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Let’s get real; there are few sexy reasons to eat more vegetables. While Ancient Greeks used carrots as an aphrodisiac, the 21st century PR campaign for best aphrodisiac dropped carrots in exchange for chocolate. Many studies refer to veggies as a way to meet the daily fiber recommendations or lower your cancer risk, which isn’t very exciting. But there’s hope. New research shows that there is also a social, personal, and familial plus to eating vegetables. Besides the health benefits, here are more reasons why you want to turn up the vegetables in your meals.
You may have heard some people say they feel better after a “Daniel” fast, starting a workout regimen or losing a certain amount of weight, but you can get that feel-good vibe one meal at a time. A new study in Social Indicators Research of over 80,000 subjects found a dose-response relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption with happiness and mental health. The perfect dose of happy-fruit-and-vegetable-potion comes in at 7-servings a day. Studies have frequently related obesity with depression, and dietary patterns with mental health, but this study takes a lighter take on how to improve your well-being. A report by WebMD quotes Andrea Giancoli, RD, whose take on clients who don’t like vegetables may be easy to convert with a little effort, “Even those who say they hate fruits and vegetables can find ones they like, usually it’s just certain ones they don’t like. Once we go through [the list] we find ones they do like.”
Be Seen in a More Positive Light
This next study was laughable at first glance, but the fact that it came from one of the more prominent nutrition researchers in the field, Brian Wansink, PhD, Director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, made me take a second look. The headline for the study press release reads, “Adding Vegetables Enhances both Main Dish Expectations and Perception of the Cook.” My first thought was, ‘no way do people think I’m a better cook because I serve vegetables,’ but a survey of 500 American mothers says differently. According to the release, “The survey asked participants to evaluate meals served either with or without vegetables as well as a cook who did or did not include a vegetable with a dinner time meal.” Results showed those meals served with vegetables were more desirable and that positive descriptors of the cook, such as “capable,” “thoughtful,” and “attentive” were higher for those who added vegetables. So you know, the study was partially sponsored by Pinnacle Foods, who specializes in frozen vegetables under their Birds Eye brand.
Making the Slow and Steady Switch
Now that you’ve got being happier, improving your social status, and maybe even a better sex life, to gain from eating more vegetables, the question is how do you realistically make the switch. It’s just as you would any lifestyle change that’s made to stick: slow and steady. A new report by the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) outlines approaches to increasing fruit and vegetable intake in Behavioral Economics and the Psychology of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. While the guide was intended for food marketers, its contents are relevant to those of us who know all too well the power of food marketers to sale a dollar pre-packaged snack-food dream.
Raw Foods Summary by David Wolfe
A raw food (also called living food) diet is an uncooked vegan or vegetarian diet, which consists of berries, fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts, flowers, sea vegetables, germinated seeds, sprouts, and sometimes raw dairy products (for maintenance, not cleansing). Plants are rich natural sources of antioxidants and other nutrients. In addition, the live food also contains enzymes which act as catalysts for detoxification and absorption of nutrients. Under Naturopathy, juices of certain vegetables and fruits are used as cancer fighting foods.
Green Leafy Vegetables
This is probably the most important group of foods because it is so desperately lacking in civilization’s diet. Green leaves are the best source of alkaline minerals, contain the best fiber, have many calming, antistress properties, and are the best source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a blood-builder and one of nature’s great healers. Green, leafy foods are the most abundant foods on Earth. In July of 1940, a comprehensive report written by Dr. Benjamin Gurskin, director of experimental pathology at Temple University, that focused on 1,200 patients treated with chlorophyll was published in the American Journal of Surgery. On the power of chlorophyll, he said, “It is interesting to note there is not a single case recorded in which improvement or cure has not taken place.” In 1950, Dr. Howard Westcott found that just 100 milligrams of chlorophyll in the diet neutralized bad breath, body odor, menstrual odors, and foul-smelling urine and stools.
The most enzyme-active location that exists in any mammal is found in the mouth of a child eating cooked food. If cooked food is eaten, the body attempts to adapt by increasing the enzyme content of the saliva in order to begin breaking down cooked food as quickly as possible. This adaptation lasts as long as the body has enzyme reserves. As we age, our reserves decrease. Doctor Meyer and his associates at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, found that the enzymes in the saliva of young adults were 30 times stronger than in persons over the age of 69. Without the proper enzymes to break down our foods, we begin to accumulate undigested materials in our system. This leads to weight gain, inflammation, stagnation, digestive distress, and fatigue. The saliva of a raw-food eater contains far fewer enzymes than that of a person who eats cooked food. This is because raw foods contain enzymes of their own, making salivary enzymes not as strongly needed for digestion. Our enzyme reserves correlate to our vitality.
In 1993, Doctor’s Data Lab of Chicago conducted a study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition (Vol. 45, Issue # 1). For over two years, researchers collected foods such as apples, corn, peas, and potatoes from organic foods stores and regular supermarkets in the Chicago area, just like a typical shopper. Their lab test results showed that, by weight, organic produce contained at least twice the nutritional mineral content of regular supermarket produce, and far less dangerous heavy metal residues, such as aluminum, lead, and mercury.
On March 9, 2003, The New York Times reported that 68 pesticide ingredients have been determined to cause cancer. The National Academy of Sciences released a finding reported in USA Today on June 28, 1993, which stated, “By the time the average child is a year old, s/he will have received the acceptable lifetime doses of 8 pesticides from 20 commonly eaten foods.” Pesticides are unacceptable at any level, and definitely should be avoided on our food.
SUPERFOODS…What are they?
Superfoods are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated, and nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Extremely tasty and satisfying, superfoods have the ability to tremendously increase the vital force and energy of one’s body, and are the optimum choice for improving over-all health, boosting the immune system, elevating serotonin production, enhancing sexuality, cleansing, lowering inflammation, and alkalizing the body. Nourishing us at the deepest level possible, they are the true fuel of today’s “superhero.”
Top 10 Superfoods and Tonic Herbs
1. Cacao (Raw Chocolate) — The seed/nut of a fruit of an Amazonian tree, cacao is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, the #1 source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium and is also extremely high in PEA, theobromine (cardiovascular support), and anandamide (“bliss chemical”). Raw Chocolate improves cardiovascular health, builds strong bones, is a natural aphrodisiac, elevates your mood and energy, and increases longevity.
2. Goji Berries (Wolfberries) — Used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years, goji berries are regarded as a longevity, strength-building, and potency food of the highest order. This superfood contains 18 kinds of amino acids, including all 8 essential amino acids, up to 21 trace minerals, high amounts of antioxidants, iron, polysaccharides, B & E vitamins, and many other nutrients.
3. Maca — A staple in the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years, this adaptogenic superfood increases energy, endurance, strength, and libido. Dried maca powder contains more than 10% protein, nearly 20 amino acids, including 7 essential amino acids. As a root crop, maca contains five times more protein than a potato and four times more fiber.
4. Hemp Products eaten in their RAW form — Hemp seeds are packed with 33% pure digestible protein, and are rich in iron, amino acids, and vitamin E as well as omega-3’s and GLA. Hemp is a perfect food for growing children and adults looking to increase protein intake.
5. Spirulina and AFA Blue-Green Algae — Spirulina is the world’s highest source of complete protein (65%). Spirulina provides a vast array of minerals, trace elements, phytonutrients, and enzymes. AFA Blue-green algae is a wild-grown superfood that is made up of 15% blue pigmented phycocyanin which, according to Christian Drapeau in his book Primordial Food, increases our internal production of stem cells. Both Sprirulina and Blue-green Algae are vital superfoods.
6. Bee Products (honey, pollen, and propolis) — Bee pollen is the most complete food found in nature containing nearly all B vitamins especially vitamin B9 (folate) and all 21 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Honey, in its organic/wild, raw, unfiltered states is rich in minerals, antioxidants,probiotics, and enzymes, and is one of the highest vibration foods on the planet. If your metabolism can handle sweeteners, honey is the best. Russian research indicates that honey is a longevity superfood.
7. Camu Berry — Highest Vitamin C source on planet. Great for rebuilding tissue, purifying blood, and enhancing immunity, and energy. Camu berry is one of the best anti-depressants, immune building, and eye-nourishing superfoods in the world.
8. Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, hijiki, bladderwrack, chlorella, etc) — Rich in life-giving nutrients drawn in from the ocean and sun, sea vegetables help remove heavy metals, detoxify the body of radioactive iodine, provide numerous trace minerals, regulate immunity, and decrease the risk of cancer. Seaweeds benefit the entire body, and are especially excellent for the thyroid, immune system, adrenals, and hormone function.
9. Medicinal Mushrooms (Reishi, chaga, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, lion’s mane, etc.) — High in polysaccharides and super immune enhancing components, medicinal mushrooms are one of the most intelligent adaptogenic herb/superfoods on the planet! They have also been proven effective in healing cancer and a variety of other ailments.
10. Additional Powerful Superfoods and Supplements — MSM, Digestive and Metabolic Enzymes, Mangosteen powder, Marine Phytoplankton, Activated Liquid Zeolite, Ormus, MegaHydrate, Crystal Energy, Krill Oil (not vegan, lowest on the food-chain, a source of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids).
Tangerine Essential Oil Tangerine is a wonderfully sweet, fresh and citrusy essential oil and is thought to promote happiness, and help with nervousness and anxiety. For support of the nervous system, use in the diffuser to surround yourself with the aroma. The aroma is very popular with children, and can have the same relaxing effect as for adults.
Tangerine essential oil is also thought to help the digestive system, reducing flatulence – possibly related to its anti-anxiety effects. In addition, tangerine can be beneficial to the skin, used traditionally to help stretch marks and have a positive effect on cellulite.
Tangerine has also been show to be antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic and a laxative.
Basil Oil is a good tonic the the treatment of nervous disorders and stress related headaches, migraines and allergies. It is used to clear the mind and relieve intellectual fatigue, while giving clarity and mental strength. It has a beneficial action on the respiratory tract and is often used for asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. It furthermore is also effective in cased of constipation, nausea, vomiting and cramps, and is also good when used for menstrual problems. It helps to minimize uric acid in the blood, thus relieving gout. It is useful in arthritis as well and when used on the skin, it helps to control acne and good for insect bites!
1. Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry. Remove any noticeable bones with needle nose pliers.
2. On a flat surface, pull out a length of aluminum foil long enough to cover and fold the fish, plus a little extra. Place the orange slices in the middle and arrange the salmon on top. Spread the concentrateover the salmon and sprinkle with the thyme. Bring the short ends of the foil together, meeting in the middle of the fish. Align the edges evenly and fold them over at least twice, crimping the final edge.Bring the long sides together, folding and crimping in the same manner.
3. Place the bundle on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Close the door ad set the machine on a normal cycle. When the cycle is completed, remove the salmon – it should be moist and cookedthrough. If not, run back through the cycle another 5 to 7 minutes. Unwrap and transfer to a serving platter.