Archive | Health RSS for this section

10 Healthy, Natural Phytonutrients that are good for you (and may help you avoid caner)

The Food Revolution Network lists the ten phytochemicals you can get from foods that are good for you.  Apparently, there’s research that it helps prevent cancer, which you can read here.  But if you don’t want to read it and are just curious about some healthy food chemicals, here’s the list below:

  1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): a green tea extract
  2. Curcumin: the primary polyphenol in turmeric root
  3. Resveratrol: a phytochemical found in grapes, Japanese knotweed, and peanuts
  4. Lycopene: a red carotenoid found in watermelon, red grapefruit, and tomatoes
  5. Pomegranate extracts
  6. Luteolin: a flavinoid found in peppers and green vegetables
  7. Genistein: a phytochemical found in red clover, soy, and coffee
  8. Piperine: a phytochemical found in black pepper
  9. Beta-carotene: an orange carotenoid found in vegetables including carrots
  10. Sulforaphane: a sulfurous phytochemical found in broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and similar vegetables.

In this case, being healthy will involve eating a lot of salad.  Not really different from what it was before, really.

Foods Banned in Other Countries that are Still Allowed in the U.S.

If you still had any doubts that the current FDA cares only about profits and not your health, those doubts will soon be erased.  Here are 10 foods that are so potentially dangerous for humans that other countries have banned them…and yet they’re still sold in this country.

1. Farm-raised salmon, which is full of antibiotics, drugs, and chemicals, and may be infected with fish viruses.  Banned in Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.

2. Genetically-engineered papaya.  Banned in the European Union.

3. Ractopamine-tainted meat.  Ractopamine is a drug given to livestock to enhance muscles and reduce fat content in meat.  Unfortunately, not only is it linked to loss of reproductive function and increase in disability and death in dairy herds, but it also may cause behavioral changes, chromosome abnormalities, and and hyperactivity in humans.  Banned in 160 European countries (including Russia), mainland China, and Taiwan.

4. Brominated vegetable oil, which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.  Now it’s used in citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks!  It’s also linked to problems in the human body, from rashes and acne to major organ damage, birth defects, and even schizophrenia.  Banned in Japan and 18 European countries.

5. Processed foods with artificial food coloring and dyes.  These foods include macaroni and cheese, Jell-O, and kids’ cereals.  The additives have been linked to behavioral changes, birth defects, cancer, and allergy-like reactions in children.  Banned in Norway and Austria.

6. Arsenic-laced chicken.  Believe it or not, arsenic, the traditional poison of murder mysteries, is used to make drugs that cause growth in chickens, as well as making the meat appear pink and fresh.  I truly wish I was kidding, and I don’t think I need to go into the negative effects here.  Banned in the European Union.

7. Bread enriched with potassium bromate, which commercial baking companies claim makes dough more elastic.  Unfortunately, it’s also been linked to problems in the kidneys, the nervous system, and the thyroid, as well as cancer.  Banned in Canada, China, and the European Union.

8. Olestra/Olean.  This is a fat substitute used in fat-free snacks such as potato chips, and it may cause intestinal problems such as diarrhea and cramps.  Banned in the U.K. and Canada.

9. BHA and BHT, which are preservatives found in beer, breakfast cereal, butter spread, mixed nuts, dehydrated potatoes, and chewing gum.  BHA, known to cause cancer in rats, triggers allergic reactions and hyperactivity in humans.  BHT may result in organ system toxicity.  Banned in the European Union and Japan.

10. Dairy products full of rBGH.  This is a synthetic version of a natural hormone in cattle used to increase milk production.  Not only does it cause adverse health conditions in cattle and contaminate milk, but it’s been linked to cancer in humans.  Banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the European Union, and Canada.

Are you disgusted and outraged?  I know I am.  See the link below for more details:

http://foodrevolution.org/blog/10-banned-foods-americans-stop-eating/

Environmental Working Group’s Seafood Calculator

You’ve probably been hearing lots of good things about seafood.  It’s healthier than red meat.  It’s sustainable.  It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and triglyceride levels, boost effects of antidepressants, and reduce symptoms of ADHD in children, among other benefits.  So is this all true?

Not always.  Most of our seafood contains at least some mercury, the result of previously-unregulated heavy metals polluting our waterways.  Sadly, much of our seafood isn’t sustainable either.  However, there’s no denying the fact that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial, and that as long as you can avoid as much mercury as you can, you should be able to enjoy seafood.  So the Environmental Working Group (EWG) came up with a handy little program: the Seafood Calculator!  Located at the link below, it’s easy to use.  You enter your weight, age, sex, whether you’re pregnant or nursing, and whether you have a heart condition, and the calculator lets you know how many servings of each kind of seafood per week you can eat.

I tried it just now, and as a seafood lover, I was pleased with my results.  It turns out that some of my favorite seafood, like salmon, mussels, and rainbow trout, not only have relatively low mercury content, but are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  Shrimp, scallops, clams, catfish, and tilapia are low in mercury content but are also low in omega-3 fatty acid content.  The only fish I was told to avoid were shark, orange roughy, and swordfish.

Go to the link below to make your own seafood calculations:

Seafood Calculator

Eating Vegetables Makes You Happy?

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with more curiosity, happiness, and creativity in daily life, possibly due to high levels of Vitamin C and of antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.  Granted, it’s possible that better moods caused higher consumption of vegetables and fruits among the test subjects instead of the other way around, but it’s an interesting study anyway.

See the link below for the abstract of this article:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjhp.12113/abstract

How Much Sugar is in your Cereal?

How Much Sugar is in your Cereal?

Go to this Environmental Working Group (EWG) article to find out the most and least sugary cereal brands.

I checked myself, and it turns out Cheerios are one of the least sugary.  Phew!  Despite my sweet tooth, I could give up Applejacks or Froot Loops much more easily than I could give up Cheerios.