseases. In Oriental medicine, soybeans are valued as the tonic for long life and healthy living. In Oriental countries, soy is known as the “meat without bones” and the “cow of China.” While soy alone won’t save your life, here’s how it can help.
  7. Soy reduces cholesterol. Research has shown that replacing animal protein with 50 grams of soy protein a day can reduce cholesterol levels by 12 percent. Even better news is that soy protein lowers tryglycerides, reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. In fact, soy is one of the few foods that selectively reduces LDL cholesterol. Much of the cholesterol-lowering effect of soy has been attributed not only to the soy protein, but also to the fiber and soy phytonutrients (called isoflavones) that work along with bile acids in the intestines to escort cholesterol out of the body. Among the many health claims about soy, it’s cholesterol-reducing effects are the most scientifically proven. So, take your soy to heart.
  8. Soy contains essential fatty acids. Another heart-healthy feature of soy is the type of oil the soybean contains. Soy oil is over 80 percent unsaturated fatty acids, and soybean oil contains the heart-healthy essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. (The lack of essential fatty acids in cow’s milk is the reason why formula manufacturers choose soy instead of milk as a source of fat in baby formulas).
  9. Soy contains cancer-fighting phytos. The phytonutrient most prominent in soy products is genestein, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Soy also contains phytoestrogen, which has been shown to reduce the risk and spread of prostate cancer. The phytonutrient isoflavones are like phytoestrogens that may reduce the risk of breast cancer. The anti-cancer properties of soy seem to be associated primarily with the non-fermented soy products, such as tofu and soymilk, but not with fermented soy products, such as miso and tempeh.
  10. Soy is a very versatile food. Now that you’ve been shown the joys of soy, you’ll be happy to know that it comes in many forms, catering to different tastes, much like the multiple uses for wheat and dairy. There are many ways to incorporate soy into your diet.
  11. Soy is known as the anti-aging food. Because of the direct correlation between the longevity of a culture and the amount of soy in its diet, a wise person would, with increasing age, switch from primarily animal protein to fish, plant, and soy proteins. Osteoporosis is almost an accepted fact of getting older. The good news is this does not have to happen. Super soy to the rescue! Research has shown that the same amount of soy that can lower the risk of heart disease (40-50 grams a day) can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The anti-aging effect of soy is primarily due to its protein content.”

“Eating soy as nature intended (or very close to it) can be beneficial to your well-being in a variety of ways.” says Kris Carr. “Soy protein and omega-3s are important for heart health. They also keep your arteries clear and cholesterol levels low. And contrary to some unsubstantiated fear-based claims, phytoestrogens may actually help reduce breast cancer risk among premenopausal women (more on soy and cancer in the following section). In addition, whole soy foods are easier to digest and taste better than their processed cousins,a and meat.”

Organic, non-GMO, low-processed soy foods – the kind Dr. Sears has in mind – can provide many benefits.

For example, the soy in Juice Plus+ Complete is organic, non-GMO and water-washed (the lowest form of processing possible); it is one of the five sources of 13 grams of protein in each serving. Here are the labels listing the ingredients of the chocolate and vanilla Complete.

Dr. Sears’ Cold and Flu Prevention Tips

searsDoes the sound of a cough or sneeze make you cringe this time of year? You’re not alone. Warding off the flu and colds requires strategy and careful attention to detail in the winter months.

Everyone seems to have their own tips and tricks for staving off illness (and avoiding that sick coworker one desk away). When it comes to your health however, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Check out some of Dr. Bill Sears’ cold and flu prevention tips to keep your family happy and healthy this winter.

1. Avoid person-to-person contact when possible: Most flu germs travel through physical touch or through droplet spread (when germs enter miniscule water drops that are sneezed or coughed into the air). While contact is not always avoidable, there are a few small changes you can make during cold and flu season to minimize your germ contact:

a. Try giving a bow or head nod in place of hand shaking.

b. Make sure your family is practicing good hygiene. Avoid nose-picking, use disposable handkerchiefs and sneeze inside your elbow to cover your mouth and nose.

c. Avoid crowed rooms, coughers and sneezers when possible.

d. Be sure to get fresh air frequently.

2. Eat immune boosting foods: Phytonutrients, or “phytos” as Dr. Sears calls them, are natural chemicals commonly found in fruits and vegetables. These chemicals have germ-fighting powers that support healthy immune system functions, making them an essential component to a healthy diet this season. As a general rule, fruits and vegetables with deep colors or rich flavors tend to have the greatest concentration of “phytos.” Try incorporating tomatoes, red grapes, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, or chili peppers into your diet this season for a “phyto” boost!

While nearly all plant foods contain health-promoting phytochemicals, says Dr. Sears, the following are the most phyto-dense food sources:

  1. SoyF-V-Rainbow-1
  2. Tomato
  3. Broccoli
  4. Garlic
  5. Flax seeds
  6. Citrus fruits
  7. Melons: cantaloupe, watermelon
  8. Pink grapefruit
  9. Blueberries
  10. Sweet potatoes
  11. Chili peppers
  12. Legumes: beans, and lentils

Another great way to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of nutrients for boosting your immune system this flu season is to take supplements.

Dr. Sears recommends two supplements in particular: 1) Omega-3 fish oil and 2) The fruit and vegetable supplement Juice Plus+. Juice Plus+ is “the only nutritional supplement I take” says Dr. Bill. Taking Juice Plus+, in conjunction with eating healthy, will help to ensure that your immune system is getting the nutrients needed to perform at its best. Check out our line of Juice Plus+ products here.

3. Keep your hands clean: One of the simplest tips for cold and flu prevention is also one of the most important—keep your hands clean.

Many flu germs are transmitted through physical contact, which most commonly takes form through your hands. Wash and wipe your hands frequently, especially if you are beginning to experience signs of a cold, are using the restroom or are handling food.

When possible, try to avoid touching others or your face as well. Maintaining clean hands will not only decrease the chances of you getting sick, but it will also cut down on the spreading of sickness-causing germs.

Sources:

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/childhood-illnesses/flu-prevention
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/childhood-illnesses/cold-and-flu-season
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/childhood-illnesses/flu
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/phytonutrients/top-12-phyto-foods 

From Wheelchair To Walking By Changing Diet

Your DNA and your genes are NOT your Destiny says Dr. Terry Wahls.

She gives hope to many, because she was able to reverse her severe Multiple Sclerosis, and return to an active professional life as a physician and researcher, without medication. In fact she was able to stop all her medication after less than a year.

She is now reversing many diseases in her patients using her Wahls Protocol.

I suggest that we should all follow her Wahls Protocol, for a vibrant life, not just for ourselves, but for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Click to watch her video below: “How to Heal Through Food”.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 3.01.25 PM

Eating the right plant foods (including those found in Juice Plus+) are foundational to the Wahls Protocol. Now I understand why I am so healthy today, compared to 21 years ago, BJP (that’s Before Juice Plus+).